Policy Issues

Rail Advocates Laud FAST Act Leadership

In “Bipartisan Leadership on Rail Deserves Credit,” GoRail community leaders Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (NJ) and Representative Shelley Keeney Taylor (MO) commended Congress for passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Their article, which recently appeared on Inside Sources, a Washington, D.C. based news site, highlights some of the FAST Act’s positive implications for freight rail:

“For the nationwide rail network, the FAST Act delivered important safety enhancements and provisions that will allow critical rail infrastructure projects to move more quickly from “shovel ready” to “shovels in the ground,” and help ensure freight railroads continue in their vital role as the strong backbone of the American economy.

New talk car measures, in particular, will enhance the safety of moving flammable liquids. One provision increases the thermal blanket protection for tank cars, giving first responders additional time to respond in the event of an emergency. Another places additional restrictions on the use of older tank cars moving flammable liquids.

Congressional actions also provided a realistic timetable for implementing positive train control, helping to ensure there’s time to thoroughly test and complete the complex safety system.

A FAST Act provision extending a tax credit for short line railroad infrastructure upgrades will also enhance efficiency across the network, providing tangible benefits to communities across the United States that depend on railroads to connect them to the global economy.”