NRC Member HiRAIL Hosts Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressman Rod Blum
Friday, October 12, 2018
by: Matt Bell

Section: 2018 NRC Grassroots Events

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 Matt Bell at to begin the process.
LISBON, IOWA - On Friday, October 12th, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA-1) joined the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC), in conjunction with the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA), and our member company HiRAIL at their manufacturing plant in Lisbon, Iowa. 
Senator Grassley and Congressman Blum gave remarks before embarking on a tour of the facility led by HiRAIL President Eric Schook. The group discussed extending the short line tax credit and eliminating burdensome regulations on businesses. 
"I was chairman of the Finance Committee when this was approved, so obviously I want to see it continue," said Sen. Chuck Grassley talking about the short line tax credit. 
The group also discussed government over regulation in the rail industry, like the proposed FRA Part 243 rule, which would hurt the railroad contractor business. "It's not rocket science. Reduce regulations. Reduce the corporate tax. Get the government out of your pocket and off your back and the economy will grow," said Blum. 

Senator Grassley and Congressman Blum toured HiRAIL's state-of-the-art, 40,000 square foot facility and learned about their exclusive manufacturing process, which produces durable rubber panels resulting in superior railroad crossings.   The company utilizes recycled rubber from old vehicle tires that would otherwise be destined for a landfill.  Their rubber crossing surfaces do not crumble like asphalt, or spall like concrete.  With proper handling, they can be removed and reinstalled to perform track and trackbed maintenance.  To date, HiRAIL has sold more than 6,000 grade crossing systems to freight, transit and industrial rail customers.

Also in attendance were: Matt Bell, Executive Vice President, NRC; Nick Burwell, Manager of Public Projects, Canadian National Railway; Jacob Carter, Government Affairs Manager, REMSA; Barbara Grassley, Wife of Senator Grassley; Tim Marshall, TNT Railroad Contractors; Tammy Marshall, TNT Railroad Contractors; Connie Meier, City Administrator, City of Lisbon; Dennis Miller, Vice Chairman of the Board, Iowa Interstate Railroad; Barb Morris, Assistant Vice President, Bankers Trust Cedar Rapids; Beryl O'Connor, Mayor, City of Lisbon; Jim Overfelt, Director of Sales, HiRAIL; Reg Stearns, President, Trackmasters; Todd Wishman, Market President, Bankers Trust Cedar Rapids.
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