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Rail News: Railroading Supplier Spotlight

Congressmen, Colorado governor tour rail suppliers' facilities in two states

Top photo: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (at left) poses with Encore VP and General Manager Greg Spilker. Bottom photo: Carter (at left, in yellow shirt) speaks with GREX employees.
Photo – REMSA


U.S. Reps. John Carter (R-Texas) and Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper recently visited rail industry suppliers' facilities to discuss various issues, including transportation infrastructure, the short-line tax credit and local job creation. The tours were coordinated by the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA).

Carter, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, toured Georgetown Railroad Equipment Co.'s (GREX) headquarters in Georgetown, Texas. The company provides railway maintenance equipment and technology solutions for track inspection and material handling applications.

The tour further advanced Carter's support for the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act (H.R. 510), a bill pending in Congress that would make the 45G short-line tax credit permanent, he said in a press release issued by REMSA.

"It's time to bring this important legislation to the House floor," Carter said.

Established in 2005, the tax credit provides regionals and short lines 50 cents for each dollar they spend on track and bridge improvements, capped at $3,500 per mile. The credit has been extended many times over the years and last expired on Dec. 31, 2017.

The BRACE Act also was a topic of discussion during Tipton's tour of Vossloh North America's Rocla Concrete Tie facility in Pueblo, Colorado. The plant produces pre-stressed concrete ties.

Attendees thanked Tipton — who serves on the House Financial Services Committee — for being a cosponsor of the bill.

"Railroads have historically been a crucial part of the American economy and in order for them to continue in that role, Congress must pass common-sense legislation that promotes future investment into railroads, like H.R. 510," said Tipton in a REMSA press release.

Meanwhile, Gov. Hickenlooper toured Encore Rail Systems Inc.'s headquarters in Brookfield, Colorado, where he spoke with company leaders, employees and rail industry representatives. Encore provides crosstie protection and maintenance services.

The tour provided the governor another opportunity to learn first-hand about the issues impacting Colorado businesses, said Hickenlooper.

"Investing in and modernizing our infrastructure nationwide is absolutely essential to our ability to compete in the 21st century economy and combat climate change, and I appreciated hearing their perspective on how we can tackle those challenges," he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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