Railway Supply Community to Law Makers: Don’t Impose Regulations

Rail Supply IndustryThe Willamette Valley Company has joined a growing group of industry leaders within the railway supply community and prominent rail industry trade associations to speak out against the Surface Transportation Board‘s proposal on reregulatory efforts, including so called “reciprocal switching” and commodity reregulation.

Congressional leaders John Thune, Chairman, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Bill Nelson, Ranking Member; and Bill Shuster, Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Peter DeFazio, Ranking Member, have received a letter signed by dozens of suppliers and contractors pointing out the STB’s “recent trend of imposing regulations first, and discovering the consequences later.”

“As the collective voice of businesses that serve railroads and provide the equipment and technologies to enhance the efficiency and safety of their operations, we know…over-involvement of the federal government in the day-to-day business decisions of railroads once pushed this sector and the larger railroad ecosystem of customers and suppliers to the brink of collapse,” the letter states. “Without the wisdom to partially deregulate the industry in 1980, America would have lost a privately owned and maintained economic engine that provides quality jobs to support families and communities, affordable and environmentally friendly options for businesses to move goods and critical infrastructure to support passenger railroads.”

Here are more excerpts from that letter:

“We are deeply concerned that this regulatory effort could greatly cut into capital spending by the railroads. Past analysis by the Association of American Railroads found that a similar proposal could affect an estimated 7.5 million carloads of traffic, placing nearly $8 billion in revenues at risk. Reduced revenues mean reduced money for investment in the rail network and reduced demand for businesses like ours. Continued investments are critical for maintaining a safe and efficient rail network and allow us to provide strong employment opportunities in our communities.

The railroad supply community plays an integral role in maintaining the world’s safest, most efficient and highly competitive freight railroad system. We also provide high-paying and high-skilled manufacturing jobs in our communities.

We support a transparent and efficient STB and believe that the agency maintains an important role in maintaining a proven regulatory structure. But we do not support the STB’s recent trend of imposing regulations first, and discovering the consequences later.”

Click here to read more.

 

 

FastPatch Launches New Consumer Friendly Website

FastPatchNew FastPatch Website Filled with Helpful Resources and Info:  www.FastPatchSystems.com

Though our roots are in the wood and railroad products industry, our groundbreaking line of concrete repair solutions is in high demand. It all began more than a decade ago when we were approached by key transportation professionals who needed fast-curing and ultra-tough materials for repairing roadways and bridges.

Our solution was the development of FastPatch.

FastPatch is a significant leap forward in technology from antiquated “powder” type repair materials that are non-flexible, require water, and are labor intensive to install. The product proved to outperform and outlast traditional products, plus it was easier to install with our custom dispensing machine and easy-to-use kits.

It didn’t take long for FastPatch to be adopted by several States D.O.T.s such as California, Texas, Georgia and Washington among others. Today FastPatch is used to repair airports, roads, driveways, highways, bridges, railroads, parking lots, ramps and loading docks, warehouse floors, and other various applications all over the world (e.g., Australia, China, South America, Canada, Mexico, UK).

Product use has become so widespread, we launched a new website dedicated to this product. The website is filled with resources for everyone from Public Works & Engineering/Construction industry professionals to home improvement “DIYers”. It is also filled with helpful data sheets, FAQs, and case studies.

We hope you will visit our new website and contact us with any questions and feedback: FastPatch@wilvaco.com or 800-333-9826. You can check out our videos all in one place at vimeo.com/fastpatch.

FastPatch Pavement and Structure Preservation from FastPatch Systems on Vimeo.

photo credit: tenpouzann01 via photopin (license)

US DOT Unveils Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices

 U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx examines the aging infrasture in our country. Photo via instagram.com/usdot.

In 30 years, how will you travel? That is the question the U.S. Dept. of Transportation wants us to ask ourselves. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was joined recently by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to unveil US DOT’s 30 Year Framework for the Future, Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices.

Beyond Traffic looks at the latest data and anticipates the trends and choices facing our transportation system over the next three decades. If we do not make significant changes, the US DOT predicts our country will face a grim future which will include extreme gridlock, higher costs, and more devastation to our already aging infrastructure.

