AAR chief looks back on 2015, outlines goals for new year

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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently trumpeted its achievements for 2015 and began to outline its plans and priorities for this year.

Among 2015 achievements, the AAR said it called for safer tank cars that carry flammable liquids, stopped efforts to raise truck-weight limits on roads and updated environmental-permitting standards.

In addition, the AAR and its supporters lobbied to help secure Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline extensions from the federal government.

"It would have never happened had not freight rail's customers let Washington, D.C., know the devastating impacts a rail shutdown would have on American businesses and jobs," AAR President and CEO Edward Hamberger said.

The new priorities include maintaining balanced economic regulation of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), furthering legislation or regulations that are focused on security and safety, and extending the short-line tax credit to better prepare for tax reforms.

These priorities are especially important considering that freight-rail companies in the U.S. have the Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline later this month to present their plans to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on how they'll implement PTC, which aims to help the industry improve its safety measures and update its technology.

"The past year brought much excitement and success for the freight-rail industry, both from a service perspective and in terms of regulatory and legislative activity," Hamberger said. "We take very seriously our mission to deliver our customers' goods efficiently, reliably and safely, and look forward to our continued partnerships."

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Association of American Railroads

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