|A message from REMSA regarding COVID-19:
The safety and well-being of the REMSA staff and our members is of the upmost importance to our association, and we want to urge all REMSA members, staff, and their families to take the proper precautions necessary to maintain their health, safety and well-being during this uncertain and unprecedented time. Railroads continue to operate and are critical in transporting essential supplies throughout the country to those in need. Thank you to our railroad operators, the crews maintaining the rails, and all of our member company employees who are taking the measures they need to ensure the well-being of the country and world during this crisis.
Action Required by End of Month on Government Funding, Surface Transportation Legislation
In the wake of the monthlong August recess, both chambers of Congress have resumed session. They have just a couple of weeks remaining before action must be taken on both government funding levels and the five-year surface transportation bill (FAST Act), each of which expire at the end of September. Both are expected to be extended temporarily: funding levels through mid-December, and surface transportation funding for a full year while negotiations on a new five-year bill continue.
Even in normal circumstances, those items would take a lot of the Congress' energy to get across the finish line. Add to it that we're entering the home stretch of a Presidential election year and the Supreme Court vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg, and it'll be a very high-profile end to the year before the lame-duck session takes place after the election.
Finally, in recent weeks the Senate has held hearings on the confirmations of several nominees of interest to the rail industry: Surface Transportation Board nominees Michelle Schultz and Robert Primus, DoT Inspector General Nominee Eric Soskin, and several nominees for the Amtrak Board of Directors. It remains to be seen if those nominations will proceed as scheduled or if delays could be caused by the other urgent business before Congress this month.
If you are interested in learning more about REMSA's government affairs efforts, please reach out to Cooper Ehrendreich at email@example.com.
REMSA is excited to announce two upcoming webinars coming up in September and October:
NRC-REMSA Joint Panel: COVID-19 Best Practices
2:00PM ET, September 24th
REMSA Government Affairs Webinar: Update on Federal Transit Funding with special guest Nicole Christus, Senior Legislative Representative, Government Affairs and Advocacy with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
2:00PM ET, October 6th
Our full library of webinars, now at eight total and growing, is available to REMSA Members here
Keep an eye on our events calendar
to view and register for upcoming webinars as they become available.
Is there a topic you would like covered in future webinars? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
to share your ideas.
REMSA Board Member of the Month
Scott Commo, President
Industry-Railway Suppliers, Inc
What do you enjoy most about being on the REMSA Board?
It has been a rewarding and educational journey to work together with top industry leadership, increasing REMSA's membership value. The frequent opportunities to network with fellow board members, key customers and state and federal politicians have been fantastic. Serving on the REMSA Board has been an enjoyable and enlightening experience.
What has your experience on the REMSA Board taught you and what is your vision for the future of REMSA?
The future for REMSA and our members is bright! This association is driven and always reaching to provide additional membership value. I have seen many improvements through the constructive work that REMSA has done with government affairs, Grass Roots, management of the largest exhibit of maintenance-of-way equipment, products and services in North America, and the creation of new opportunities for additional value for REMSA members. These efforts are driven by an experienced executive staff and managers.
Do you participate in and committees as a REMSA Director?
I currently participate in four committees: Long Range Planning, Government Affairs, Outreach, and am a Scholarship Committee Chairman. I've had past participation in various other REMSA committees as well. The experience gained and challenges solved while working closely with many great industry leaders has been most rewarding. After I was elected to the board, some of the best advice I received was to participate in all the committees. The overall experience of doing so has been very gratifying.
How did you get started in the rail industry?
When I graduated college, I knew I wanted to travel. I accepted a position with an OEM to promote specialized railroad hydraulic tools and C&S products, which allowed me to travel a lot. The primary focus of the position was making direct sales calls on section and production gangs, division offices, and eventually corporate offices of Class I, contractors, shortlines and transits. My territory was Canada and Midwest US. For the first four years of my career, I drove a pickup truck full of railroad tools from my home in Minneapolis, all across Canada, and down as far south as Chicago promoting hydraulic tools and signalling equipment. The insight I gained by getting my start in the field before moving to the corporate offices has proved invaluable.
What do you love most about your job/the rail industry?
First and foremost, I recognized early on that I wanted a career in the railroad industry. I've been fortunate to be employed by industry leading companies, and have always worked for good people who looked out for me and never hesitated to point me down a successful path.
In my current role as president of Industry-Railway Suppliers, I've enjoyed helping expand the company into new segments while continuing to build and support worldwide industry leading OEM partnerships. We have accomplished a large amount in a short period of time through a great team of experienced and driven employees. To help position us adapt for the future, in June 2020, we launched our e-commerce
website allowing customers to purchase our products online. We began the platform with the goal of simplifying needs, and improving the overall customer experience. It's gratifying to reflect on where Industry Railway was in the past, and now where we're headed for the future.
What do you find yourself doing most in your downtime? Hobbies outside of work?
My wife, Jessie, and I have two energetic daughters, Sydney (13) and Sophia (10). My time at home is spent with Jessie and the girls often attending their soccer, basketball, and field hockey games, and gardening in the backyard. I enjoy fishing, golfing and downhill skiing with family and friends as time allows.
How do you define the "future" of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?
I'm greatly optimistic about the future of the rail industry. Since I've begun, the rail industry and the way business is conducted has changed rapidly. The new efficiencies of PSR implementation and the USMCA are propelling positive change. Considering the recent economic downturn and the pandemic, railroad suppliers have to adapt now more than ever. The rail supply community's willingness to adapt creates opportunities to supply products that deliver both operational cost savings and a safer working environment for customers.
With IRS's broad product mix to support greater line capacities in North America, and now our expansion into the ecommerce marketplace, allowing for a quicker and simpler online buying experience, we are well positioned for growth. The new e-commerce website, industryrailway.com, will help the railroad industry tend to maintenance faster, better upholding scheduled railroading objectives.
