Railway Age: Brighter Days Ahead


In more ways than one, 2023 was marked by a few dark clouds. In 2024, look for them to scatter, pushed by warmer prevailing winds. (With Jason Seidl and Patty Long)

Resiliency is “the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” Resilience, a closely related word, is “the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences.” Both words describe the railroad industry for the past few years, perhaps especially so for the past 12 months, given all the problems we’ve had to spend considerable time and resources solving. Some may prefer to use challenges, a softer word than problems, but I feel compelled to point out that problems are solved, while challenges are addressed. This is hard work that actually never stops, and is never easy.

To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 address at Rice University, “We choose to be railroaders not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Our long-term goals will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because our challenges are ones we are willing to accept, unwilling to postpone, and intend to win.” We’re not, of course, talking about a manned mission to the moon. We’re talking about operating safely. Growing market share. Competing, while cooperating to better the industry as a whole. Providing excellent customer service. Taking care of our employees. Leveraging advanced technology. Earning a decent return on investment. Improving public confidence in, and understanding of, the important things we do for the global economy. Keeping regulators and politicians off our backs.

About the Railway Supply Institute (RSI)
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) is dedicated to advancing safety, innovation, technology, and sustainability within the freight and passenger railway supplier industry, both in North America and global markets. As the voice of the industry, RSI strategically engages in critical and urgent industry matters by leveraging the technical expertise of our members to advocate in the legislative and regulatory arenas, foster education, host impactful events, and facilitate networking opportunities. For more information visit www.rsiweb.org, follow RSI on Twitter and LinkedIn

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