Washington, D.C. — Freight rail advocates from across the country will come together on Capitol Hill next Wednesday, May 8 for Railroad Day 2019 — a day to talk rail with federal lawmakers and outline the policy priorities that will keep the freight rail network running on all cylinders in the years ahead.
If Railroad Day is new to you, here’s a quick video overview on what it is and why it’s important:
We know that direct, in-person input from constituents is one of the most effective ways to reach members of Congress on policy issues. This is what gives Railroad Day its impact — the size of the event, the geographical diversity of the participants, and the unified railroad industry message.
You, too, can join the chorus of voices calling for a strong freight rail network by amplifying their in-person message to policymakers via social media, especially Twitter. It’s as simple as sharing the #RailDay2019 hashtag with a pro-rail message and tagging your legislators (here’s a list of member of Congress Twitter handles).
To facilitate your Tweeting, find sample content and tips below.
Facts & Figures
Below are some facts and figures about the rail industry, simply hit “Click to Tweet” for a pre-made Twitter post. Pro-tip: tag your members of Congress!
- Private Rail Network: Class I railroads spend an average of $25B annually to maintain and modernize the nation’s nearly 140,000-mile private rail network. (Click to Tweet)
- Short Lines, Big Power: Short line and regional railroads serve nearly 10,000 customers, support 478,000 jobs and deliver $52 billion in value-add to the U.S. economy. Since enactment of 45G, short lines have invested $4B+ into their networks. (Click to Tweet)
- Economically Critical: In 2017, Class I railroads’ operations and capital investments supported over 1.1 million jobs, $219.5 billion in economic output and $71.3 billion in wages. One job in the rail sector supports eight others across the economy. (Click to Tweet)
- Safe & Getting Safer: Recent years have been the safest for the rail industry, with train derailments down 9% from 2009 to 2018. (Click to Tweet)
- Future-Focused: Innovative technologies like ultrasound and drones allow railroads to inspect infrastructure and equipment with greater precision and frequency. (Click to Tweet)
- Sustainable: As the most sustainable way to move goods over land, a freight train, on average, moves one ton of freight 479 miles on one gallon of fuel. Moving goods by rail instead of truck reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 75%. (Click to Tweet)
- Trade Connector: 42% of rail traffic and 50,000 domestic rail jobs (worth $5.5 billion in annual wages and benefits) is directly tied to global commerce. Railroads haul roughly 33% of U.S. exports, allowing U.S. industries to compete abroad while providing consumers access to a greater variety of goods. (Click to Tweet)
- Employee Driven: In 2017, freight railroads employed roughly 165,000 people — the vast majority of whom are unionized and earn an average of $125,400 per year in total compensation — 60% more than the average U.S. employee. (Click to Tweet)
Make Your Own Tweets
Below are example tweets where you can just fill in your member of Congress (MOC) and state.
- The Short Line Tax Credit helps over 603 short line railroads, the first & last miles of connectivity supporting in all industries – particularly mining, manufacturing and agriculture in small town and rural America. @[add MOC handle] #Pass45G #RailDay2019 https://bit.ly/2Iq2GVs
- Railroads in [state] & across the U.S. are tech savvy — using Big Data, drones and ultrasound to enhance safety & efficiency. https://bit.ly/2O0BsoO @[add MOC handle] #RailDay2019
- Balanced rail regulations work: Shippers today can move TWICE the amount of goods for about the same price they paid over 30 years ago. @[add MOC handle] #RailDay2019
- Freight rail privately spends an average of $25B annually to maintain and modernize their 140,000-mile network, which creates a stronger economy in [state]. @[add MOC handle] #RailDay2019 https://bit.ly/2IbQSqD
- 42% of rail carloads & intermodal units & 50,000 rail jobs are directly associated with international trade. @[add MOC handle] #USMCANow #RailDay2019 https://bit.ly/2GeMHrZ
- Moving freight by #rail takes trucks off [state] roads, alleviating congestion and lessening the burden on our ailing #infrastructure. @[add MOC handle] #RailDay2019
- Short line railroads operate in 49 states, connecting businesses to the U.S. Economy, Private investment supported by #Pass45G allows for continued efficient and safe transportation for over 10,000 shippers @[add MOC handle] #RailDay2019
You can also follow GoRail, the Association of American Railroads and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association and retweet their #RailDay2019 posts.