For more than 15 years, the annual Railroad Day on Capitol Hill has pulled people together from throughout the industry to lobby for various railroad issues.
Short line railroad representatives joined rail supply companies, union representatives and customers June 4 to address two primary issues. First, they requested a renewal of the 45G Short-Line Railroad Tax Credit that ensures every dollar invested in new infrastructure receives a 50 percent rebate. They also sought to extend the Positive Train Control deadline from Dec. 31 this year to 2018, with an additional two years of testing before it is fully operational in 2020.
“Railroad Day went well,” said BRC representative Chris Steinway, assistant director-labor relations and human resources. “It is a means for us as an industry to go to Washington and present important issues to Congress.”
This year registration began at 6:30 a.m. followed by orientation until 8:30 a.m., when participants received their list of appointments for the day. The next eight hours, minus a lunch break, was spent visiting congressmen.
“We broke into groups to see the congressional representatives in the area we operate,” Steinway said. “We get about 15 minutes with them or one of their staff to discuss our issues.”
After a day of meeting with various groups, participants attended the Rail Industry Legislative Reception and Dinner.
“It was a fun event,” Steinway said. “We get to go to Washington, meet members of Congress and learn about the legislative process.”