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5/22/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

ASLRRA, AAR propose alliance to achieve common goals


American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) and Association of American Railroads continue to explore an alliance under which the two organizations would work more-closely together to achieve common goals, according to ASLRRA's bi-weekly newsletter released May 20.
ASLRRA's ad-hoc committee members April 23 met with AAR representatives to discuss the alliance, at which time the parties targeted six objectives that would provide mutual benefits:
• Achieve short-line infrastructure funding, including an effort to secure Congressional approval of Railroad Track Modernization Act of 2001 (S. 1220/H.R. 1020), which would appropriate $350 million a year for three years for short-line track projects;
• Repeal the federal 4.3 cents per gallon diesel-fuel tax, including a
short-line grassroots effort to maintain the repeal as currently included in a House-passed energy bill;
• Substitute locomotive performance standards for mandatory
inspection, which would replace existing mandatory (daily & 92-day)
locomotive-inspection requirements through appropriate waivers;
• Promote locomotive remote controls, including the technology's safety and productivity benefits, and combine efforts to forestall any legislative, regulatory or legal attempts to prohibit its use;
• Support public relations efforts, including an integrated communications plan supporting rail as the country's economic backbone, rail's role in the preserving the environment and the industry's contribution in alleviating
congestion; and
• Increase short-line participation in industry security planning, such as having a role in AAR's Surface Transportation Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which addresses both cyber and physical-security warning and incident response.
ASLRRA committee members and AAR representatives plan to meet July 10 to further discuss and refine the objectives.


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