Press Releases

Importance of Freight & Passenger Rail to Economy First Subcommittee Hearing Under Chairman Denham

Washington DC, March 1, 2013 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446 | comments
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The importance of freight and passenger rail to America’s transportation system and the economy will be the focus of the first hearing of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials under Chairman Jeff Denham (R-CA).

The subcommittee hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.  Additional information, testimony, and live webcast will be posted here as it becomes available. 

“Railroads are an integral part of the Nation’s infrastructure network and vital to our economic competitiveness,” Denham said.  “This hearing will help lay the groundwork for the Subcommittee’s work this Congress to strengthen and improve the efficiency of American rail transportation.” 

America’s freight rail network is the envy of the world. There are approximately 565 freight railroads in the country employing nearly 180,000 workers and operating over more than 200,000 miles of privately owned track throughout the country.  U.S. intercity passenger rail service is primarily provided by Amtrak, a corporation established by Congress in 1970. Today, Amtrak runs approximately 300 weekday trains over 21,100 route-miles, mostly over rail infrastructure owned by the freight rails.

The following witnesses have been invited to Tuesday’s hearing to testify about the role the rail industry plays in the Nation’s infrastructure network and economy as a whole:

  • The Honorable Paula J. Hammond, P.E., Secretary of Transportation, Washington State; Chair, States for Passenger Rail Coalition; Chair, AASHTO’s High Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Leadership Group
  • Edward R. Hamberger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Association of American Railroads
  • James Stem, National Legislative Director, United Transportation Union - SMART
  • The Honorable Joseph H. Boardman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Amtrak

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