Rail

Chicago Tribune: ELPC’s Learner Raises Concerns over Proposed Great Lakes Basin Railroad

By Susan DeMar Lafferty, Chicago Tribune

Even though a proposed new rail line would not run through Will County, it is close enough that some county officials are keeping an eye on developments related to it.

The privately funded Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc., (GLBT) plans to provide an $8 billion, 278-mile rail line to circumvent Chicago’s hub from Janesville, Wisconsin, south to Rockford, into Grundy County, Kankakee County, and into Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties in Indiana.

In recent weeks, the federal Surface Transportation Board has conducted public meetings throughout the region, seeking input and drawing lots of opposition from area farmers. Next, the STB is expected to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a two- to three-year process, and then decide if it will approve or deny the project, or change the route.

The route is currently just south of the Will-Kankakee County Line Road, so the slightest shift to the north, would place it within Will County.

Originally, the rail line was proposed to follow the same right of way as the Illiana toll road through southern Will County, but that project has been shelved. The proposed route is designed to bypass populated areas, allow for future growth, support agricultural and industry around the route, avoid attracting more residences or businesses that would limit expansion or be exposed in case of an incident, keep traffic moving through overpasses/underpasses, and to build the railroad as a quiet zone, according to the Great Lakes Basin website. A map is available at www.greatlakesbasin.net.

“The unknown is a concern. This is all subject to change (pending the EIS). It will be interesting to see where it goes. This might not be the final route,” said Bruce Gould, director of Will County’s Division of Transportation.

He is especially concerned about a proposed rail yard which could extend eight miles east and west along the two-lane rural County Line Road, abutting Will County.

“Depending on what happens there, it could have a major impact,” said Gould, who attended one of the first public meetings in Manteno recently and plans to stay on top of the project.

If it becomes a freight yard terminal, he said he would be “considerably concerned” about what would be going in and out of the terminal.

Gould also questioned the need for this new route, noting that when the Canadian National Railroad took over the old EJ&E tracks, it was intended to be an alternate, faster route, circumventing Chicago. The CN lines have added freight trains through Joliet, New Lenox, Mokena, Frankfort, Matteson, Richton Park, Park Forest and Chicago Heights, and has been fined numerous times for blocking crossings.

Will County Board member Judy Ogalla, R-Monee, also attended the Manteno meeting because, she said, “People were asking me about it and I didn’t know anything,” she said.

Some voiced concerns that the current route skirts Kankakee State Park, and if there is a legitimate impact to the park, it could be re-routed into Will County, she said.

The Manteno meeting, like many others held along the corridor, was packed with farmers opposed to the project. Opposition groups have been created, including Block GLB Railroad, and Residents Against the Invasion of Land by Eminent Domain – RAILED.

Ogalla said she has heard the same arguments and concerns from Will County farmers when they felt threatened by the South Suburban Airport in Peotone and the Illiana toll road across southern Will County, two major infrastructure projects which are at a standstill due to a lack of state funding.

Financial feasibility is an issue, said Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center.

Great Lakes founder Frank Patton of Crete is “putting the cart before the horse,” by going to the STB before getting railroad companies on board, Learner said.

“This is just like the Peotone airport. You can’t build an airport without airlines, and you can’t build a railroad without interest from rail companies,” he said, adding that several rail companies have already said they were not interested.

“It is not yet clear if there is really money behind this. That’s to be determined,” he said. “We have seen this again and again. Whether it was Peotone airport or the Illiana, they say it is only private dollars but they keep trying to get taxpayer support.”

There are other projects of much higher importance that need to be done first, Learner said.

Will County officials cannot let this project distract them from taking care of roads today, said county board member Bob Howard, D-Beecher, who called the Great Lakes Basin Railroad a “red herring.”

“This is just a group of investors taking the temperature of what is marketable,” he said.

“We have a lot of traffic issues that have to be addressed now. This is what we have to work on now. We have to get back to the basics,” Howard said. “If they apply for federal funds, they will be taking money away from us, and competing with us for federal dollars to improve our roads.”

Keep Reading

 

Milwaukee Business Journal: Study to consider adding more round-trips on Amtrak Hiawatha line

The state this summer could hold hearings on the proposal to add three more round-trips a day to the Hiawatha passenger rail line between Milwaukee and Chicago.

