The SIGNAL News – May 2021

Subject: AAR & ATA Have a Message for the Hill – The Signal – 5/18

Infrastructure Isn’t a Partisan Issue — It’s an American Issue

Last Friday, AAR CEO Ian Jefferies teamed up with the American Trucking Associations’ CEO Chris Spear for an op-ed in RealClearPolitics, arguing that Congress needs to pass a sustainable, user-funded infrastructure bill.

“To truly address these challenges, we need an infrastructure bill with dedicated funding streams, devoid of divisive policy measures,” they wrote. “Without budget certainty over a multi-year window, transportation officials cannot move projects from the planning phase to the construction phase. Ground can’t be broken, jobs are frozen, and any progress is bogged down by the annual appropriations cycle.”

Ask Congress to Make Its Transportation Bill Pro-Rail

Congress is working on legislation intended to provide a much-needed investment in infrastructure. GoRail, one of our industry partners, is organizing support to ensure that Congress knows the environmental, economic and safety benefits freight rail provides. Send a message to your members of Congress to ensure that any infrastructure package preserves balanced economic rail regulation, ensures all users of infrastructure pay to maintain their infrastructure and provides ample funding for Amtrak.

TTCI Research Hits a Major Milestone ????

Congratulations to the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), which recently accumulated five billion gross tons of freight train loading at its Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST). TTCI’s work at FAST aims to enhance the safety, reliability and efficiency of high tonnage, heavy axle load freight rail transportation in North America and around the world.

“For the past 45 years, the FAST program has been very successful in facilitating the safe introduction of new technology into commercial service,” said TTCI President Lisa Stabler. “We are looking forward not only to continuing, but also expanding this critical and impactful program for another five billion gross tons.”

To Make Transportation More Climate-Friendly, Look No Further Than Rail

“In 2019 alone, U.S. freight railroads consumed 656 million fewer gallons of fuel and emitted 7.3 million fewer tons of CO2 than they would have with their fuel efficiency levels in 2000,” Jefferies wrote in a recent Well News op-ed. “Railroads are proud of this progress, but more work remains. In a new analysis from the Association of American Railroads, the industry reinforces its commitment to driving meaningful climate change progress, but calls upon policymakers to give them the support they need along the way.”

Member Spotlight: Norfolk Southern Issues $500 Million in Green Bonds

Norfolk Southern recently closed an innovative $500 million green bond offering to fund investments that will help the company reduce carbon emissions. Projects that could be funded with the proceeds of green bonds include investing in intermodal terminals that promote the shift of freight from trucks to trains; increasing the use of energy-efficient buildings and technology; and supporting reforestation projects that restore natural landscapes.