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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

ASLRRA to promote small roads' purpose by producing industry data

Today, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) is accepting bids from consulting firms interested in helping the association collect, analyze and package short-line industry data that "tells our story," said ASLRRA President Richard Timmons during a recent speech before a transportation roundtable in Washington, D.C.
The consultant will develop a database describing the short-line industry, and demonstrating small roads' contribution to Class Is, shippers, and national, regional and local economies.
The firm also will analyze the database to determine the short-line industry's public benefits, and establish a process to update data and conduct future analyses.
"In the past, the association has relied on some global numbers that the AAR produces and on poorly supported anecdotal information we get from individual members," said Timmons. "Our individual short lines don't have big staffs and the personnel they do have are, by necessity, devoted to running their railroads — [and the] association has not filled that void."
ASLRRA plans to break down data by state, and possibly by congressional district.
"The final product will quantify the benefits we bring to reducing local highway costs, increasing local tax bases, saving energy, contributing to pollution abatement and bringing economic development projects to rural America," said Timmons, adding that the data will help ASLRRA pursue its legislative agenda, and convince Class Is and shippers that short lines are an important and growing part of the nation's rail network.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/3/2003