GOSHEN, VA -
On August 2nd, 2018, staff for Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) joined the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) and our NRC member company Stella-Jones for a tour and transportation public policy discussion at Stella-Jones' Goshen facility.
"Senator Kaine serves in a crucial role in Washington D.C. and we appreciate his leadership advocating for increased infrastructure investments," said NRC Board member and Stella-Jones Vice President of Marketing George Caric. "The privately funded and maintained freight railroad network is one of the few bright spots in America's infrastructure network and recently received a 'B' grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Stella-Jones and our employees are extremely proud to create well-paying jobs in Virginia and we continue to spend the capital needed to improve our facility to provide railroads like Buckingham Branch, CSX and Norfolk Southern with railroad ties that help their railroad's infrastructure."
Stella-Jones is a leading North American manufacturer of pressure treated wood products with a network of 37 wood treating facilities spread across 16 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces. The Stella-Jones Goshen, VA facility is a key supplier of treated wood products for the railroad industry. The Goshen plant supplies crossties and bridge timbers to freight railroads, Amtrak, state DOTs and transit systems like WMATA. The Goshen facility treats over 1 million ties annually supplied from sawmills throughout Virginia.
The attendees participated in a brief policy discussion about the importance of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act. The BRACE Act will allow the nation's small, local freight railroads to increase their reinvestment to upgrade and expand the "first and last mile" of transportation infrastructure. They also 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. Lastly, attendees called for maintaining the current federal limits for truck size and weight citing that at current weight and size limits, trucks already cause more damage than they pay for our nation's highways.
In attendance were:
- Gwen Mason, Sen. Kaine staff
- Ben Cline, Delegate - Virginia House (R-24)
- Matt Bell, NRC
- Bob Bryant, Buckingham Branch Railroad
- Annie Bryant, Buckingham Branch Railroad
- George Caric, Stella-Jones & NRC Board Member
- Toby Coyner, Stella-Jones
- Sam Crickenberger, Rockbridge County
- Dave Dixon, Buckingham Branch Railroad
- Brian Freeman, Buckingham Branch Railroad
- Will Harris, North Fork Lumber
- Patrick Kirkham, Stella-Jones
- Jay Lewis, Rockbridge County Supervisor, Walkers Creek District
- Michael McGonagle, NRC
- Jerry Mclain, Stella-Jones
- Darlene Metz, Stella-Jones
- Tim Reed, Stella-Jones
- David Sage, Stella-Jones
- William Sensabaugh, Stella-Jones
- Tom Sheetz, Blue Ridge Lumber (former owner)
- Ed Silva, Stella-Jones
- Spencer Suter , Rockbridge County