The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) is severing ties with Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell LLC (CCH), the Washington, D.C. lobbying firm that has been managing NRC’s operations for the past 15 years.
NRC Board Chairman Mike Choat notified NRC members of the change by email on April 10. Railway Track & Structures obtained a copy of the letter after close of business on April 12.
While its relationship with CCH will officially be terminated as of June 10 (approximately), some key CCH employees will stay on board as NRC employees. Among those remaining is Matt Bell, who took the NRC helm in February.
“Matt and his team will continue to serve the NRC,” Choat told Railway Track & Structures in a phone call Friday night, April 12. The decision to end the relationship with CCH was made “unanimously,” by the board, Choat said. He declined to disclose the reasons behind the decision.
Bell and others at the NRC were not immediately available for comment.
CCH is a powerhouse in rail transportation lobbying. It counts among its clients Norfolk Southern and CN. Notably, the former President of the NRC, Chuck Baker, became President and CEO of another CCH client in February: the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA.)
The entire email from Choat to NRC members is below (personal contact information redacted for privacy):