Secretary Foxx’s draft framework for the future of transportation encourages us to ask ourselves the tough questions, look at the trends, and – hopefully – inspire some innovative thinkers to come up with solutions. “For too long, our national dialogue about transportation has been focused on recreating the past. Instead, we need to focus on the trends that are shaping our future,” he says.

How will we build a transportation system to accommodate a growing population and changing travel patterns?

How will we move things? By 2045, freight volume will increase 45 percent.

How will we build a transportation system that doesn’t just let a growing population travel – but lets them travel SAFER than ever?

How do we make our infrastructure more resilient for a time when weather events like Hurricane Sandy will occur with increasing frequency?

How can we invest the trillions of dollars our transportation needs in the smartest way possible?

These are the questions the US DOT wants us to tackle. So how can advances in robotics, research, and automation help us overcome the dramatic challenges the American transportation network is facing and change the future transportation?

Be a part of this important conversation and share your ideas at www.dot.gov/beyondtraffic.

More about Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices
Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices is structured in three parts. The first part discusses the major trends shaping our changing transportation system. The second part discusses the implications of these trends for each mode of transportation: highways, transit, pedestrian and bicycle, aviation, intercity and freight rail, maritime and pipeline. The third part presents a description of a possible future scenario based on the trends analyzed in the previous section.

When Disaster Strikes, the Federal Highway Administration Responds

Planning a summer road trip? If you are like most Americans, there is a high chance that you and your family will be using the Interstate System this summer. In fact, AAA Travel projected that 41 million Americans will travel by car just during the Independence Day holiday weekend!

Even though we often overlook the importance of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, it’s a critical piece of our country’s infrastructure.

All 47,182+ miles of our Interstate System is managed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).   The agency is responsible maintaining and ensuring that America’s roads, bridges and highways continue to be among the safest and most technologically sound in the world.  FHWA also works with state and local agencies to improve safety, mobility, and livability by conducting research and providing technical assistance to them.

So what happens to our intricate network of highways and bridges when the roads are damaged due to natural emergencies like hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and tornadoes?

To understand the pivotal role FHWA has after catastrophic events, watch “FHWA Works: How the Federal Highway Administration Helps When Disaster Strikes”. The video is part of their educational video series and demonstrates how the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program works to quickly and efficiently repair damaged roads and put communities back together after disaster strikes:

More About FHWA
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that supports State and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the Nation’s highway system (Federal Aid Highway Program) and various federally and tribal owned lands (Federal Lands Highway Program). Through financial and technical assistance to State and local governments, the Federal Highway Administration is responsible for ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be among the safest and most technologically sound in the world. To learn more, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov.

NACE International Helps to Lead the Way to More Corrosion Control Solutions and Resources

Photo Source: NACE International on Facebook

Transportation and infrastructure companies faces a number of serious challenges; corrosion being among the biggest.  Corrosion can cause dangerous and expensive damage to everything from vehicles, home appliances, and water and wastewater systems to pipelines, bridges, and public buildings.

Our mission is to better serve our industry by finding solutions to challenges like corrosion, and the valuable partnerships we have with organizations such as NACE International, allows us to do so.

NACE International is the leader in the corrosion engineering and science community. The organization has served the high-performance coatings industry by developing corrosion prevention and control standards for many decades.  The group was originally founded by corrosion engineers in the pipeline industry back in 1943.  Back then, it was known as  “The National Association of Corrosion Engineers”.  Today, they are recognized as the largest organization in the world committed to the study of corrosion.

The organization strives to enrich their members by providing helpful training resources and access to the latest information on products, services, tips, and techniques in their publications like Materials Performance (MP), CoatingsPro Magazine, CorrDefense, NACE Corrosion Press, InspectThis! and StayCurrent.

To learn more about NACE International and their commitment to corrosion control solutions, please visit them www.nace.org

Articles cited in this post: Corrosion – A Natural but Controllable Process By Gretchen A. Jacobson – Materials Performance Managing Editor