The rail service run by Amtrak currently has seven round trips each weekday, and has seen strong ridership. It logged 804,861 rides in 2014, an 8.5 percent increase over 2009. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is preparing a study of increasing the number of daily trips to 10, said Arun Rao, Wisconsin DOT passenger rail manager.

A draft of the study could be made public this summer, prompting public hearings in late summer and potential federal sign-off later this year, Rao said. If federal officials approve that plan, the state will become eligible to apply for federal money for the additional routes, which likely would be operated by Amtrak.

ELPC 2015: What We’ve Achieved, and What’s Next

This is a transformational year for the environment. ELPC is seizing strategic opportunities for progress on the big issues. We’re achieving strong results in these politically gridlocked times.

First, the EPA’s Clean Power Plan caps two decades of sustained advocacy by ELPC and many environmental and public health colleagues backed by sound scientific findings. The U.S. is now stepping up as a global leader advancing clean energy solutions to reduce carbon pollution.

Second, solar energy, wind power and innovative energy efficiency technologies are poised to transform the electricity market just as wireless transformed telecommunications, changing the ways that we live and work. ELPC is driving new policies to accelerate distributed Midwest solar energy installations and install one million new smart thermostats in Illinois.

Third, ELPC’s successful litigation to stop the fiscal folly Illiana Tollway, protect the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and promote sound regional planning is transforming transportation policy to prioritize public transit and modern regional rail instead of politically clouted boondoggles. ELPC attorneys are winning in both the court of law and the court of public opinion.

ELPC is effective. Our teams of expert public interest attorneys, M.B.A.s, policy advocates and communications specialists, combined with the ELPC Science Advisory Council, play to win and know how to get things done.  ELPC is truly making a difference for a better world.

button_donatetoday

Your support has helped ELPC advance a cleaner renewable energy mix for the Midwest, accelerate cleaner transportation, and clean up the rivers and great lakes that we all care about. Please consider ELPC’s results and make a financial contribution to support our successful program work in 2016:

 

Ditching the Illiana Tollway Boondoggle and Protecting the Remarkable Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Midewin_Illiana_250x330The proposed new Illiana Tollway is a fiscal folly, undermines sound regional planning and would harm wildlife and ecological values in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. On June 16th, Federal District Court Judge Jorge Alonso granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and declared that the federal and state transportation agencies’ approval of the Tier 1 final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision “for the proposed new Illiana Expressway was arbitrary and capricious and in violation of NEPA.” This is a tremendous litigation victory for ELPC’s public interest attorneys on behalf of our clients Midewin Heritage Association, Openlands and Sierra Club.

More than a dozen newspapers across Illinois have editorialized against the Illiana “road to nowhere” during the state’s fiscal crisis and when there are much higher priorities for limited transportation infrastructure funds to enable badly-needed fixes for transit and commuter rail, intercity higher-speed rail, and highway and bridge repairs.

ELPC’s legal, economic and media advocacy and our clients’ public engagement have changed the proposed new boondoggle Illiana Tollway from a “done deal” to “terminal life support.” It’s time for Governor Rauner and Illinois’ political leadership to finally ditch the Illiana once and for all. ELPC is working hard in the federal and state courts, and in the courts of public opinion, to bring the proposed Illiana Tollway to its well-deserved end.

 

Installing One Million Smart Thermostats in Illinois – A National Model

NestThermostat_250x330ELPC and Commonwealth Edison worked together creating an ambitious new program to install one million new smart thermostats in Illinois homes and small businesses over the next five years. U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy joined us for the October 8th public announcement. This leading-edge initiative provides rebates up to $120, using the consumer-funded Energy Efficiency Performance Standards program resources, for the new generation of Ecobee, Nest and Honeywell thermostats that learn customer behavior and adjust cooling and heating without complicated programming. These “smart thermostats” can save consumers 15%-25% from their heating and cooling costs and reduce pollution. Once the Illinois program is off the ground, ELPC plans to replicate it in more Midwestern states. This innovative technology is a winner.

 

Accelerating Solar Energy in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota

SolarShedd_250x330Solar energy installations in the Midwest grew by 70% last year, creating jobs, new businesses and economic growth. However, the coal industry and some electric utilities are seeking to impose regulatory barriers to protect their polluting power plants and their electricity monopolies. ELPC is working to advance sound policies that drive clean solar energy forward and remove regulatory barriers to development.

