Lakeville, MN – Minnesota State Representative Jon Koznick and Lynda Boudreau, staff for U.S. Congressman John Kline, joined GoRail and the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC) for a tour of RailWorks’ facility in Lakeville, MN on May 6.
RailWorks builds and maintains rail infrastructure for railroads, transit lines, and rail-served industries throughout the United States and Canada. Its Lakeville facility has about 45 employees with an annual payroll in excess of $4 million.
The group discussed a recent proposal from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to raise taxes on railroads by nearly $100 million annually.
“This massive tax hike could limit railroads’ ability to invest back into their networks,” said Larry Lloyd, GoRail state director for Minnesota. “Minnesota’s freight railroads invested $500 million in private capital back into tracks, signals, rolling stock and new technology in Minnesota in 2015 alone.”
Nationwide, freight railroads also spend massive amounts on building and expanding their network – $600 billion since 1980. This spending bolsters efficiency as well as safety, as the train accident rate is down 80 percent since 1980 and the grade crossing collision rate is down 78 percent from 1980.
Rep. Koznick was elected to serve Lakeville as a state representative in 2014 and Congressman Kline has represented Minnesota’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives since first being elected to Congress in 2002.
Their tour explored the two-acre facility, which is positioned on the southern edge of downtown Lakeville. It supports operations that perform work throughout 13 Central states. RailWorks recently completed constructing track for Flint Hill Resources and Cargill in the region as well as Metro’s Green Line and the Interchange in the Twin Cities.
“RailWorks is a great example of the freight rail story, how big private rail investments help support jobs in the rail supply industry, as well as economic development in communities like Lakeville,” said Lloyd.