Ludington, MI - On 5/24/12, U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI-02), a member of the Financial Services Committee and strong rail advocate, joined Marquette Rail for a tour of their rail yard in Ludington, Michigan to show his support of the rail industry and the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation Tax Credit (Section 45G).
During the visit, rail officials discussed the importance of small freight railroads in Michigan with the Congressman and provided an overview of why the short line railroad rehabilitation tax credit is so important to the rail industry. Marquette Rail showcased how they have utilized the tax credit for tie installation work at their rail yard. Representative Huizenga has been a co-sponsor of the bill to extend the tax credit, H.R. 721 The Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act, since May of 2011.
Representative Huizenga also met with Harsco Rail employees, a railroad contracting company that specializes in railroad maintenance. Harsco Rail was on property performing surfacing work for Marquette Rail. Most short line railroads do not have the in-house manpower to undertake rehabilitation projects and must hire contractors such as Harsco to do the work. Huizenga received a firsthand look at what goes in to rail maintenance when he climbed aboard one Harsco's tampers.
The tour gave Harsco Rail, a member of the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association, a chance to demonstrate to Congressman Huizenga how rail contractors benefit from investments that freight railroads make in their infrastructure and about the economic development opportunities that freight railroads and their contractors bring to a region.
The event received coverage on the local TV news outlet, WWTV/WWUP-TV 9&10 News, including video of the Congressman being briefed by railroad officials and of the Harsco tamper in action: http://www.9and10news.com/story/18619701/us-congressman-supports-bill-that-would-extend-expired-tax-credit-for-railroads.