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Rail News Home Federal Legislation & Regulation


Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Short-line leaders meet with House rail subcommittee chair

U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) is the new chair of the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials.
Photo – Rep. Payne's website


Leaders of three American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) members recently met virtually with House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Chair Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) to discuss the pandemic's impact on their railroads, their hopes for the economic recovery and future legislation in the new session of Congress.

The ASLRRA members told Payne about their railroads' responses to the pandemic, including the ways they adjusted operations to comply with Centers for Prevention and Disease Control recommendations while continuing to serve their customers. The meeting also covered the environmental benefits of rail and the priorities of small business freight railroads in future transportation reauthorization legislation.

"Chairman Payne and his staff heard from railroads regarding the business challenges short lines face, the economic impact of rail service in their communities and the innovative ways they are using technology to drive improvements in safety and reduce environmental impact," said Tom Lynch, ASLRRA's vice president of government affairs, in a press release.

Participants in the meeting included Nathan Fenno, president of New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway; Elizabeth Barnhart, deputy corporate secretary and corporate compliance officer for Conrail; Ryan Hill, chief engineer of design and construction for Conrail; and John McCreavy, director of business development for SMS Rail Service Inc. and president of the New Jersey Railroad Association.

Representing the ASLRRA at the meeting were Lynch and Crystal Gitchell, assistant vice president of legislative and regulatory policy.