HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) joined legislators, businesses, and economic development organizations from across the country to urge leaders in Congress to support continued investment in the rail freight industry.
Yaw lent his support to a letter sent by GoRail to national transportation officials stressing the public benefits of freight rail investment and a stronger rail network. The national advocacy group works to educate community leaders across the country about the public benefits of freight rail investments.
“We want to send a strong, bipartisan message to leaders at the national level that every ton of freight moved by rail strengthens the economy, creates jobs, mitigates pollution and saves taxpayers money,” Yaw said. “As we look to rebuild the nation’s economy, freight railroads and their record infrastructure investments will continue to connect America’s farmers, manufacturers, and shippers with domestic and global markets.”
In the letter, GoRail also commemorated the 40th Anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act, which established a visionary approach to regulation that sparked a freight rail renaissance and continues to provide measurable benefits to businesses, consumers, taxpayers and our economy.
Yaw said the landmark, bipartisan legislation was necessary because decades of rigidly prescriptive federal overregulation had decimated the U.S. freight rail network. Bankruptcies were commonplace, rail rates were rising, safety was deteriorating, and rail infrastructure and equipment were in increasingly poor condition because railroads simply could not earn enough to pay for basic upkeep, let alone innovation and improvements.
Since the implementation of the Staggers Act, U.S. freight railroads have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the rail network. Rail traffic has doubled, rail productivity has more than doubled, rail rates are down more than 40 percent, and recent years have been the safest on record.
“As a strong supporter of our rail freight industry, I want our federal leaders to know that I stand behind federal efforts to innovate, adapt and reinvest in our rail freight industry. It will be good for our state, our economy and our consumers.”
To read the letter, click here.
For more state-related news and information, visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.
Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff