Washington, D.C. — After 350+ meetings with members of Congress, another productive Railroad Day on Capitol Hill is in the books. The day convenes folks from all sectors of the freight rail industry, from Class I and short line railroads to rail suppliers and labor unions. The breadth of this industry representation helps reinforce to policymakers the messages of the day: preserve balanced economic regulations for freight rail, oppose truck size and weight increases and extend (and make permanent) the short line 45G tax credit.
These policies are at the core of a healthy freight rail network that supports 1.1 million U.S. jobs and generates about $220 billion in annual economic activity. When railroads invest private dollar in their networks, it means stronger economies, more jobs, cleaner skies and even safer transport in communities across the nation.
GoRail is charged with telling rail’s public benefits story every day — and Railroad Day is no exception. Our focus, as always, is to elevate the voices of our local rail advocates, who are leaders in their own communities and see the public benefits of railroads first-hand every day.
The stellar group this year included: Marnie O’Brien Primmer, Executive Director of FuturePorts (CA); Florida State Representative Brad Drake; Mark Fisher, Chief Policy Officer of the Indy Chamber; Alex Guardiola, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce (MA); Anoka County (MN) Commissioner Scott Schulte; Kevin Mannix, Executive Director of Oregon Shipping Group; Jeff Moseley, Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Association of Business; Yakima City (WA) Councilmember Carmen Méndez; and Patrick Sherry, Executive Director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation (NCIT) at the University of Denver.
In addition to the day’s in-person meetings, rail advocates across the country helped us to reach over 1.5 million Twitter users with the #RailDay2019 hashtag. The social conversation ranged from rail technology and innovation to its economic, environmental and modal benefits.
Get a glimpse into these meetings from the gallery below. You can also learn more about the Association of American Railroads’ RailXTech event here.