Congressman Don Bacon joins REMSA member Omaha Track and rail stakeholders for facilities tour and rail policy discussion
On August 2, 2017, Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE-2) joined representatives from Omaha Track, Inc., and local railroads to tour Omaha Track’s new Omaha facilities, learn about their extensive railway products and services, and discuss public policy priorities for the business and rail communities in greater Omaha. The Railway Engineering-Maintenance and Suppliers Association (REMSA), a non-profit trade group representing over 340 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. Nine REMSA members maintain operations in Nebraska.
Omaha Track has been providing quality, reliable service to the railroad industry since 1983. Formerly known as The Tie Yard of Omaha, their humble business began with three employees selling railroad ties to landscapers in Omaha, Nebraska. Since, they have grown into a leading railroad material supply company and services contractor in North America, providing products and services to Class 1 and Short Line railroads, rail contractors and industries across North America. They employ approximately 170 in Omaha and 250 across their organization.
Omaha Track Corporate Headquarters
The tour was led by Omaha Track’s President and Owner Terry Peterson. During the visit, Rep. Bacon toured the new corporate office which includes the accounting, transportation, human resources, customer care, and marketing & sales departments. He also was able to visit the Omaha Track Equipment facility. Omaha Track Equipment custom builds, fabricates, and maintains all types of MOW equipment, and specializes in hi-rail trucks, cranes and other products related to the railroad industry. Finally, he was able to see the Omaha, NE (WECO) yard, which houses approximately 25% of Omaha Track’s steel inventory.
“We are honored to host Congressman Bacon and share our Omaha success story and continued commitment to the region with him,” said Peterson. “Railroads invest tens of billions of dollars annually into their networks, supporting rail supply jobs across our country. It is critical that our policy makers understand rail’s importance to Omaha’s continued success and growth.”
Petry, Rep. Bacon, and T. Peterson on Tour
Congressman Don Bacon was elected to serve Nebraska’s Second District in 2016 and is currently serving his first term. He serves on the House Armed Services, Agriculture, and Small Business Committees, where he is a leading voice for Nebraska’s farmers, small businesses, and servicemen and women. Congressman Bacon served the United States Air Force with distinction, reaching the rank of Brigadier General before his retirement.
“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to tour Omaha Track’s local operations and learn more about their small business success story,” said Rep. Bacon “I look forward to continuing to engage with those present today as we work together to create jobs, spur economic activity across the state, and ensure our communities are safely and efficiently served by freight and passenger rail service alike.”
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. Also discussed was the recent bipartisan and bicameral introduction of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act which is cosponsored by Rep. Bacon.
Also in attendance were Cathy Emig, CAO, Omaha Track; Bud Mushlitz, President, Rail Services & Facilities, Omaha Track; Jeff Peterson, COO, Omaha Track; Judy Petry, President & General Manager, Farmrail System, Inc. & American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association Chairwoman; Lisa Roberts, Senior Manager, Marketing & Sales, Omaha Track; Heather Sheppard, Marketing Representative, Farmrail System; Kevin Whited, CFO, Omaha Track and; Sean Winkler, Director of Advocacy, REMSA.
In Nebraska, nine freight railroads operate over 3,200 track miles and employ over 12,000. Our nine Nebraska based members and their employees rely on a healthy, sustainable and safe rail network for their livelihoods.
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