December 20, 2021 – ASLRRA to Congress: ASLRRA urges appropriators to go big on funding, noting that “short line freight rail infrastructure has an incredibly long list of unmet needs."
November 6, 2021 - ASLRRA Comments on the Passage of the IIJA
In November 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). This legislation is particularly critical for the short line freight rail industry, providing opportunities for railroads to invest in game-changing infrastructure projects that allow short line freight railroads to drive economic growth, improve safety, implement innovative technologies, and advance the many environmental benefits of rail.
IIJA was enacted at a pivotal time for short line freight rail. More than $12 billion is necessary to allow short line railroads to modernize and meet the country’s freight needs. Short line railroading is one of the most capital-intensive industries in the country. Short lines invest on average 25 percent to 33 percent of their annual revenues into maintaining and rehabilitating their infrastructure. Short lines are often the custodians of expensive bridges and tunnels that were originally built by much larger railroads generations earlier and are now reaching the end of their useful lives.
IIJA dramatically increases resources for several programs critical to freight rail projects, including:
Because of resources in IIJA, short lines can upgrade thousands of miles of track to 286K-lb capabilities (the industry standard) and rebuild and repair worn-out and outdated bridges, tunnels and rail to improve efficiency and ensure safer operations.
IIJA is a powerful tool to enhance safety, reduce supply chain bottlenecks, and advance solutions that will positively impact the already low environmental footprint of rail. ASLRRA urges Congress to fund programs in IIJA like CRISI fully and efficiently.