Crawford statement from hearing to review the state of the rail workforce
Written by: AJOT
Published by: AJOT
Opening remarks, as prepared, of Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Ranking Member Rick Crawford (R-AR) from today’s hearing entitled, “The State of the Rail Workforce”:
The freight rail industry employs over 3,300 Arkansans at Class I, regional, and short line railroads. These employees come from varied backgrounds, and nearly 20 percent of nationwide freight rail employees are veterans.
Farmers and businesses across my state depend on our nation’s freight railroads to safely transport their goods throughout the country and the world. Important to Arkansas are our short line railroads, who most often provide first and last mile service for farmers, manufacturers, and other industries. I am proud to support H.R. 510, the BRACE Act, which would permanently extend the tax credit for short line railroad track maintenance.
As total freight demand continues to grow, the critical investments made by the railroads in their people and in their infrastructure ensure a safe and efficient system on which our goods will travel. This investment helps spur economic activity and supports non-rail jobs.
Railroad innovation leads to new technologies that make operations safer and more efficient. In turn, the rail network can handle increased freight demand and help relieve congestion on our roads.