March 2021 NRC Bulletin
April 1, 2021
NRC Updates and Announcements
Virtual NRC Annual Equipment Auction is May 13

The NRC is pleased to announce that we will be hosting our annual construction and maintenance equipment auction virtually on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

This year’s virtual auction will be administered by experienced auctioneers Blackmon Auctions. Based on feedback from potential sellers, we anticipate pent-up demand from last year with many contractors looking to get under-utilized equipment off their books. With the virtual approach this year, sellers can avoid the time and expense of shipping items to the auction site. The virtual auction also means all the information is at your fingertips with no additional travel or expense required. 

We highly encourage all contractors, suppliers, and railroads to sell and/or donate their equipment. If you have a large item you are thinking about moving or having difficulty getting off your lot, then please contact NRC staff at and Thomas Blackmon Jr. of Blackmon Auctions at

Sponsored by:
Auction Details:

Location: Virtual

Date/Time: Thursday, May 13th – begins at 9:00am ET.
A link to the auction will be made available in the coming weeks.

Equipment and Bidder Registration: To register equipment for sale or donation, or to register as a bidder, please email NRC staff at and Thomas Blackmon Jr. of Blackmon Auctions at If you are interested in participating in the 2021 Virtual NRC Auction, please click here to fill out the 2021 NRC Auction Form.

Equipment Inspection: Contact Thomas Blackmon at for equipment inquiries.

Shipment & Delivery of Equipment: The 2021 auction is virtual, to schedule shipment or delivery of equipment following the auction, please contact Thomas Blackmon Jr. of Blackmon Auctions at
Register for Railroad Day on Capitol Hill 2021!

There is still time to register for Railroad Day! Join us on April 13 and 14 via Zoom and advocate for the issues that matter most to our industry. Railroad Day has proven to be the single most effective way to get our message to Congress. The size of the event, the geographical diversity of the participants, and the unified railroad industry message focuses Congress on our issues. Your participation makes the difference!

Hosting Railroad Day in a virtual format is proving to be very beneficial since meetings will be spread over two days, and you are able to participate without committing to 10 hours of meetings. If you plan to register for Railroad Day, please click the green register icon below. If you are attending Hill visits, it is very important that you register for one of the Railroad Day Zoom sessions listed here. Railroad Day 2021 will have some key differences in logistics from prior years. There will be valuable information provided during the session that will be critical for you to know before you log in. Registrants will receive an invitation to join either meeting on April 2.
CP to acquire KCS

On March 21, Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) announced it will acquire Kansas City Southern (KCS) in a cash and stock transaction worth $29 billion. The combined entity will be named Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC). The transaction, which has the unanimous support of both boards of directors, values KCS at $275 per share, representing a 23% premium based on the CP and KCS closing prices on March 19, 2021. (CP President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel pictured right)

“The transaction will combine the two railroads to create the first rail network connecting the U.S., Mexico, and Canada...Joining seamlessly in Kansas City, Mo., in America’s heartland, CP and KCS together will connect customers via single-network transportation offerings between points on CP’s system throughout Canada, the U.S. Midwest, and the U.S. Northeast and points on KCS’ system throughout Mexico and the South Central U.S" said a joint statement from CP and KCS.

The two companies informally notified the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) about the deal on March 20. The STB will need to approve the transaction. If approved, the merger will be the first Class I transaction of its type since the late 1990s, when Norfolk Southern and CSX acquired 58% and 42%, respectively, of Conrail. The STB will have 16 months to issue a decision once the application is formally filed. Within 30 days, STB accepts the application and issues Notice of the same. Following that, an evidentiary hearing must be concluded within 1 year of the Notice of acceptance of the application. The STB will then have 90 days from the close of the evidentiary record to issue a final decision. Upon shareholder approval of the transaction, and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, CP will acquire KCS shares and place them into the voting trust. This step is currently expected to be completed in the second half of 2021.
NRC Webinar: Register for Sustainability Panel

Sponsored by:
Earth Day is April 22, so to honor that the NRC is hosting a webinar that week featuring key sustainability personnel from the Class I railroad segment of the railway industry. An official time and date will be announced in the coming weeks. This webinar will help rail contractors identify upcoming trends in the sustainability and will highlight 'ESG' efforts being made in the industry. This webinar is free and for NRC members only.