In Illinois, ELPC was instrumental in helping enact and then design the state’s first $30 million distributed solar generation procurement.

In Iowa, ELPC successfully repelled Interstate Power & Light’s attempt to impose new barriers to solar development after we won a major case before the Iowa Supreme Court to remove utility-imposed barriers to conventional third-party financing arrangements for solar energy development projects.

In Minnesota and Michigan, ELPC is making steady progress with our state-based partners to design new distributed solar programs and strategies. We’re moving forward at this transformational time to accelerate solar energy development for a cleaner energy future. ELPC is pro-technological innovation, pro-competition and pro-removing regulatory barriers to solar.

 

Keeping the Great Lakes and Midwest Rivers Clean

LakeMichiganMichigan-sidebarThere are two main types of water pollution – from a single, identifiable “point” source and the “non-point” flows from farms, ranches and streets. ELPC is working on both.

This is the first year that the SS Badger car ferry did not dump about 1,000,000 pounds of toxic coal ash into Lake Michigan. The ship now has a new coal ash containment system thanks to an effective advocacy campaign led by ELPC with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and our good colleagues. ELPC’s work to stop the SS Badger from polluting the drinking water supplies for 42 million people is a strong precedent that reinforces that it’s no longer acceptable to dump toxic pollution in our Great Lakes.

ELPC also brought together more than 60 scientists and policymakers for our second annual Great Lakes Science-Policy Confluence Conference to discuss solutions to mitigate “nutrient pollution” – agricultural runoff that helped cause toxic blue-green algae blooms in Western Lake Erie. In summer 2014, 500,000 people in the Toledo area were without safe drinking water supplies for 72 hours. That’s not acceptable. ELPC is stepping up our advocacy for the necessary actions to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from agricultural operations that caused the toxic algae and contaminated water supplies.

ELPC continues our Mississippi River protection legal leadership, and we convened a new collaboration of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia groups for coordinated multi-state action to help clean up the Ohio River, considered by some to be America’s most polluted waterway.

 

ELPC Is Accelerating the Next Generation of Sustainable Transportation

AmtrakELPC is a recognized leader in advancing the Midwest high-speed rail network, which will improve mobility, reduce pollution, create jobs and pull together the regional economy. We are working to accelerate new clean cars and trucks, which use modern technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollution.

This year, I was honored to be asked by Amtrak’s CEO to serve on a four-member Blue Ribbon Panel analyzing and recommending strategies and better practices to increase fluidity and reduce congestion for higher-speed passenger rail and freight rail in the “Chicago Gateway” leading to St. Louis, Detroit and the East Coast.

 

 

Making the Clean Power Plan Standards Work Well

coal_250x330This is the federal cornerstone for America’s commitment to climate change solutions. ELPC is working with many business, environmental, health and faith-based allies to overcome the coal industry’s and certain politicians’ litigation efforts to stall progress, and to effectively implement state climate solution action plans in the Midwest states. Overall, ELPC is advancing new policies to drive energy markets with technological innovations that can change the world.

 

 

 

 

ELPC believes in the core principle that environmental progress and economic growth can be achieved together, and we put that sustainability principle into practice every day. ELPC’s solutions-focused strategies engage diverse partners and seize opportunities to accelerate clean energy development and clean transportation technologies, protect clean air and clean water, and preserve the Midwest’s wild and natural places.

ELPC’s multidisciplinary staff teams of public interest attorneys, M.B.A.s, policy experts and communications specialists are fully engaged across the Midwest, and we’re making progress. It isn’t easy; real change never is. We don’t give up. Let’s keep working together to win.

Thank you for engaging and making a contribution to support ELPC’s work to harness this change and achieve a brighter future.

 

Amtrak’s Blue Ribbon Panel Report Recommends Congestion Fixes for Passenger, Freight Trains

Last week, Amtrak’s Blue Ribbon Panel on the Chicago Gateway issued its report at a standing-room only briefing, packed with Chicagoland rail transportation community leaders.  The report includes recommendations for fixing the intricate congestion problems that impede fluid passenger and freight rail transportation weaving through the Chicago area. I was honored to serve on the four-member expert panel, convened by Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, that produced the Chicago Gateway Initiative report and recommendations.

