• ITVI.USA
    11,367.920
    -1,484.510
    -11.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    3.515
    0.122
    3.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.260
    0.880
    4.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    11,347.230
    -1,482.560
    -11.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.580
    -0.120
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.550
    0.030
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.300
    0.010
    0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.710
    0.060
    1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.140
    -0.010
    -0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.100
    -0.100
    -2.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    136.000
    -3.000
    -2.2%
  • ITVI.USA
    11,367.920
    -1,484.510
    -11.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    3.515
    0.122
    3.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    20.260
    0.880
    4.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    11,347.230
    -1,482.560
    -11.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.580
    -0.120
    -4.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.550
    0.030
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.300
    0.010
    0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.710
    0.060
    1.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.140
    -0.010
    -0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.100
    -0.100
    -2.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    136.000
    -3.000
    -2.2%
NewsRail

Rail Roundup: RSI names new president, surveys tout public support for rail

Patty Long expected to bring ‘new vitality’ to Railway Supply Institute

Railway Supply Institute names new president

Railway Supply Institute (RSI) has named Patty Long as its president, effective Nov. 29. RSI is a trade association representing railway suppliers. Its 160-plus members support the North American freight and passenger railroads.

Long has over 25 years of executive experience, and she most recently served as interim CEO and chief operating officer at the Plastics Industry Association. Other roles have included vice president of policy research and member communications at the National Association of Manufacturers and director of communications at the National Asphalt Pavement Association. 

“This is an exciting time for RSI and our member companies,” said Jack Isselmann, RSI board chair and SVP of external affairs and communications for The Greenbrier Companies. “Patty’s expertise, energy and experience, combined with the recent enactment of the Infrastructure and Investment and Jobs Act, brings renewed vitality to RSI’s mission to serve the rail supply industry. In the months to come, expect RSI to develop new programs, enhance member value and organize a successful in-person RSI Expo and Education Conference next fall, as it capitalizes on the many other opportunities before us in 2022.”

RSI’s board of directors unanimously approved Long’s appointment. 

“I am excited to be joining an industry so vital to the U.S. economy and this nation’s infrastructure,” said Long. “I look forward to working with the members of RSI to grow our industry and continue to sustainably drive America forward.”

Survey says: Public supports rail 

Two rail advocacy groups this week said the public at large wants passenger and freight rail to thrive, based on the results of two surveys.

But the difference between the two surveys is how to garner that support for rail. One survey looks specifically at rail competition, while the other seeks to garner support for the industry.

On Wednesday, rail shippers group the Rail Customer Coalition (RCC) said 75% of registered voters believe that President Joe Biden’s July executive order on competition will increase competition across the U.S. economy, including the transportation sector, according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of RCC. 

“The poll findings show strong support for revisiting policies that address anticompetitive and monopolistic practices as the Surface Transportation Board (STB) looks to move forward on policy reforms, including a new arbitration process for rate cases and greater access to competitive service options through reciprocal switching,” RCC said in a release.

Meanwhile, 48% felt that the federal government is not doing enough to address anticompetitive behavior; 21% had no opinion or didn’t know; 23% believed the government was doing the right amount; and 9% thought the government was doing too much. 

The survey also reported that 68% of respondents believe the executive order is important to address the lack of competitive transportation options for American producers. 

Additional survey results are available here.

“In addition to being a popular idea with Americans across the political spectrum, promoting competition is the cornerstone of a dynamic economy,” said Chris Jahn, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council. “As our nation’s transportation challenges grow and concerns about rising costs mount, competition can help by driving innovation and efficiencies within the freight rail industry.”

Chet Thompson, president and CEO of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, said, “The current supply chain issues have highlighted the importance of a reliable and efficient transportation system. With so many of the products we depend on every day reliant on rail, we need a competitive rail sector. More competition fosters innovation, builds resilience and improves service, which can result in savings for all of us — from the companies using rail to ship their goods to the consumers who ultimately purchase those goods and bring them into their homes.”

In contrast to this survey, the OneRail Coalition earlier this week released the results of its survey, conducted by ENGINE INSIGHTS on behalf of OneRail, a rail advocacy group representing trade associations and the unions.

According to the results published Monday, 83% of polled Americans agreed with shifting more trips to passenger rail and public transit as well as putting more freight to trains to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Eighty-six percent of Americans also consider freight railroad to be important to the U.S. economy, with 63% of Americans favoring moving freight over land by rail as opposed to truck to meet projected growth in freight shipments over the next 20 years.

Meanwhile, 82% of Americans support more congressional spending to address railroad crossing safety at railroad crossings after learning that approximately 95% of rail-related deaths involve drivers going through a crossing or a person on the tracks. 

“These survey results affirm that Americans continue to strongly support freight railroads, passenger rail and public transit,” said OneRail Coalition Director Devon Barnhart. “Favorability ratings rose across the board compared to the 2020 poll findings, underscoring the vital importance of these transportation systems, particularly as we recover from the pandemic and respond to unprecedented supply chain disruptions. 

“OneRail has advocated for increased funding for passenger and transit projects in this country and smart policy to support freight railroads. We are thrilled that Congress responded to America’s overwhelmingly strong support for moving people and goods by rail through the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and we look forward to President Biden signing this bill into law,” she stated.

Said Ian Jefferies, Association of American Railroads president and CEO, “No country can be a first-rate economic powerhouse without first-rate transportation solutions – and the U.S. freight rail network is second to none thanks to substantial and sustained infrastructure investment. As our economy recovers from the pandemic and supply chain disruptions, this survey affirms the invaluable work of railroaders as they continue to safely and reliably deliver critical goods for customers and communities.”

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Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.

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