US Congressman Bob Goodlatte Tours Progress Rail Services in Roanoke, VA
Monday, February 8, 2016
by: By Lindsey Collins

Section: 2016 NRC Grassroots Events

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The NRC's grassroots program was created to invite United States Congressmen to visit NRC member facilities and construction project sites. These visits give the Members of Congress firsthand knowledge of the rail industry and demonstrate how rail contractors and suppliers are positively affecting the rail industry and the local and national economy. If your company is interested in hosting your Congressman for a visit, please contact Lindsey Collins at to begin the process.
Roanoke, VA – On February 5, U.S. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-06) joined National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC) member – Progress Rail Services (PRS) – for a tour of their locomotive and rail car services facility in Roanoke, VA.
Attendees included:
Ms. Marise Stewart, Director of Government and Industry Relations, PRS
Mr. Daniel Blocker, General Manager – Parts Division, PRS
Mr. Chad Phillips, Production Supervisor, PRS
Mr. Cecil Ferguson, Plant Manager, PRS
Mr. Pete Larkin, Chief of Staff for Rep. Goodlatte
Ms. Lindsey Collins, VP of Grassroots Advocacy at NRC
Mr. Ferguson gave an overview of PRS and their current operations. Progress Rail Services Corporation, a Caterpillar company, is one of the largest integrated and diversified suppliers of railroad and transit system products and services worldwide. PRS is the world’s largest builder of diesel-electric locomotives for all commercial railroad applications including freight, intercity passenger and commuter rail, switching, industrial, and mining applications.
Mr. Phillips led a tour of the facility, which was originally operated by Norfolk Southern and closed in 2000. PRS reopened the draft gear shop in Roanoke in 2002 to remanufacture rail parts, and recondition old draft gears to “like-new” condition. PRS is in the process of getting approval from the Association of American Railroads for their newly designed draft gear. PRS employs twelve people on their Roanoke team.
“It was great to see Progress Rail’s Roanoke facility firsthand today and learn more about the work they are doing, especially their innovative efforts to design new draft gear,” said Congressman Goodlatte. “Progress Rail is an integral part of the global rail industry, and I am pleased that Roanoke plays a part in that.”
Congressman Goodlatte serves as the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and as a member of the House Agriculture Committee. He is a member of the subcommittees on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, and Commodity, Exchanges, Energy, and Credit. During his time in Congress, Congressman Goodlatte has made a name for himself as a leader on Internet and high-tech issues. He is Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus and the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus as well as Chairman of the House Republican Technology Working Group. He resides in Roanoke with his wife, Maryellen. 
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