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Rep. McKinley tours Warwood Tool facility, discusses rail issues

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, Editor, Railway Track & Structures; and Engineering Editor, Railway Age
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On August 5, Rep. David B. McKinley (R-WV-1) joined representatives from Warwood Tool Company and the Appalachian & Ohio Railroad (A&O) to tour Warwood's steel tool manufacturing facility and discuss public policy priorities for the business and rail communities in West Virginia.

The Railway Engineering-Maintenance and Suppliers Association (REMSA) coordinated the event.

Rep. McKinley’s tour was led by Warwood Tool Company’s executive team: Logan Hartle, president, Phillip Carl, vice president, and Michael Carl, chief executive officer. Also in attendance were Matt Reese, general manager, A&O and Sean Winkler, grassroots coordinator, REMSA.

“We are honored to be joined by Rep. McKinley, The A&O Railroad and REMSA. We are always appreciative of an opportunity to talk with our leaders and peers about the kind of quality manufacturing that takes place here at Warwood Tool and how we can help our maintenance-of-way partners by providing quality, American-made tools. We are especially grateful to have Rep. McKinley join us, as we are deeply vested in the state of West Virginia and equally relish opportunities to talk about growing the manufacturing and railroad industries in the state of West Virginia,” said Carl.

For the tour, the group observed the forging of Claw Bars, track maintenance tools used to remove railroad spikes and discussed the importance of using American-sourced steel. Warwood’s local history and commitment to using American-sourced materials piqued Rep. McKinley’s interest in learning more about West Virginia’s contribution to the maintenance-of-way and rail industries.

“Warwood Tool Company has had a rich history in the Wheeling area for 160 years. We need to ensure they have a bright future, as well. We need to make things in America and with affordable, reliable energy and a skilled workforce, we can continue to grow our manufacturing base. Companies like Warwood Tool depend on a trained workforce and regulatory certainty to succeed, not more red tape from Washington,” noted Rep. McKinley.

The group also discussed the private nature of America’s freight railroad network, which does not rely on federal support for the expansion or maintenance of its track and the importance of supporting shortline railroads, which help connect West Virginia’s far-flung coal mines to the main railroad lines. In West Virginia, eight freight railroads operate and maintain more than 2,220 miles of track and support more than 2,800 jobs.

REMSA is one of the host associations organizing Railway Interchange 2015. REMSA joins Railway Supply Institute and Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc., for a combined indoor/outdoor exhibit in Minneapolis, while the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association and the Coordinated Mechanical Associations will present technical programs at the conference. Warwood Tool will be exhibiting with RSSI at the show in Booth 1018.

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