March 2020 NRC Bulletin
March 26, 2020
NRC Updates and Announcements
NRC Legislative Update: Historic Stimulus Package Agreed to in DC

The NRC knows its members may have questions regarding the legislation being passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as it relates to rail contractors and suppliers. Below is a summary to date,and if any NRC members have additional questions or suggestions please reach out directly to the NRC team in DC.

There have been several bills passed already and several are under consideration:
  • Bill 1 (passed March 6th): $8.3 billion bill focused on COVID-19 vaccine research and development.
  • Bill 2 (passed March 18th): $104 billion bill focused on paid sick leave and unemployment benefits for workers and families. Several provisions of note to small businesses. See CRS summary here and a helpful in-depth summary here.
  • Bill 3 (passed Senate March 25th, expected to pass House and signed into law March 27th): $2 trillion stimulus package, largest stimulus bill ever passed, includes significant transportation and infrastructure funding. See bill text here and rail-related provisions summary below.
  • Bill 4 (likely in next few weeks or months): additional stimulus measures potentially including supplementary transportation-focused measures and funds.

The so-called third COVID-19 stimulus bill includes a number of rail-related funding measures of interest to NRC members including:
  • U.S. DOT Operations $31.3 million in budgetary resources to support activities by the Office of the Secretary, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, and Maritime Administration to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Funding would support increased needs for telework and information technology, inspection equipment, and preparing and equipping the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Ready Reserve Fleet, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and State Maritime Academies.
  • Amtrak – $1.018 billion to support Amtrak’s ability to operate passenger rail service on Northeast Corridor, state-supported, and long-distance routes, and to protect Amtrak workers. This includes $239 million to assist States in making FAST Act required payments to Amtrak for state-supported routes.
  • Northeast Corridor Grants
  • $492 million, grantee is Amtrak, awarded via grant agreement
  • National Network
  • $526 million, grantee is Amtrak, awarded via grant agreement
  • $239 million to cover the cost of State-supported routes
  • Transit – $25 billion for grants to transit agencies nationwide for operating expenses of those agencies to ensure continued operation of transit services. Also eliminates any requirement that transit agencies use their own funds to receive federal assistance and maintains key worker protections.
  • Transit Infrastructure Grants
  • $25 billion, grantees are transit agencies, awarded via formula, 100% Federal share. Formula is based on the FY 2020 allocations for
  • Urbanized Area Formula Grants (5307)
  • Nonurbanized Area Formula Grants (5311)
  • State of Good Repair (5337)
  • High Density and Growing States (5340)
CISA deems rail operations, construction and maintenance essentail during COVID-19 pandemic

On March 19, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a memo on the definition of essential infrastructure during the COVID-19 response. The full memo (including a thorough breakdown of critical roles pertinent to NRC members) from can be found  here.

The memo identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among several others.

The NRC is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak spanning the globe and will relay pertinent information as it becomes available. Our primary objective is to prioritize safety in all that we do. We strongly urge all NRC members and their families to take appropriate actions to protect their employees, their families and the public community. The NRC supports the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) safety recommendations,  found here . For more information on how employers should respond to the outbreak, please  click here .
NRC Annual Auction postponed

On March 20, The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) sent a notice out to members and industry friends to let them know that due to concerns regarding COVID-19 the Annual Equipment Auction had been postponed. The Auction was originally scheduled for May 14th.

The time and date are still to be determined; and will be announced once more information regarding the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic is available. If you have any questions regarding the Auction, please reach out to NRC staff at
Railroad Day on the Hill recap

Representatives from over 63 NRC member companies traveled to D.C., March 4, 2020, to share their stories about the benefits of a strong railroad industry with Members of Congress and their staffs as part of the industry’s Railroad Day on the Hill.

They were included among 450 railroad industry employees representing all aspects of freight railroading – Class Is, short lines, labor unions,shippers, manufacturers as well as contractors and suppliers. All in all, the group visited over 330 House and Senate Offices to advocate for our industry. To read more, please click here.
USDOT: CRISI Grants announced

On March 12, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the recipients of $248.5 million in grant funds under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program. The winning projects encompass a variety of state and local railroad infrastructure projects. Chao believe that the "federal investment will upgrade rail infrastructure and enhance safety on the tracks and at railroad crossings in rural and urban communities across America."

Rural projects, which have a minimum 25 percent funding requirement under the CRISI Program received almost 50 percent of the overall funds. FRA Administrator Ron Batory said, "These grants support the economic vitality of our nation's rural and urban communities all around the country." To view a full list of all 32 winning projects, please click here .
Become an NRC Member Today!

The NRC strives to expand rail construction and maintenance business opportunities, protect rail contractors from intrusive government regulation, and improve railroad construction safety and operations. In addition, NRC members find value in the networking provided by the NRC, including the annual conference, which annually features over 1200+ attendees from the industry

If you would like to join, please click here to fill out a membership form.To l earn more, please visit the NRC website at . Look for testimonials from our members about the benefits they gain from membership. If you have any questions at all, or would like to confirm your company is current on 2020 dues, please contact NRC Staff at
Camp Chase Railway Bid Solicitation

Camp Chase Railway (CAMY) is soliciting bids from Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) pre-qualified contractors to replace approximately 3,000 ties and conduct related surfacing work over three miles of track, including one siding. This project is partially funded from federal sources, so additional requirements will apply. Ties and ballast will be supplied by CAMY, with the ties in bundles.

For more information, please call 765-825-0316 to request a bid package. Bids are due no later than 5:00pm Eastern on April 17, 2020 at 916 Vine Street, Connersville, IN 47331. Bids may also be submitted electronically, with contact information being provided on request.
Industry News and Updates
Metropolitan Atlanta's population has been exploding of late and forecasts indicate millions more people are coming. The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's (MARTA) rail network and the city's transity ecosystem are playing catch-up. To accommodate the influx of more riders, MARTA plans to improve its 48-mile heavy-rail system, integrate and expand Atlanta Streetcar, and weave rail into the city's transit ecosystem over the next several years. One of the primary priorities for MARTA is to allocate funding to the Atlanta BeltLine project, which calls for operating light-rail lines along 22 miles of abandoned right-of-way that loops around Atlanta's inner core.

On March 16 a notice was posted in the Federal Register that modifies the pilot Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing ("RRIF") Express Program ("RRIF Express") aimed at increasing access to the RRIF program for short line and regional railroads. The official notice can be viewed here . The notice is intended to let interested parties submit Letters of Interest from prospective RRIF borrowers for the RRIF Express Program from March 16, 2020 to June 15, 2020.

As part of MARTA's ongoing State of Good Repair work and system-wide upgrades, $133.5 million is being invested to restore heavy-rail lines. The work began March 8 on MARTA's Blue/Green lines. The renovation project is the fourth phase of rail restoration efforts in MARTA's 40-year operational history and is slated to continue over the next 7 years.

The Texas North Western Railway Company (TXNW) of Sunray, Texas, received a CRISI grant of up to $4.1 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to reconfigure and improve its interchange facility in Sunray, Texas. The funding is a federal grant from the DOT’s FRA CRISI Grant program, which will match the grant with more than $4.1 million in private funding. TXNW is a subsidiary of TNW Corporation of Dallas. TNW Corporation also operates three short line railroads with three transload facilities in Texas.
The NRC is a trade association representing businesses from across the nation in the rail construction and maintenance field. The NRC’s member companies 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.
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