2021’s Railroad Day Successfully Conveyed Industry Message
Conducted via Zoom Meetings on April 13 and 14, 2021, Railroad Day was a resounding success, with more than 260 congressional offices meeting with 475 participants. The virtual format enabled more constituents to participate than ever before, with the elimination of the travel component of an in-person Railroad Day. House and Senate offices were replaced with Zoom rooms (and Zoom backgrounds
). Group photos were staged via screenshot (here
, and here
) rather than in narrow offices or hallways.
“Holding the days via Zoom this year allowed us to continue with this beloved annual tradition, and it gave more than 260 Congressional offices the opportunity to interact with 475 constituent railroaders that are directly impacted by federal legislation and regulation made in Washington. The nation's freight rail industry – short lines, Class Is, labor, contractors, and suppliers all together – is positioned to help America meet many crucial objectives - safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly transportation that helps grow the economy, rebuild the middle class, and allows American businesses to compete and win on the global stage. We connect America's small towns and rural areas to the nation's largest cities and ports, and are looking forward to continuing to work with Congress on policies that allow us do that safely and efficiently,” said Chuck Baker, President, ASLRRA.
The meetings offered congressional representatives and staff the opportunity to ask participants about the contributions of railroads to the overall strength and resilience of the U.S. supply chain, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, participants held substantive conversations covering three issues - the impact of heavier and longer trucks on the nation’s highways, the commitment to a balanced regulatory environment to support the continued success of the railroad industry, and encouraging congressional action to ensure that the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is positioned to serve the industry including (1) a small increase in funding for personnel in the RRB’s FY 22 budget request, (2) eliminating permanently the effects of sequester, and (3) ensuring that any future federal unemployment benefits provided by Congress apply equally to the railroad workforce.
The Twitter #Railday2021 was used nearly 800 times
, with a reach of about 1.5 million impressions
. Many congressional offices engaged with our posts, or created their own.
Thank you to all who participated, and to our Sponsors for providing the support necessary to conduct Railroad Day.