Please check out this Amtrak video and Press Release that explains the goals and recommendations, along with the excellent media coverage in the Chicago Tribune and CBS News:

HowardScreenshot

This is no small problem: Chicago’s rail gridlock is responsible for an estimated $800 billion in annual losses for agricultural, natural resources, automotive, manufacturing, retail and service businesses. Our recommendations, as reported in the Chicago Tribune, call for boosting on-time performance to improve Amtrak and Metra passenger service and reduce freight train congestion throughout the region.

Key recommendations include:

  • Create a unified control center at Union Station, where dispatchers from each of the six major freight railroads, Amtrak and Metra can coordinate trains and improve on-time performance. These dispatchers are now located at several locations throughout the country. As I told theChicago Tribune, “If you had every airline at O’Hare airport with their own air traffic controller doing everything on their own, it would be a mess.”
  • Prioritize projects that will have the greatest impact on removing chokepoints for passenger and freight trains traveling through Illinois and Indiana. As I told CBS News Radio: “Chicago is not much further than a bad snowstorm away from a meltdown of the system.”
  • Complete the 75th Street improvement project and the Grand Crossing improvement project.  The 75th Street project will eliminate rail conflicts at three rail junctions, including Belt Junction – the most congested rail chokepoint in the Chicago area – where more than 80 Metra and freight trains cross paths daily. The Grand Crossing Project will help speed up and reduce delays for Amtrak passenger train service between Chicago and Detroit.

My co-panelists were Thomas Carper, member and former Chair of Amtrak’s board of directors; Linda Morgan, partner at the law firm of Nossaman, LLP, and former chair of the U.S. Surface Transportation Board; and Jack Quinn, Jr., president of Erie Community College and a former Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

ELPC is working hard with policymakers and both passenger and freight rail business and labor leaders to reduce congestion, improve rail service and work toward making the Blue Ribbon Panel’s recommendations a reality. ELPC Deputy Director Kevin Brubaker and I are committed to accelerating modern higher-speed passenger rail for the Chicago-hubbed Midwest rail network that will improve mobility, reduce pollution, create jobs and spur economic growth. Let’s move forward.

Lafayette Journal and Courier: Hoosier State train forging ahead

For a fourth time, Amtrak and the Indiana Department of Transportation announced they’ve extended an agreement to operate the Hoosier State passenger rail line.

On the eve of Thursday’s contract end date, spokesmen for both entities said the four-day-a-week Indianapolis-Chicago route, which stops in Lafayette, will run through June 30. Combined with Amtrak’s long-distance Cardinal, passengers have daily service.

Since October 2013, Indiana and communities served by the Hoosier State have paid Amtrak about $3 million to run the 196-mile route while the state pursued a new operating model.

But a succession of obstacles has delayed the state and local plan to hire a contractor to increase ridership and improve service on the line that is often delayed, runs at inconvenient times and lacks Wi-Fi and food service.

The hope is that during the next 60 days the state can reach long-term agreements for Amtrak employees to operate rail cars provided by private contractor Iowa Pacific Holdings, INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield said.

July 1 is the tentative start date for the new operating model.

“That’s a target we’re shooting for,” he said. “We’re getting closer day-by-day to getting everything in place, but there are still a lot of pieces to be put in place.”

Continue Reading

Victory! U.S. Supreme Court Decision Supports Amtrak’s On-Time Performance Standards

Victory! The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Department of Transportation, ELPC and our allies yesterday when it affirmed Amtrak’s power to create on-time performance standards.

ELPC filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief on behalf of overselves, the National Association of Railroad Passengers, All Aboard Ohio and Virginians for High-Speed Rail last year, and parts of our argument were referenced in the decision. We argued that Amtrak is, in fact, an arm of the federal government that relieves freight railroads of their pre-existing obligation to provide interstate passenger service. The United States Supreme Court agreed.

Here’s why this matters: Data shows that more trains run on time when Amtrak has the power to create on-time performance standards; when that power is taken away, performance plummets. In 2012, for example, Amtrak achieved a nationwide on-time performance rate of 83%, but that fell to 42% when the standards were invalidated by the D.C. Court of Appeals. This week’s United States Supreme Court decision reverses that holding and reaffirms Amtrak’s authority to set these crucial standards.

