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2/25/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail industry representatives ready for tomorrow's 'Day on the Hill'




Tomorrow, more than 250 railroad, rail-labor and supply company representatives will descend on Capitol Hill during the fifth annual "Railroad Day on the Hill."


Officials from Association of American Railroads, Railway Supply Institute (RSI) and United Transportation Union plan to meet with congressmen to discuss the pending reauthorization of Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, opposition to any railroad re-regulation, repeal of the federal 4.3 cents per gallon diesel-fuel tax and the importance of technology to railroads.


"Freight transportation is expected to double over the next 20 years," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger in a prepared statement. "If we are to sustain that growth while finding solutions to problems related to congestion and the environment, it's clear that rail will have to play an even greater role in the future."


American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) officials plan to address regionals' and short lines' infrastructure needs.


"Railroads pay the entire cost of building and maintaining their infrastructure while aviation and highways receive billions of dollars beyond what they pay in user fees," said ASLRRA President Richard Timmons. "Addressing this imbalance is especially important for many smaller railroads, which don't have the resources to upgrade tracks so that they can carry new freight cars that can weigh 286,000 pounds or even more."


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