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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Rep. Reed tours Western New York & Pennsylvania, hears call for short-line tax credit extension


On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) joined several rail industry representatives for an inspection tour of the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad (WNYP).

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association Inc. (NRC) and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) helped organize the event, which included a train tour from Hornell to Olean, N.Y. NRC members participating in the trip included representatives from Delta Railroad Construction and Balfour Beatty Rail. ASLRRA members included representatives from the Owego & Hartford Railway, New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway, Finger Lakes Railway and Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.
During the tour, rail officials discussed the importance of New York’s 32 short lines and the economic development opportunities that small railroads can bring to a region, and provided an overview of why the short line tax credit (Section 45G) is vital to the rail industry. WNYP officials showcased how they have used the tax credit to resurface worn track, repair sections of the line that were damaged by floods and complete other infrastructure work.

A member of the House Ways and Means Committee and a leading voice among freshmen Republican congressmen, Reed has been a co-sponsor of the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act (H.R. 721) since April 2011, NRC officials said in a prepared statement. H.R. 721 proposes a multi-year extension to the short-line tax credit, which expired on Dec. 31, 2011, and has yet to be extended for 2012. ASLRRA and the short-line industry are lobbying for an extension for this year as well as a long-term extension.
The Railway Tie Association estimates the tax credit has allowed short lines to purchase and install more than 750,000 ties per year above their normal annual purchases, NRC officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/25/2012