Kudos to ELPC Deputy Director Kevin Brubaker and ELPC Federal Legislative Director Karen Torrent, who are working on this important issue to help reduce delays on Amtrak’s passenger rail corridors. The highest court in the land has spoken, and we hope that freight railroads will move forward as a partner to improve passenger rail service across America.

Let’s keep winning.

Good News! Amtrak funding approved by U.S. House

Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to authorize $8 billion in Amtrak funding. While the U.S. Senate still needs to consider the matter, this vote is a victory for ELPC and allies, who have been fighting back against anti-Amtrak amendments – including one introduced earlier this week that would have eliminated all funding for Amtrak, effectively ending all long-distance and state Amtrak train service.

Almost 700 ELPC followers and thousands of others throughout the country wrote to their Members of Congress with a clear message: Americans want a strong national train network and elected officials who support. This grassroots support played a huge role in securing today’s bipartisan vote.

amtrakvotescreenshot

Learn more about today’s vote in this article from The Hill.

New Report Showcases America’s Rail, Transit Manufacturing Opportunity

Report Maps U.S. Rail, Transit Manufacturing Footprint, Highlights Critical Impact of Federal Transportation Investment on Manufacturing Growth Nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC (January 30, 2015) – The BlueGreen Alliance and the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) today released a groundbreaking new report illustrating the breadth of the U.S. transit and passenger rail manufacturing footprint, showing businesses and  jobs nationwide that are being sustained by state and federal investments in rail and transit. The report—Passenger Rail and Transit Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.—found more than 750 companies in at least 39 states that manufacture transit and passenger railcars, locomotives and their components and related materials and equipment today.

The groups said the report shows that there is a powerful opportunity to grow transit and passenger rail manufacturing nationwide, but argued that success depends on leadership from Congress to make the long-term investments in rail and transit that are key to sustaining a strong and globally competitive industry.

“This report underscores that investing in the transportation systems we need for a strong, prosperous economy, is also critical to rebuild good manufacturing jobs all across the country—in communities both nearby and far from the transit and rail systems themselves” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “We need leadership from Congress to ensure long-term, sustainable funding for transportation, and from leaders at every level to ensure that as we build and operate the clean energy and transportation infrastructure and technology of the future, we also rebuild good family supporting jobs and prosperous communities.”

“Modernizing our nation’s passenger rail and transit systems will improve mobility, alleviate congestion on highways and at airports, and will reduce pollution. This report shows that sound policies to accelerate passenger rail and transit will grow the economy and drive job creation at large manufacturing businesses, smaller fabricating companies, and technical and engineering businesses across the country,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Modern higher-speed rail development is good for job creation, good for economic growth and good for the environment.”

The report identifies 212 companies in 32 states that manufacture transit or passenger rail cars and locomotives or major rail propulsion, electronics, and body components and systems. And major suppliers are just the tip of the iceberg. Focusing on just two rail manufacturing regions—the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic—the report identified 542 additional companies manufacturing sub-components, materials, track and infrastructure, and providing repair and remanufacturing to the industry in these states. Not included were rail subcomponent manufacturers nationwide, but a closer look at that sector would certain generate an even longer list of companies that rely on transit and passenger rail investment.

“The bottom line is that those numbers represent real people, with real jobs that support their families in communities in towns like mine,” said Jennifer Narrod, Shop Chairman of IUE-CWA Local 81323 and a worker at Alstom Signaling in Rochester, New York. “Long-term, predictable funding is essential for my job and the many other people around the country who work for companies making parts for our rail and transit systems.”

Rail and transit manufacturers are located in virtually every state, in diverse industries—from major multinationals manufacturing railcars or propulsion systems to small family-owned precision machining companies. Transit and passenger rail use specialty materials, such as steel, glass and fabrics. Maps and state lists of all 754 companies were included in the report.

###

The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of America’s largest labor unions and environmental organizations. We work together to turn today’s biggest environmental challenges into our biggest economic and job-creating opportunities. Together with 15 million members and supporters, we are a powerful, unified voice calling for good, family-sustaining jobs, a clean environment and a thriving and fair American economy. http://www.bluegreenalliance.org

The Environmental Law & Policy Center is the Midwest’s leading environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization. www.ELPC.org

Greenwire: Groups pressure Congress to invest in passenger rail, transit infrastructure

Unions and environmental groups called on Congress to provide more funds for passenger rail and transit systems in a report released today.

