A team of CSX railroaders joined hundreds of rail industry representatives March 7 to meet with members of Congress and other key policy makers during the 2018 Railroad Day on Capitol Hill.
The annual event is one of the most important opportunities of the year for railroaders to be heard on issues that are vital for the industry to effectively fulfill its role as an essential cog in the American economy. Railroad leaders and employees at all levels presented a unified front to lawmakers and key staff as they traveled across Capitol Hill to explain the industry’s position on important issues, such as:
- Opposition to heavier trucks. Congress in recent years has resisted proposals to increase weight limits on the nation’s interstate highways, but the trucking industry continues to push for heavier trucks. The rail industry strongly opposes this proposal, which would increase the public tax burden to maintain highways and represent bad public policy on safety and the environment.
- Preserving balanced regulation. Railroads have flourished under the balanced regulatory approach introduced by the Staggers Act of 1980, but some groups continue to advocate for increased regulation to benefit their narrow interests. The rail industry must continue to vigorously defend itself against proposals that would require competing railroads to open up their networks for the benefit of their competitors and even cap the rate of return that railroads can earn for operating their business.
- Support for the Short Line 45G Tax Credit. The Section 45G credit allows the nation’s short lines to preserve and upgrade rail service for thousands of rail customers and communities that might otherwise have no rail service. By extending this credit and making in permanent, Congress can remove the annual uncertainty that this important measure will continue to be available to support local economic growth.
Face-to-face meetings with the lawmakers and staff members who vote on key issues that impact railroads have proven to be a highly effective means to help representatives understand the impact of their decisions on the railroads that serve businesses in their communities and create jobs for their constituents.