Interested in being highlighted in the REMSA spotlight? Apply to become Member-of-Month.
Contact Madeleine Stern, Membership & Marketing Manager to apply today at: email@example.com
or (202) 715-2919.
The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) is excited to open its new advertising program to members, partners and affiliates. Highlight your company on the REMSA website and broaden your audience.
Ads will appear at www.remsa.org
. REMSA Members enjoy the discounted member-rate to advertise. All advertisers who reserve space before October 1st will receive a 10% discount.
| REMSA 2020 Continuing Education Scholarship Program
The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) is pleased to announce the availability of one continuing education scholarship for tuition assistance. This year REMSA is offering one (1) Continuing Education Scholarship up to $15,000. The purpose of this scholarship is to positively impact the future of the rail construction and maintenance industry by supporting REMSA member employees' education. REMSA is seeking scholarship applications from employees who are pursuing additional education that would allow them to work successfully and grow within the rail construction and maintenance industry.
To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must:
The deadline to apply is: Friday, October 30. For more information on the REMSA Continuing Education Scholarship Program, visit our website here.
- be a full-time employee of a REMSA member company. An employee who is the scholarship applicant is required to be a full-time employee. Part-time employees and interns are not eligible;
- provide proof of enrollment in a college or university or a vocational or technical institution continuing education program at the time the funds are disbursed.
Target your recruiting and reach a network of qualified candidates quickly and easily at the REMSA Career Network. REMSA Members enjoy the member-rate to post.
Career Network account benefits include:
- Career coaching
- Resume writing
- Reference checking
- Career learning center
Access the Career Center here
|University of Delaware
Railroad Engineering Certificate Program
The University of Delaware has established a Graduate Certificate Program in railroad engineering which includes several courses aimed at preparing students for employment in the rail industry. The program is a good fit for candidates with an undergraduate degree in engineering as well as professionals in the field.
For more information about the program, including course descriptions and program requirements, visit the University of Delaware's Railroad Engineering Program website here
|REMSA Grassroots Program
Bring a Member of Congress to Your Company
The 116th Congress has more than 100 new members in the House of Representatives and 10 new Senators, making 2020 a terrific opportunity to host a REMSA grassroots event at your company.
REMSA hosted 12 grassroots events with member companies in 9 states in 2019 and has several scheduled for the first few months of 2020. Press releases detailing past events can be found here
REMSA's Grassroots Program connects our association's membership with members of Congress to host tours and site visits of company facilities and ongoing projects. It's a terrific way to showcase the positive impact that your company has in the local community, while also building strong personal relationships with your elected representatives. We will also take the initiative to engage with local and regional media outlets to highlight your company and maximize the visibility of the great work that you are doing.
Are you interested in growing your network and highlighting your products and services to the rail industry?
According to an August 2020 poll conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS on behalf of the OneRail Coalition, Americans continue to show strong support for rail, whether it's to commute short distances, travel long distances, improve the environment, or expand service. A July 2020 poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) showed similar strong support for moving goods by rail and the importance of freight rail in reducing the transportation sector's impact on climate change. (OneRail)
The United States Department of Transportation has released a National Freight Strategic Plan, which the agency says is the "first ever." The NFSP, USDOT says, "lays out a vision for long-term investments in infrastructure, the workforce, and other essential parts of the freight system." (Railway Age)
STB adopts final rule on waybill data collection
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has adopted a final rule aimed at improving the board's waybill sample data collection by creating a more robust dataset for decision-making and analyses. The rule takes effect Jan. 1, 2021.
Specifically, the rule would increase the sampling rates of certain non-intermodal carload shipments and specific separate sampling strata and rates for intermodal shipments, STB officials said in a press release. (Progressive Railroading)
President Donald Trump has designated National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg to continue to serve in the position for a new three-year term.
Landsberg began a five-year appointment as an NTSB board member on Aug. 7, 2018, and on that same day began a two-year term as the board's vice chairman. (Progressive Railroading)
The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) recognized Hanson Professional Services Inc. with the Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence for the firm's work on the emergency repair of Norfolk Southern Corp.'s collapsed bridge over the Grand River near Brunswick, Missouri. Flooding and a buildup of tree limbs wiped out about 267 feet of the 1,110-foot bridge. Hanson and Massman Construction Co. worked together to help NS rebuild the 103-year-old bridge in 27 days. (Progressive Railroading)
NARSTCO hits major safety milestone at Texas facilities
NARSTCO, North America's leading manufacturer of steel ties and turnout sets, marked a major safety milestone, successfully completing 1-million-manhours without an OSHA recordable injury at its Texas facilities.
At its Midlothian and Cedar Hill, Texas, facilities, NARSTCO manufactures steel ties and turnout sets for rail customers throughout North America, including Class Is, short lines, transit agencies and commercial/industrial customers. (RT&S)
R.J. Corman Purchases 3 Short Lines, TranZ
R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC has finalized an agreement to acquire Owego & Harford Railway, Inc. (OHRY), Lehigh Railway, LLC (LRWY), and Luzerne & Susquehanna Railway Company (LS), as well as short line transload service provider TranZ.
The three short lines haul a variety of freight including sand, drill cuttings, scrap, feed products, fertilizer, pipe, plastic, propane, chemicals and wood products. TranZ operates a bulk transfer station on the Lehigh Railway in Wyalusing, Pa. Owego & Harford Railway is a 26.7-mile railroad in New York that operates on a long-term lease from Tioga County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA). (Railway Age)
In the invitation to tender for Packages 2B and C as part of Stage 2 of the new railway construction project, Vossloh was again awarded the contract for the supply of rail fasteners. The customers are China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd. and Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting Company. (RT&S)