Alexandria, VA — Railroad Day on Capitol Hill 2017 is almost here. Hundreds of rail advocates and community leaders from around the country will flood Capitol Hill next Thursday, March 2, to talk to members of Congress about the story of freight rail — stronger economies, more jobs and cleaner skies.
A healthy and vibrant freight rail industry is the backbone of the U.S. economy, supporting vital American jobs and connecting businesses large and small to towns and cities across the U.S., as well as to the global marketplace. Railroads deliver for American businesses and consumers by spending record amounts of private capital needed to sustain and grow the nation’s rail system. In 2017 alone, freight railroads expect to spend $22 billion to maintain and grow the rail network.
The power of rail’s private investments is at the core of our annual Railroad Day message because we know that smart public policy paves the way for this private spending. The specific items on this year’s agenda include:
- Supporting a pro-growth tax code — Railroads support legislation to create a simpler and fairer tax code that would stimulate the U.S. economy as well as foster investment in U.S. industries. Freight railroading is one of the most capital-intensive industries in America and a globally competitive tax code would position railroads to invest even more to meet demand. This agenda also includes supporting specific legislation, the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, to extend the Section 45G short line tax credit.
- Pushing back on bigger and heavier trucks — It’s estimated that 80,000-pound trucks pay only 80 percent of the cost of the damage they cause to roads and bridges. Heavier and bigger trucks would divert traffic away from environmentally friendly freight rail even further, putting it on the already congested highway system.
- Preserving smart and balanced regulation — Freight rail’s success story is predicated on the regulatory reforms of the 1980 Staggers Act, which curbed excessive government regulation and freed railroads to operate more efficiently and safely. Today, railroads support regulatory decision making that is data-driven and outcome-based.
To extend our discussion beyond the Washington, D.C. beltway, we’re launching our second annual Thunderclap. So whether you’re attending Railroad Day in person or simply support America’s economic engine, sign up to share the message on social media! To participate in the Thunderclap using your Facebook or Twitter account, follow these simple steps:
1. Go to https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/53254-railroad-day-2017
2. Click Support with Facebook, Support with Twitter, and/or Support with Tumblr
3. You’ll have the option to customize the given message
4. Click Add My Support
5. Give Thunderclap permission to authorize your account (Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr) to send the message on Railroad Day
Also, if you’re on Twitter, you can share and retweet pro-rail messages throughout the day on March 2 while tagging your members of Congress and using the hashtag #RailDay2017. We’ve included some sample messages below.