Sens. Blunt and Manchin introduce bill to promote rail infrastructure

U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Track, Railroad and Infrastructure Network (TRAIN) Act Wednesday, which will reform the environmental permitting process for rail projects to create a more efficient way to approve rail infrastructure.

“Freight rail traffic is growing, which means we need more infrastructure to move goods and services and ensure that rail remains a major component in our economic future,” Blunt said. “This bipartisan bill will help ensure that burdensome federal regulations do not hamper investment and innovation in our nation’s freight and passenger rail industry.”

The bill would promote additional investment in rail systems, yet without compromising environmental quality.

In 2012, Congress enacted permitting reform legislation as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The TRAIN act would expand those reforms to include railroad infrastructure.

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, cosponsored the legislation, which was endorsed by the Missouri Railroad Association.

“This legislation adds some common sense to a regulatory framework that is too often inflexible, even when there are pressing needs to improve the network bringing safe and on-time delivery of freight to consumers and businesses,” Thune said. “I appreciate Sen. Blunt’s leadership on this initiative and look forward to bringing this bill before the Commerce Committee for consideration.”