Washington, DC, March 23, 2018 – Railway Supply Institute (RSI) President Mike O’Malley today hailed the passage and signing of the omnibus spending package, H.R. 1625, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, saying it is “an overall win for the U.S. economy, for railway suppliers, and for the communities they represent.”
The legislation includes the following rail industry-related items:
- A total of $1.5 billion for TIGER grants to fund critical transportation projects identified by state and local communities, with at least 30 percent of those funds designated for rural communities;
- $3.1 billion for rail infrastructure, including $1.9 billion for Amtrak, $250 million for the federal-state partnership for state of good repair grants, and $593 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program, which includes $250 million for Positive Train Control Grants;
- More than $2.6 billion would be available for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants program, with $1.5 billion for New Starts, $716 million for Core Capacity and $400 million for Small Starts;
- The legislation also directs DOT to cover the credit risk premiums for Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loans.
- On the negative side, the omnibus spending legislation includes provisions allowing an increase in heavy truck weights for North Dakota, and an expansion of a New Hampshire interstate highway-specific truck size and weight (TSW) exemption, O’Malley noted, saying that TSW expansion will increase highway congestion, fuel consumption, and harmful emissions.
“On balance, the omnibus spending package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump recognizes the importance of infrastructure – and the rail industry – to the continued growth of jobs and the U.S. economy,” O’Malley stated. “This legislation will allow our member companies to support their rail industry customers and move us forward. We appreciate the efforts of the Congress and the Administration to get this legislation passed and signed into law. RSI stands ready to work with the U.S. Department of Transportation to help implement this funding, and with Congress as we continue to discuss infrastructure projects in the U.S.”
Contact: Nicole Brewin, VP Government Affairs, Railway Supply Institute
About the Railway Supply Institute (RSI)
The Railway Supply Institute (RSI) is a trade association representing more than 200 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. For more information visit www.rsiweb.org, follow RSI on Twitter and join the RSI LinkedIn group.