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5/22/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Politicians, rail-industry experts consider roads' congestion-relieving role at Capitol Hill conference


On May 21, congressional members hosted "Traffic Congestion Relief: The Freight Rail Solution," a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., focusing on ways freight railroads can ease highway congestion.


Panelists included U.S. Reps. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.), Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.) and Corrine Brown (D-Fla.); Association of American Railroads President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger; Metra (Chicago) Executive Director Phil Pagano; and transportation policy experts Wendell Cox, Thomas Brown and Tony Hatch.


"With freight moved in America expected to nearly double by 2020, there will be more gridlock on our nation's highways unless we find a sensible transportation alternative," said Simmons, a member of the Railroads Subcommittee of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, in a letter to attendees. "Today's freight railroads already carry more than 40 percent of U.S. cargo — everything from computers and cosmetics to cat food and carpets — but more needs to be done to promote this mode of transportation."


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