OneRail Coalition Panel at Southwestern Rail Conference Highlights Rail as an Economic Driver

Release Date: 
Jan 28 2016

January 28, 2016

The OneRail Coalition sponsored a panel session at the Southwestern Rail Conference on January 22, 2016 in Dallas, TX.   The panel was part of the OneRail's ongoing efforts to raise the understanding among decision-makers of the amount of good paying jobs the rail supply sector contributes to state economies.  Panelists represented contractors and suppliers who procure millions of dollars' worth of goods and services to support both passenger and freight rail operations and infrastructure. The panelists were Herzogs Craig Ebersold, Project Manager, Knorr Brake Companys Nick Manley, Western Regional Sales Manager, and Georgetown Rail Equipment Company’s Wiggie Shell, President.

Each panelist explained how strong well capitalized freight and passenger railroads support many good paying jobs in the rail contracting and supply sector across the US. The panelists also stressed that supporting the expansion of passenger and freight rail transportation also supports the rail supply industry which encompasses more than 1,700 private companies with 2,800 facilities and over 94,000 good U. S. paying jobs.

To be successful, freight and passenger railroads rely on contracts and suppliers to provide the necessary equipment, supplies, technology, services, and R&D to help improve railroad operations, safety and productivity.  The nation’s rail supply companies are involved in the manufacturing of products and provision of services in the freight car, locomotive, maintenance-of- way, construction, communications, signaling, intercity passenger rail and rail transit industries. Freight car manufacturers work in coordination with the freight railroads on car design standards, while tank car manufacturers are at the forefront of the latest research to improve tank car safety.  Additionally, suppliers build the intercity passenger rail cars necessary to meet the increasing demand for intercity passenger rail travel in the United States. Suppliers are also involved in the design and manufacture of highway-rail grade crossing technology, positive train control technology, enhanced rail inspection equipment, and other rail safety technologies.

OneRail's sponsorship of panels such as this one are intended to broaden the understanding of the many aspects of rail transportation, some of the challenges faced in planning for infrastructure investment, and the contribution rail makes to state economies across the U.S.  Good rail jobs depend on a reliable federal funding source for passenger rail, continuation of the 45G tax credit for short line railroads, and a balanced regulatory environment for freight rail.  Rail delivers good paying U.S. jobs, safer transportation for goods and people, and lowers roadway maintenance costs, and reduces harmful emissions.

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For further information, contact:
Anne Canby
OneRail Coalition Director