OneRail Coalition Briefs Congress on Rail Success Stories and Return on Investment

Release Date: 
Dec 2 2014

On December 2, 2014 the OneRail Coalition organized a briefing on Capitol Hill designed to highlight a series of successful passenger and freight rail projects around the country that demonstrate the high Return on Investment (ROI) of public and private funding for rail projects.

At the briefing experts spoke about six rail infrastructure projects benefiting both passenger and freight rail traffic  and how the planning, partnerships, and funding in each of these cases contributed to the project's success. Petra Todorovich Messick, Principal Officer, New York and New Jersey Development at Amtrak spoke about the Niantic River Bridge; Steve Flippin, Director of Federal Affairs, CSX spoke about the National Gateway project; Jennie Granger, Project Manager for Amtrak Capital Improvements, PennDOT discussed the Keystone Corridor project; Dave Kutrosky, Managing Director Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, presented on the Capitol Corridor; Craig Newton, Facilities Engineer, Rail Division, North Carolina DOT, talked about the incremental upgrades to the Cary Depot; and Chris Luebbers, Group Manager of International Marketing, Norfolk Southern, spoke about upgrades along the Heartland Corridor.

In addition to the presentations, Representative Jeff Denham, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials made remarks on the importance of rail transportation projects and prospects for rail legislation in the 114th Congress.

Rail success stories are found throughout the country - in urban and rural areas, red and blue states, and involve bridges, tunnels, port connections, passenger stations, grade crossings and grade separations. They demonstrate how investing federal funds to improve our rail network leverages additional private sector investment in grain elevators, logistics parks, offices, housing, and hotels, producing high-quality well-paying private jobs.

Descriptions of the projects - how they reaped benefits for their communities and the economy, the project partners, and the sources of funding - are described within the Return on Investment report, which can be found on the OneRail website at www.onerail.org/documents/rail-success-stories-onerail-coalition.

Anne Canby of the OneRail Coalition closed out the briefing by noting that these Success Stories are only the beginning. Projects currently in design and construction phases and projects awaiting funding are the future stories of successful rail investment. A document providing a representative sample of these projects is also available on the OneRail website at www.onerail.org/documents/passenger-and-freight-rail-project-pipeline.