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Part 1 : Outlook 2018: Railroad Contractors feel better than hopeful
Part 2 : Outlook 2018: Kevin Riddett, RailWorks Corp.
Part 3 : Outlook 2018: Nate Bachman, Georgetown Rail Equipment Inc. (GREX)
Part 4 : Outlook 2018: Larry Laurello, Delta Railroad Construction Inc.
Part 5 : Outlook 2018: Ray Sipes, R.J. Corman Signaling LLC
Part 6 : Outlook 2018: Bill Dorris, J-Track LLC Central Division
Part 7 : Outlook 2018: Gary Kohnert, Loram Maintenance of Way Inc.
Next year looks like it is going to be a better year than 2017 for the railroad construction industry. This past year has been a mixed bag for contractors — some of us have had productive years with low-margin work, while others have sat out the price wars and have struggled to find enough work.
The 2018 bidding season has now started and we are seeing more projects, both transit and freight, out for bid than this time last year. It seems the slowdown in our industry is over and we are heading in the right direction.
The biggest concern with the foreseeable future is lack of skilled railroad workers available. Many people in our industry are retiring, and having enough laborers, operators and foreman will be a challenge. Recruitment from other industries is one answer to the problem, but it will take a large effort by the entire industry to replace all the knowledge that has left our industry. All this being said, I believe 2018 will be a good year for our industry.