Short line and regional railroad representatives today will visit 176 congressional offices to voice their views and concerns with elected officials, according to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
More than 150 individuals representing Class II and III railroads, suppliers and supporting association staff members will be on Capitol Hill in honor of Infrastructure Week, which is taking place May 16-20, ASLRRA officials said in a press release.
ASLRRA’s top issues for Congress to address include:
- Crafting legislation to address specific safety issues and avoiding mandates that don’t provide a proven safety benefit;
- Supporting funding for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program, which has invested more than $1.5 billion into the industry since 2017 and benefited short lines in 47 out of 50 states;
- Supporting funding for the Short Line Safety Institute, which improves safety culture awareness and provides training for small railroads at no cost;
- Opposing efforts to increase truck length or weight limits — including any pilot programs; and
- Supporting natural disaster relief funding for short lines.
“We will urge Congress to wield their pens with precision to create a regulatory environment that allows us to remain nimble enough to provide cost-efficient service to our customers, address safety concerns and contribute as the critical connector to freight-rail service for thousands of customers across the country — particularly in rural and small-town America,” said ASLRRA President Chuck Baker.
ASLRRA represents the interests of 600 short lines and suppliers.