Congressman Pallone joins REMSA member Cembre and local railroad for tour, rail cutting demonstration
On April 21, 2017, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-6), joined representatives from Cembre, Inc., and a local railroad for a tour, public policy discussion, and a rail cutting demonstration at Cembre’s Edison facility. The Railway Engineering-Maintenance and Suppliers Association (REMSA), a non-profit trade group representing over 350 railway engineers, contractors, consultants, and suppliers across the country, coordinated the event. The $5 billion maintenance of way industry supports over 35,000 jobs nationwide. Thirteen REMSA members maintain operations in New Jersey.
Cembre, Inc. is a subsidiary of Cembre SpA a leading manufacturer of railroad products, electrical connectors and associated tooling that includes thermal printers. They have been in operation since 1999 at their Edison, NJ, facility. Cembre is known for the industry’s first automatic rail saw, which was featured in the rail cutting demonstration. They also are developing more battery operated products, such as rail drilling machines, which utilize environmentally-friendly Lithium battery technology. Cembre employs approximately 30 at their 20,000 sq. ft. facility.
Rep. Pallone and Drew
The tour was led by Chris Drew, Vice President of Sales, Cembre. Also in attendance were Jocelyn Gabrynowicz Hill, Director of Public Affairs & Assistant General Counsel, Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail); Roneil Jackson, Public Affairs & Legal Assistant, Conrail; and Sean Winkler, Director of Advocacy, REMSA.
“It was a privilege hosting Congressman Pallone and Conrail today,” said Drew. “Railroads, both big and small, invest tens of billions of dollars annually into their networks, supporting rail supply jobs across our country. Middlesex County is a major transportation corridor and these investments are crucial for both passenger and freight service. We look forward to continuing to provide high quality rail tools and products and local economic opportunities here in New Jersey.”
Automatic Rail Cutting Demonstration
Congressman Pallone is serving his 15th full term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Pallone serves as the Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which maintains broad jurisdiction over energy, healthcare and commerce issues that affect every-day New Jersyans. He has long championed railroad safety and increased passenger and freight rail services for his constituents.
The group discussed the private nature of America’s freight railroad network, which does not rely on federal support for the expansion or maintenance of its right-of-way unlike other modes of freight transportation. The group focused in on recent regulatory initiatives issued by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) on reciprocal switching and commodity regulation. These efforts risk creating major inefficiencies in the national freight network and artificially creating government-mandated price caps. The group was concerned that these efforts would lead to reduced capital investment in freight rail which is critical to supporting high-paying rail supply jobs in New Jersey and throughout the United States.
In New Jersey, 17 freight railroads operate nearly 1,000 track miles and employ over 1,000.