US Rep. Hollingsworth Joins NRC/REMSA Member R.J. Corman Railroad Services & ASLRRA Member L&I Railroad for Project Tour, Rail Discussion
Thursday, July 13, 2017
by: Lindsey Collins
Section: 2017 NRC Grassroots Events
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Jeffersonville, IN – On July 10, 2017, Representative Trey Hollingsworth (R – IN09) joined representatives from R.J. Corman Railroad Services to tour a project on the Louisville & Indiana (L&I) Railroad, and discuss pressing rail and manufacturing issues with various rail stakeholders. The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC), the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA), and the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) coordinated the event.
The tour was led by Nathan Henderson, President, R.J. Corman Railroad Services, and John Goldman, President of L&I Railroad. From 2015 to 2017, 94 miles of continuous welded rail and more than 80,000 ties installed on the L&I Railroad.
“It was a privilege hosting Representative Hollingsworth and sharing our commitment to southern Indiana with him,” said Goldman. “L&I Railroad is committed to providing freight rail service to major metropolitan centers as well as smaller communities throughout America as safely and efficiently as possible.”
“R.J. Corman is committed to enhancing the safety of our nation’s rail network,” said Henderson. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to show the congressman this project to provide him with firsthand knowledge of our commitment to safe and efficient freight movement.”
The L&I Railroad was formed in March 1994 to acquire 106 miles of rail line between Indianapolis and Louisville. The L&I Railroad connects with CSX, NS, the Indiana Rail Road Company, and the Paducah & Louisville railroads. The line serves numerous major companies, including more than 20 customers in Jeffersonville alone shipping commodities like plastics, steel products, military equipment, paper products, cement, and various food and grain products. The railroad also serves the Port of Indiana – Jeffersonville.
Started in 1973, R.J. Corman Railroad Group is headquartered Nicholasville, Kentucky, and has field locations in 24 states. The company serves all seven Class I railroads, many regional and short line railroads as well as various rail-served industries. These operations encompass an array of services, including: railroad construction, short line railroad operations, dispatch, industrial switching services, emergency response, track material logistics, distribution centers, signal design and construction, building eco-friendly locomotives, railroad worker training, and an excursion dinner train.
Representative Hollingsworth focused his remarks on encouraging economic development in southern Indiana, and ensuring that we have a strong, efficient, and safe freight rail system that will support American businesses.
“It was a pleasure to learn more about L&I Railroad, R.J. Corman, and the services they provide in Indiana’s 9th District and beyond,” said Representative Hollingsworth. “Their commitment to maintaining a safe, reliable freight network has enabled southern Indiana businesses to establish themselves, thrive and grow.”
The rail stakeholder group discussed the importance of the 45G short line tax credit to maintaining a reliable and safe freight network. Section 45G expired at the end of 2016. Since 2005, a series of one- and two-year extensions of the credit enabled small freight railroads and their customers to reinvest billions of dollars to improve American transportation. The Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act (the “BRACE Act”) would make the tax credit permanent. The BRACE Act currently has 204 cosponsors in the House and 51 cosponsors in the Senate.
“The L&I is a stellar example of the work of the short line railroads in connecting small communities to the broader U.S. Economy through efficient rail service, and providing a boost to the economy in the broader regions that they serve,” said Linda Bauer Darr, President of ASLRRA. “The BRACE Act is a critical piece of the economic puzzle, allowing short lines to invest more of their own capital in rail improvements that provide ever-safer and more robust service capabilities for their customers.”
Also in attendance were: Chase Armstrong, Director of Sales, RJ Corman; Lindsey Collins, VP of Grassroots Advocacy, NRC; and Sean Winkler, Director of Advocacy, REMSA.
In Indiana, 41 freight railroads operate and maintain over 4,274 miles of track and support over 6,000 jobs.