OneRail Hosts Congressional Briefing on American Rail Industry
May 10, 2012
Washington, DC -
The OneRail Coalition hosted a briefing on May 10 for an audience of nearly 100 Congressional staffers, government agency officials, and transportation industry representatives on the economic impact of the rail industry. Panelists discussed the number and type of U.S. jobs created by the rail industry and the significant economic benefits to communities throughout the U.S. that flow from freight and passenger rail operations and from capital investment in rail infrastructure, equipment, and facilities.
Examining the rail industry in its entirety, from private freight rail to commuter rail and intercity passenger rail operators, conveys an impressive picture of the hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs that the rail industry directly provides in the United States. In addition, the briefing highlighted the breadth and depth of the rail supply industry, which employs close to 100,000 people providing goods and services to their freight and passenger rail customers.
Representatives of the rail operators and the rail supply industry pointed out the value and benefits of investing in rail infrastructure in terms of direct service improvements, greater productivity, and increased ridership. As railroad owners invest in their infrastructure, thousands of companies all over the U.S. benefit, supporting tens of thousands of good paying jobs. Over the past 5 years, the rail industry has invested over $120 billion in the nation's rail infrastructure, equipment and facilities.
The panelists were:
- Richard Timmons, President, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA)
- John Gray, Senior Vice President, Policy & Economics, Association of American Railroads (AAR)
- Gerald Hanas , General Manager, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District and Chairman, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Commuter Rail Committee
- Joe McHugh, Vice President, Government Affairs and Corporate Communications, Amtrak
- Don Itzkoff, Executive Counsel of Public Policy & Government Relations, GE Transportation
- Greg Lippard , Vice President, L.B. Foster Co.