House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Member Rep. Perry tours Cumberland County railroad supplier.
Camp Hill, PA — U.S. Representative Scott Perry (PA-10) joined officials from Amsted Rail Company, the Association of American Railroads, Railway Supply Institute and GoRail today for a tour of the rail supplier’s Camp Hill facility, which manufactures freight car cushion units and locomotive draft gears. Amsted Rail is a global leader in heavy-haul component systems and the group saw firsthand how this work is helping to move the rail industry and economy forward.
“Railroading is one of Pennsylvania’s foundational industries and with 60 different railroads crisscrossing the Commonwealth today, it continues to connect our manufacturers and farmers, strengthening the fabric of our state economy,” said Rep. Perry. “It’s especially interesting to get an up-close look at how Amsted Rail makes the components that actually form the foundation of such an important industry right here in Camp Hill.”
The Camp Hill facility, which employs 145, boasts an impact test track—one of only two such tracks that exist in the United States. They utilize this space to ensure that Amsted components, from wheels and axles to bearings and brake systems, can meet the demands of a round-the-clock nationwide rail network that moves about 60 million carloads annually.
“Amsted has served the rail industry for more than 100 years. We pride ourselves on our ability to evolve with the industry, developing innovative solutions to meet every challenge,” said Pat Ameen, vice president of industry relations for Amsted Rail.
The group discussed the local economic impact of the region’s freight rail connections—economic development, more jobs, reduced congestion and roadway wear and tear, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Across the country, freight railroads are investing private dollars into their infrastructure, including advanced technologies that help railroads predict maintenance and identify problems before they happen. This spending has averaged about $25 billion annually over the last several years.
“There’s nothing better than shining a light on the hard work of railroaders, a group that includes the hundreds of supply companies like Amsted who produce the components needed to run a train across the nearly 140,000-mile network,” said GoRail President Russ McGurk. “This reliable, efficient network is made possible by railroads’ commitment to capital spending, which in turn is predicated on balanced regulatory policies in Washington.”
Concluding the tour, the group, which also included representatives from the Railway Supply Institute and the Association of American Railroads, discussed legislative priorities for the rail industry, including its opposition to re-regulation proposals pending before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB). At a time when all transportation modes are looking to the future, new regulations could subvert network efficiency, investment and rail’s continued ability to innovate and compete.
In Pennsylvania, 60 freight railroads maintain 5,130 track miles and employ 6,152.