Yesterday, Congresswoman Angie Craig (D-Minnesota) joined the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) and its member RailWorks at their project office in Lakeville, MN. Congresswoman Craig spoke with company executives and rail industry representatives about the short line tax credit and funding opportunities for transportation infrastructure. The Congresswoman learned about RailWorks’ business operations and their ongoing rail projects in Minnesota. REMSA coordinated the event.
RailWorks Corporation is a leading provider of track, transit and rail system services in North America. RailWorks builds and maintains the transportation infrastructure that keeps people and goods moving across the United States and Canada. They offer comprehensive railroad construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance services to a range of industries, from public transit to big industry and anywhere in between. RailWorks provides construction services for transit authorities, Class I and short-line railroads as well as commercial and industrial companies with rail infrastructure.
From their Lakeville office in Minnesota, RailWorks is enhancing freight rail and light rail transit infrastructure throughout metropolitan Minneapolis. The company was recently awarded an $85 million contract to construct 14.5 miles of light rail double track for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project in Minneapolis, and a $2.9 million contract to repair Metro Transit’s Blue Line light rail tracks near the Mall of America.
“Railroads are a critical part of our state’s infrastructure – they help power our economy and connect Minnesotans to other regions of the United States,” said Congresswoman Angie Craig. “Thanks to RailWorks for sharing their work with me today. It’s great to get an inside look at how our local partners help support transportation in Minnesota’s Second District.”
Congresswoman Craig was first elected to Congress in 2018 and serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where she sits on the Subcommittee on Railroads and oversees the economic and safety regulation of freight and passenger railroads. As a member of the Railroads Subcommittee, the Congresswoman has direct oversight of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Surface Transportation Board (STB). The FRA is responsible for administering and overseeing railroad safety laws and railroad infrastructure and development programs; while the STB has broad economic regulatory oversight of railroads.
Congresswoman Craig also serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Small Business. Before being elected to Congress, she was a small business investor, a former head of Global Human Resources for a major Minnesota manufacturer, and a former newspaper reporter.
Attendees thanked Congresswoman Craig for being a co-sponsor of H.R.510, the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act. The BRACE Act would make the short line tax credit permanent and allow the nation’s small, local freight railroads to increase investment into their rail infrastructure and better serve their customers throughout rural and small-town America. The tax credit has helped small railroads invest more than $4 billion in capital infrastructure improvements since it was enacted in 2005.
“The short line railroad tax credit allows short lines to invest more of their own capital in rail improvements and maintenance to provide ever-safer and more robust service capabilities for their customers,” said Chuck Baker, President of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). “ASLRRA thanks Congresswoman Craig for her support and was happy to hear from her on this important issue.”
In Minnesota, 18 freight railroads operate and maintain over 4,258 miles of track, employing more than 4,270 people.
In attendance: Congresswoman Angie Craig (D-Minnesota); Jacob Bruynes, Operations Manager, RailWorks Track Systems; Jacob Carter, Government Affairs Manager, REMSA; Emily Feliz, Director of Marketing and Communications, RailWorks Corporation; Crystal Gitchell, Assistant Vice President, ASLRRA; Natalie Martinez, Legislative Assistant, Congresswoman Angie Craig; Mike McGee, Vice President of Regional Operations, RailWorks Track Services; and Will Resch, Associate, Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell, Associate.
From a REMSA press release.
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