Friday, February 03, 2012

RSI: Truck amendment falters (so far)

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Markup by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Thursday of its version of surface transportation reauthorization legislation, H.R. 7, included a 33-to-22 vote to remove bigger truck language from the bill. The Committee also inserted language seeking a comprehensive study to assess the impacts of heavier and longer trucks on safety, cost to the highway infrastructure and freight diversion.

The amendment also struck down provisions that would have allowed expanded use of the triple trailer trucks, 97,000 lbs. singles and 88,000 pound auto-haulers, according to a statement Friday from the Railway Supply Institute.

RSI, along with representatives from RSI member companies and the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks, made visits to congressional representatives during the week to lobby against the bigger truck provisions. Companies that participated were; Greenbrier, GATX, Amsted Rail, National Steel Car, American Railcar Industries, Wabtec, GE Rail Services, GE Transportation, TTX Company, FreightCar America, EMD, the Okonite Co., and Invensys Rail.

“While this is a positive step, the fight is not over,” RSI cautions. “The committee will continue its mark up of the five-year transportation plan,” and “[s]hould the committee pass its bill out of committee, it will then move to the House floor for debate where it will likely be subject to more amendments.