On Monday, the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association and member company RailMark Trucks hosted Congresswoman Sharice Davids (KS-3) for a tour of RailMark's manufacturing facility located in Kansas City.
Congresswoman Davids was first elected to serve Kansas’ third district in Congress in 2018. Prior to her time Congress, Davids was an attorney and as well as a White House Fellow in the Department of Transportation under President Barack Obama. She serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as its Vice Chair and the Committee on Small Business, on which she chairs the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access.
“Companies like RailMark are a great example of the innovative manufacturing and transportation sector we have here in Kansas City, and I’m eager to continue supporting this growing industry,” said Representative Sharice Davids. “I was grateful to take a tour of the facility today and speak with RailMark employees about their priorities. Hearing directly from local manufacturers informs my work as Vice Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure committee, so that I can continue to bring the voices of the Kansas Third District to Washington.”
RailMark Trucks is a special purpose vehicle manufacturer capable of producing 600 trucks per year. Their custom-built trucks include locomotive refuelers, hirail pickups, and material handlers which can load and unload ties. In addition to their current rotation of trucks, they have new products coming in summer and fall of 2021.
“RailMark was excited to host Congresswoman Davids, REMSA, Watco Companies and the Kansas Association of Counties,” said Kevin LaValley, Director of Sales & Marketing with RailMark. “We welcomed the opportunity to show off our facility and how we serve the rail industry, which is vital to the State of Kansas and the Kansas City area.”
In Kansas, 16 freight railroads operate 4,562 miles of track, the sixth most of any state in the US. Nearly 1,600 Kansans are directly employed in the rail supply industry.
Attendees thanked Congresswoman Davids for her support of the Section 45(g) Short Line Tax Credit, which was made permanent in December of 2020’s year-end omnibus and government funding bill. They also spoke about the importance of robust rail funding in this year’s infrastructure legislation, including the American Jobs Plan and the upcoming surface reauthorization bill, as well as maintaining current federal limits on trucks sizes and weights.
In attendance were: Kevin LaValley; Director of Sales & Marketing, RailMark; Angela Schaefer, Accounting Manager, Watco; Bruce Chladny, CEO, Kansas Association of Counties; Cooper Ehrendreich, Government Affairs Manager, REMSA.