Congressman Roger Marshall Joins NRC-REMSA Member Dymax Rail and Local Railroad for Tour, Policy Discussion
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
by: Lindsey Collins
Section: 2017 NRC Grassroots Events
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Wamego, KS – On May 10, 2017, Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D., (R-KS-1), joined representatives from Dymax Rail and Watco Companies, LLC, for a tour and public policy discussion at Dymax’s Wamego facility. The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) and the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) jointly coordinated the event. Together, the two organizations represent over 20 Kansas-based rail contractors and suppliers.
Dymax Rail is family-owned and operated manufacturer of rail maintenance of way machines and attachments. A division of Dymax Inc., the company can trace its history in Kansas back to the 19th century when Seth Balderson opened a Wamego blacksmith shop in 1875. Ever since, the Balderson family has been designing, producing, and even forging products for the Wamego economy for almost 140 years. Their customized rail machines hold several U.S. patents and are well known throughout the industry for their innovation. Dymax employs approximately 50 individuals.
The tour was led by Scott Balderson, President & CEO, Dymax Rail. The group demonstrated Dymax’s Rail Raider SC, which can be equipped with an integrated turntable system allowing the machine to practically lift itself off the road and onto rail tracks. Also in attendance were Clark Balderson, Owner, Dymax Inc.; Lindsey Collins, Vice President, Grassroots Advocacy, NRC; Tim Enayati, Assistant Vice President, Network Strategy, Watco Companies LLC; Kevin Klenklen, Rail Division Sales Manager, Dymax Rail; and Sean Winkler, Director of Advocacy, REMSA.
“It was a privilege hosting Congressman Marshall and Watco,” said Scott Balderson. “Our family and company has been focused on a single mission since beginning in Wamego nearly 140 years ago: building high quality industrial products in Kansas. Smart federal policies that encourage investments in our rail network and infrastructure support jobs here in Wamego and across our state. We were pleased to the share the importance of rail to our state and community with the Congressman. ”
Congressman Roger Marshall was elected to serve Kansas’ 1st Congressional District in 2016 and is serving his first term in Congress. Rep. Marshall serves on the House Agriculture Committee, where he strongly advocates for Kansas’ diverse agriculture and food producers. Together, farm and food products originating in Kansas are the leading commodities shipped by rail in the state.
“I was glad to join Dymax today and learn about their longstanding commitment to Wamego,” said Congressman Marshall. “I look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that our producers continue to have the ability to transport our state's products to enable them to compete worldwide.”
The group discussed the private nature of America’s freight railroad network which, unlike other modes of freight transportation, does not rely on federal support for the expansion or maintenance of its network. Additionally, the group advocated for support of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act (BRACE). The BRACE act will allow the nation’s small, local freight railroads to increase their reinvestments to upgrade and expand the “first and last mile” of transportation infrastructure, benefitting Kansas shippers that depend on affordable freight access.
In Kansas, 13 freight railroads operate over 4,700 miles of track and employ nearly 5,500.