  • Meaghan E. Atkinson, Manager Environmental Programs, CSX Transportation, Inc.
  • Kayden Howard, VP Health, Safety & Environmental, KCS
  • David Huck, Director, Sustainability, CP
  • David Ferryman, Senior Vice President, Pueblo Business Unit, EVRAZ North America

If you would like to register, please click here. Sponsorships are available for this webinar, so please contact NRC staff for more information. If you have any questions at this time, please reach out to NRC staff by email at or by phone at 202-975-0365. 
NRC Short Line CEO Webinar Recap
On March 18 the NRC hosted a Short Line CEO webinar panel where they discussed their outlook for the industry heading into 2021. The webinar featured insights from key industry personnel as they head into 2021 and highlighted ways that the contractor community can continue support and play a part in the rail network.

Our panelists (pictured left) included Doc Claussen, Vice Chairman, Gulf & Ohio Railways, John Fenton, CEO, Patriot Rail & Ports, Dan Smith, CEO, Watco Companies, and Lon Van Gemert, CEO, Progressive Rail. NRC President Ashley Wieland moderated the panel.

We would like to thank our sponsors Danella, Herzog, Holland, and RailPros for making this webinar possible. If you have any questions about this webinar, or any of the other upcoming webinars, please reach out to NRC staff by email at or by phone at 202-975-0365. 
NRC New Member Spotlight

With NRC membership renewals for 2021 underway, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of our new members that have joined in 2021! Each monthly bulletin, NRC staff will promote new and long-time members as a thank you for their continued support.

This month, we would like to highlight a few of our new members: Flexovit USA, Inc., Kennedy Railroad Services, and Olsson.
Not an NRC member and want to access to this and many other membership benefitsJoin as an NRC member today!. If you have any questions about joining the NRC,or your organization's current membership status, please simply reply to this email.
House T&I Committee Announce New Process for Members of Congress to Submit Project Priorities

On March 3, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure announced that the Committee will provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to submit requests for highway and transit project designations. A formal process has been recently announced and members have until April 16 to submit their project priorities to the committee. The announcement comes as the Committee prepares to advance surface transportation authorization legislation this Spring.

The new submission process allows more direct Member engagement on critical infrastructure projects that are consistent with State and local infrastructure plans. "The discretion to fun projects should not be reserved for State or Federal bureaucrats. Elected representatives know the infrastructure needs of their district and should be allowed to identify projects and advocate on behalf of their constituents in legislation," said Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
NRC Endorses LOCAL Infrastructure, AIB Infrastructure Acts

On February 25, U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the Lifting Our Communities through Advance Liquidity for Infrastructure (LOCAL Infrastructure) Act of 2021. The legislation would amend the federal tax code to restore state and local governments' ability to use advance refunding to manage bond debt and reduce borrowing costs for public projects. Additionally, Wicker and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the American Infrastructure Bonds Act (AIB) of 2021 to provide additional tax relief for bonds to expand investor interest in the market. These Acts could provide a boost to local communities across the nation as the U.S. deals with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NRC is pleased to see bipartisan support in the Senate as both the House and Senate work towards a surface transportation reauthorization and encourage the continued support of that effort. Restoring advance refunding would help state and local governments manage their existing debts and help free up additional capital for much-needed local projects related to infrastructure, a time when interest rates are at historic lows, Congress should allow our local governments to seize this opportunity and pass along savings to their communities," said Wicker. Click here to read a one-page outline of the LOCAL Infrastructure Act. Click here to read an outline of the AIB Infrastructure Act.
NRC Grassroots Events Survey

The NRC is dedicated to serving the needs of NRC Members and the railroad contractor and supplier community, and that includes making sure that our members have their voices heard on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress frequently mention in-person visits and site visits as one of the most effective ways to convey the importance of the industry.

