Monday, May 04, 2009

DeFazio to address "Selling to America's Railroads"

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Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, will be the featured luncheon speaker Thursday, May 7, during the one day symposium entitled Selling to America’s Railroads: Freight, Intercity and High Speed Rail Development–How Stimulus Funds Will Be Spent on Rail.

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The symposium, sponsored by the Railway Supply Institute, the OneRail Coalition, and Women in Government Relations, will run from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Phoenix Park Hotel Ballroom, 520 North Capitol Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001.

DeFazio will address the symposium armed with recent experience. Joined by fellow Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D), DeFazio last week celebrated Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's awarding $75 million in federal funds for Portland, Ore.'s streetcar system, which includes funds to purchase six streetcars from domestic manufacturer United Streetcar LLC, recently established by Clackamas, Ore.-based Oregon Iron Works.

Besides DeFazio, other government and industry authorities will analyze the availability of stimulus money for rail, including: Karen Rae, deputy administrator, Federal Railroad Administration; Stephen Flippin, director of Federal Affairs, CSX Corp.; Mike Rock, vice president of External Relations, Union Pacific; Darrell Wilson, Norfolk Southern assistant vice president, Government Relations; Frank Busalacchi, secretary of transportation for the state of Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation and also chair, States For Passenger Rail; and Donald Itzkoff, partner, Nossaman LLP, and also former FRA deputy administrator.

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Along with flexible spending money available for freight trail projects, some $9.3 billion has been committed toward intercity and high-speed passenger rail development. The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a strategic plan on how to use those funds to improve/deploy high speed rail, outlined by President Obama April 16. Discussion will focus on what this means for rail and rail suppliers.

The cost to RSI and WGR members is $150 per person and includes breakfast and lunch ($200 for non-members).

Contact RSI’s Nicole Brewin at (202) 347-4664, or email her at brewin@railwaysupply.org. Agenda information and registration forms are available at www.railwaysupply.org/convention/Selling2009.aspx.