July 28, 2010 - LM Editorial
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously voted yesterday to support a resolution honoring America’s freight railroad industry and its employees.
“Freight rail has played a critical role in the economic development of the United States and has helped to build cities and strengthen infrastructure throughout this great Nation,” states the resolution. “Freight rail continues to play a vital role in the United States’ growth, job creation, and economic recovery.”
The resolution recognizing and honoring the freight railroad industry and its employees, H. Res. 1366, was sponsored by Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) and supported by 28 bipartisan cosponsors. H. Res. 1366 passed the House by a vote of 411-0.
Although it may appear to be just a token gesture, LM agrees with AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger, who greeted the news with this statement:
“Whether it’s by supporting millions of American jobs, keeping the things we buy and use more affordable, or easing traffic congestion and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, freight rail provides tremendous benefits to America.”
Freight railroads generate nearly $265 billion in total annual economic activity, and directly or indirectly support more than 1.2 million U.S. jobs. Since 1980, railroad productivity has increased 144 percent, rail rates are down 49 percent, rail accident rates are down 75 percent, railroad fuel efficiency is up 104 percent, and railroads have reinvested some $460 billion back into their systems.
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