As 2021 continues and the economy and nation begin to return to normal, we want to take the opportunity to gauge NRC member companies on their desire to host a Member of Congress or staff for in-person member facility visits. We are very curious to hear if there is interest in these visits from NRC members. If you are, please click here to fill out our short grassroots survey.

If you have any questions, or would like to talk with NRC staff about our grassroots program further, please email
Wisconsin & Southern Railroad RFP

The Wisconsin & Southern Railroad LLC. (WSOR) issues a request for Sealed Bids for furnishing all tools, equipment, materials, labor, supervision, transportation, and permits required for the Reedsburg & Cottage Grove Subdivisions 2021 Rehabilitation Project which will take place in the Madison, WI area. To receive the RFP, please email

A pre-bid meeting, which is mandatory for all prime contractors to attend, shall be held at the WSOR Madison Terminal, 1890 E Johnson Street Madison, WI on Tuesday, April 13th at 8:00 A.M., local time. Maps are included within the project bid package. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend this meeting. Deadline for questions related to this project is Friday, April 16th at 5:00 P.M.
Industry News and Updates
On March 23, NRC Member company Wabtec Corp. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire fellow NRC member company Nordco Inc. from Greenbrier Equity Group LP for $400 million in cash. Based in Wisconsin, Nordco is a supplier of rebuilt and used maintenance-of-way equipment with a product and service portfolio that includes mobile rail-car movers and ultrasonic rail-flaw detection technologies. The acquisition has received necessary regulatory approvals and is subject to customary closing conditions, Wabtec officials said in a press release.

As the Biden Administration begins to address climate change, transit authorities throughout the country will benefit from funding. Major initiatives at the local levels of government will provide hundreds of contracting opportunities as public officials attempt to make public transportation more convenient, economical, and attractive. Our friends at Mass Transit magazine layout a few examples of what to expect over the next few years in the March 3rd article titled 'Transit authorities to launch major new initiatives in coming years.'

On March 5, L.B. Foster Co. announced that Williams Treacy had been promoted to senior vice president of infrastructure solutions. As SVP of infrastructure solutions, Treacy will continue to lead the company's infrastructure businesses with a focus on creating scale around the most attractive markets and products. They also announced that Gregory Lippard has been promoted to senior vice president of rail technologies and services. As SVP of rail technologies and services, Lippard will continue to lead the company's rail businesses with responsibility for sales, strategy, and business development.

On March 3, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced two Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) grants totaling $1.7 million to support needed rail and road improvements for the new Milwaukee manufacturing facility and headquarters of Komatsu Mining Corp. One grant supports the construction of a railroad spur to provide rail access to Komatsu's $300 million manufacturing and headquarters. The $2.4 million spur, which will connect the facility to Union Pacific Railroad and Canadian Pacific lines, will be funded in part by a $1 million TEA grant. A separate $731,000 grant will support the $1.46 million reconstruction of a road section to allow large trucks to access the site safely.

On February 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order imposing a mask mandate on public transportation systems, including rail, to help mitigate the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced. The CDC order implements President Joe Biden's executive order to promote COVID-19 safety during domestic and international travel, FTA officials stated in a press release. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a security directive that supports enforcement of the CDC's mask mandate. Freight railroads and their facilities are not covered by the TSA security directives, rather it appears DOT/FRA will be responsible for the scope of the CDC mask order as applied to freight railroads.

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The NRC is a trade association representing businesses from across the nation in the rail construction and maintenance field. NRC members range in size from small family businesses to the largest companies in the industry. NRC members perform work for transit, commuter, intercity passenger, industrial, and freight rail customers, with services including track construction and maintenance, grade crossings, signal and communications installation, bridge construction and repair, rail yard work, and many more. The NRC strives to put an emphasis on rail safety and quality while proudly serving the rail industry