Matzie marks ‘National Train Day’ on May 13, salutes rail freight industry

HARRISBURG, April 18 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, today saluted trains, the rail freight industry and its workers with two measures adopted unanimously by the state House of Representatives.

“National Train Day on May 13th commemorates these wonderful machines that have inspired so much of history and have done amazing things for economies and industry all over the world, as well as the role they play in our lives,” said Matzie about his H.R. 225.

Matzie said National Train Day annually celebrates the day the nation’s first transcontinental railway was completed, May 10, 1869, in Promontory, Utah.

“The development of rail has revolutionized the commonwealth, transforming Pennsylvania into an industrial powerhouse,” Matzie said. “Now, more than ever, rail is an essential part of our transportation infrastructure, helping to reduce congestion on the roads and in the skies, connecting cities and rural communities, and providing a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation that contributes to our energy security.”

Matzie’s H.R. 226 recognizes the freight rail industry and its employees.

“Pennsylvania has more operating railroads than any other state in the nation and has over 5,000 miles of track, and railroads in the state collectively employ more than 13,000 Pennsylvanians,” Matzie said. “Railroad jobs are among the best family-sustaining jobs available today with average compensation exceeding $90,000.”

Matzie said freight rail remains essential to economic growth and innovation by creating an estimated 170,000 good-paying jobs nationwide.

“Freight railroads spur $274 billion in economic activity nationwide, support 1.5 million jobs and improve life in towns across the nation,” Matzie said. “Freight rail moves approximately 40 tons of freight for every person in the United States and has evolved to become one of the most fuel efficient means of transporting goods, able to move one ton of freight about 484 miles on one gallon of diesel fuel.”

As part of Tuesday’s “Rail Day on the Hill,” Matzie introduced three guests in the House chamber: Jon Broder, vice president/corporate development and chief legal officer, Conrail; Rudy Husband, vice president/government relations, Norfolk Southern; and John Burch, executive director, Keystone State Railroad Association.