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U.S. Reps. Barr, Perry tour rail plants during August break

Top photo: U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (right, in navy suit) toured Contech Engineered Solutions' facility. Bottom photo: U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (shown left) toured an Amsted Rail Co. plant and met with company officials.
Photo – REMSA, GoRail


Two U.S. congressmen this week spent part of their August congressional recess touring rail supply businesses in their districts.

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) joined the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) for a tour of member company Contech Engineered Solutions' manufacturing plant in Winchester, Kentucky.

Contech provides civil engineering site solutions, products and services with 60 facilities across North America. During his visit, Barr spoke with company leaders, local and state officials and rail industry representatives about funding for transportation infrastructure and the short-line tax credit, REMSA officials said in a press release.

Barr is a cosponsor and advocate of H.R. 510, the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which calls for making permanent the 45G tax credit for short-line railroads' investment in rail infrastructure.

"Our nation’s short-line rail systems are vital to communities like Winchester, ensuring that their products can be shipped with efficiency and that local employment opportunities stay local," said Barr. "I was pleased to support the permanency of 45G by writing a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee Chair, asking that this measure be made a priority during this Congress."

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) toured Amsted Rail Co.'s plant in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, where the company manufactures freight-car cushion units and locomotive draft gears. The facility includes an impact test track, one of two such tracks in the United States.

Also on the tour were representatives of GoRail, the Railway Supply Institute and the Association of American Railroads (AAR). While at the plant, Perry participated in a discussion of the local economic impact of the region's freight-rail connections, economic development, reduced congestion, roadway wear and tear, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, according to a GoRail press release.

The group also discussed the rail industry's legislative priorities during the current congressional session.

Among the industry's concerns are re-regulation proposals pending before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, which AAR officials have said would subvert rail network efficiency at a time when railroads and related businesses are investing in technical and other innovations to compete economically.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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