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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) late last week filed comments with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) called for a federal regulatory approach that recognizes the railroad industry's private investments in infrastructure and technology that improve safety and performance.The AAR submitted its comments in response to the Trump administration's directive to reform industry regulations and processes."The regulatory relief we call for is the license and flexibility to conceive, develop, and deploy innovative technologies and practices where they are effective and efficient, and to be regulated based on our success in achieving safety goals, not by outdated, prescriptive regulations," the filing states. "We have been clear and consistent in calling for common sense regulatory principles, including that rules should be based on a demonstrated need, as reflected in current and complete data and sound science; and non-prescriptive regulatory tools, like performance-based regulations, should be deployed wherever possible to foster and facilitate innovation to achieve well-defined policy goals," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger in a press release.Hamberger highlighted those AAR principles and other matters facing the industry at RailTrends 2017 Conference, held in New York City last week.RailTrends is hosted by Progressive Railroading.