RSI Testifies at House Subcommittee Hearing on Infrastructure

DeJoseph stresses need for balanced regulations, recognition of industry’s role in economy

Contact: Nicole Brewin (202) 347-4664 

Washington, DC - October 4, 2017 -  In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, Railway Supply Institute (RSI) Honorary Chairman Thomas DeJoseph said the railway supply industry is vital to the U.S. economy and stressed the importance of investment in infrastructure, sensible tax reform and balanced economic regulation, along with continued focus on funding proven measures impacting rail safety. RSI member companies provide critical products and services for the freight rail and passenger industries, DeJoseph said, citing a recent RSI analysis that showed RSI member companies represent more than 756 rail supply locations in 44 states and 281 congressional districts. 

“The rail supply industry’s impact on the rail industry is clear, and our economic impact on the communities in which our suppliers manufacture their products is vitally important,” DeJoseph said. “We are pleased with the Administration’s effort to scrutinize existing and proposed regulations to ensure they do not unduly burden industry and economic growth.

DeJoseph expressed RSI’s support for continued funding for existing rail grant programs authorized under the 2015 FAST (Fixing America's Surface Transportation) Act. He noted the importance of federal tax incentives for investments in new track, bridges, tunnels, and for federally-mandated positive train control systems, saying tax incentives support private investment, expand freight rail capacity and help short line railroads remain competitive. In addition, he said the U.S. Department of Transportation should strictly enforce existing “Buy America” provisions in law to help keep grant funding in the United States and spur more domestic jobs.

On safety-related issues, the railway supply industry executive urged continued investment that would impact rail safety, including ensuring ongoing research and development investment in rail technology and providing funding for the Section 130 highway-rail grade crossing safety program and the national rail safety education nonprofit group Operation Lifesaver.

The rail supply industry executive stated that the members of RSI’s Committee on Tank Cars, whose companies build nearly all tank cars operating in North America and own or lease almost 70 percent of railroad tank cars, are committed to meeting the FAST Act deadlines for rail car modifications required under regulation HM-251, Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains.  

DeJoseph concluded, “We look forward to working with this subcommittee to help establish more balance in the nation’s transportation system and address the critical needs of the freight and passenger railroad industry and its suppliers.”

About the Railway Supply Institute 
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) is a trade association representing more than 260 companies involved in the manufacture of products and services in the freight car, tank car, locomotive, maintenance-of-way, communications and signaling, and passenger rail industries. RSI connects members to their customers and partners, supports the improvement of the industry, assists members in the global marketplace, and represents the industry during the regulatory and legislative process. America’s railway suppliers represent a $28 billion/year industry supporting more than 100,000 American workers. For more information visit www.rsiweb.org

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