The Environmental Law and Policy Center and BlueGreen Alliance released the report, “Passenger Rail & Transit Rail Manufacturing in the U.S.,” which examined the impact and opportunities the passenger rail and transit industry presents to the national economy.

Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, said at the Washington, D.C., release that there are a variety of opportunities for Congress to invest in long-term passenger rail and transit infrastructure.

“We believe both passenger rail and transit should be included in a robust way in the transportation reauthorization bill and how funding is allocated,” he said. “We’re not against highways and bridges, but we want to make sure passenger rail and transit is a full, robust part of how the transportation reauthorization bill comes out.”

Some members of Congress have fretted over funding for a long-term bill, but Learner suggested there are ways to pay for infrastructure needs, including raising the gas tax.

“The gas tax has attracted some support and some favorable nods on both sides of the aisle, but also some opposition, particularly coming from the Republican House members,” said Learner.

Jennifer Narrod, the shop chairwoman for the IUE-CWA Local 81323 and a worker at Alstom Signaling Inc. in Rochester, N.Y., said a downsizing of manufacturing at her plant in recent years not only has hurt workers, but also has affected small businesses throughout the community. Narrod said long-term investments in the rail industry would be beneficial to Rochester and small towns across the country.

Narrod said her company, which produces signaling and operating systems for rail cars, manufactures products for larger cities and noted that Rochester doesn’t have a passenger rail system. Along with the report, Narrod said small-town companies have a significant impact on the rail industry and are important to the economy.

The report found more than 750 companies in 39 states that manufacture components for passenger rail and transit rail. It homed in on a set of Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states and found 540 companies making subcomponents of materials, track and infrastructure products, as well as providing repairs for the industry.

Investing in passenger rail and transit infrastructure could further boost manufacturing in those states and expand production to others, the report found.

“We need leadership from Congress to ensure long-term, sustainable funding for transportation, and from leaders at every level to ensure that as we build and operate the clean energy and transportation infrastructure and technology of the future, we also rebuild good family-supporting jobs and prosperous communities,” said Kimberly Glas, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of unions and environmental groups.

Congress has until May to find a funding solution for transportation infrastructure.

The report’s authors said short-term funding bills hamper hiring and fail to give investors and companies confidence to expand plants. Both Glas and Learner said a long-term infrastructure investment would provide these companies with certainty for the future.

Although there are a few months until the deadline, Glas said she and others would have “boots on the ground” at the Capitol and in congressional districts that are affected by infrastructure funding.

“Congress can and should come together and get something done here, and get it done in way that’s robust for creating jobs, growing our economy, investing in passenger rail and transit rail that helps our environment, helps mobility, reduces congestion and is good for jobs,” said Learner. “It’s up to Congress now to get that done.”

Mass Transit Magazine: New Report Showcases America’s Rail, Transit Manufacturing Opportunity

The BlueGreen Alliance and the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) on Jan. 30 released a groundbreaking new report illustrating the breadth of the U.S. transit and passenger rail manufacturing footprint, showing businesses and  jobs nationwide that are being sustained by state and federal investments in rail and transit. The report — Passenger Rail and Transit Rail Manufacturing in the U.S. — found more than 750 companies in at least 39 states that manufacture transit and passenger railcars, locomotives and their components and related materials and equipment today.

The groups said the report shows that there is a powerful opportunity to grow transit and passenger rail manufacturing nationwide, but argued that success depends on leadership from Congress to make the long-term investments in rail and transit that are key to sustaining a strong and globally competitive industry.

“This report underscores that investing in the transportation systems we need for a strong, prosperous economy, is also critical to rebuild good manufacturing jobs all across the country—in communities both nearby and far from the transit and rail systems themselves” said Kim Glas, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “We need leadership from Congress to ensure long-term, sustainable funding for transportation, and from leaders at every level to ensure that as we build and operate the clean energy and transportation infrastructure and technology of the future, we also rebuild good family supporting jobs and prosperous communities.”

Continue Reading

ELPC’s Founding Vision is Becoming Today’s Sustainability Reality

Support ELPC’s Next 25 Years of Successful Advocacy

Donate Now