A member of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure toured a railroad-tie plant in Illinois and reiterated her support for legislation sought by the railroad industry.
“I have been a strong advocate for federal transportation investments, supporting our railroads and improving our nation’s infrastructure,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL). “I look forward to working in a bipartisan way to pass a federal infrastructure bill that rebuilds our nation while creating more good-paying jobs across our region.”
Bustos’ remarks came after she visited a Koppers plant in Galesburg. Pittsburgh-based Koppers produces carbon compounds, chemicals, and treated wood products for a variety of industries. The company says it is the largest provider of railroad crossties for Class I railroads in the U.S. The Galesburg plant manufactures railroad ties for BNSF. While visiting the facility, Bustos participated in a discussion highlighting reasons to oppose increasing truck size or truck weight limits at the federal level.
Bustos is a long-time supporter of the rail industry and co-sponsor of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which would make permanent a tax credit that would promote additional investment by short lines in improvements and maintenance. Workers and executives at Koppers voiced their appreciation for Bustos’ efforts to make BRACE a reality.
“Congresswoman Bustos serves in a crucial role in Washington D.C. and we appreciate her leadership advocating for increased federal infrastructure investments,” Jim Evans, Koppers Galesburg Plant Manager, said. “The privately funded and maintained freight railroad network is one of the few bright spots in America’s infrastructure network. Koppers and our employees are extremely proud to create well-paying jobs in Illinois and we continue to spend the capital needed to improve our facility to provide railroads like BNSF with railroad ties that help their railroad’s infrastructure.”
Bustos’ visit to the Galesburg facility was coordinated by the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC) and the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA).