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U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) late last month toured Rail Construction Equipment's (RCE) manufacturing plant in Rockford, Ill., to learn about the company's products and to discuss public policy priorities with local rail industry representatives.The event was coordinated by the Railway Engineering-Maintenance and Suppliers Association (REMSA), according to an association press release.
RCE designs and builds rail construction equipment. The firm adapts conventional John Deere construction equipment like excavators, wheel loaders and motor graders to specific railroad maintenance tasks, such as tie-tamping or right-of-way clearing.The manufacturing facility is shared with RCE sister company West Side Tractor.Also attending the tour with Bustos were RCE President and owner Steve Benck; RCE owners Diane Benck and Tom Benck; Midwest High-Speed Rail Association Executive Director Rick Harnish; Nathan Johns, vice president of marketing and government affairs at Pioneer Railcorp; GoRail Illinois State Director Larry Lloyd; Union Pacific Railroad Assistant Vice President-Public Affairs Liisa Stark; and REMSA Grassroots Coordinator Sean Winkler.The group discussed the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which Bustos co-sponsored. The bill would permanently extend the short-line tax credit for upgrading and improving infrastructure. Bustos is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee."It was a pleasure to participate in the tour and to learn more about the work Rail Construction Equipment is doing here in Rockford," said Bustos. "I look forward to continuing to engage with all stakeholders so we can create jobs, grow our local economy and ensure our communities are safely and efficiently served by freight and passenger rail service alike."
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