By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, October 27, 2016, US Representative Mike D. Rogers (R-Saks) joined Knox Kershaw, Inc., to tour their long held Montgomery facility and discuss pressing rail and manufacturing issues with representatives from local railroads and businesses. The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) coordinated the event.
Congressman Rogers said, “We must do all we can in Washington to ensure our small and medium sized businesses succeed. I look forward to working with strong Alabama companies like Knox Kershaw to continue to create manufacturing jobs here in Montgomery and promote American products abroad.”
The tour was led by J. Knox Kershaw, II, Chairman & CEO, Knox Kershaw. The tour highlighted Knox Kershaw’s Ballast Regulator machines, which are used in the maintenance of way industry. Their state of the art facility also produces tie cranes, track brooms, material handlers and other railway maintenance equipment.
Chairman Kershaw said, “We are honored to host Congressman Rogers and demonstrate our commitment to providing high quality products manufactured here in Alabama. Our business has been an integral part of our local community for over three generations and we were humbled to recently be recognized by Governor Bentley for a Trade Excellence Award. It is crucial that our policy makers in Washington support sound rail and trade policies to promote high-skilled and high-paying jobs here in Montgomery.”
Knox Kershaw was founded in 1924 as a family owned railroad contracting company. Now in its tenth decade, Knox Kershaw has grown into a leading manufacturer of maintenance-of-way equipment with a diverse product line of machines and spare parts for domestic and international markets. The Montgomery based company is also a pillar of the local community and provides jobs to over 100 citizens of Alabama.
Congressman Rogers focused his remarks on encouraging economic development in Alabama, ensuring awareness and safety at rail-highway grade crossings, and the need for a strong, efficient, and safe freight rail system to connect Alabama’s agricultural and energy producers to the global market.
The rail stakeholder group discussed the bipartisan and bicameral Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act, which would make the Short Line Tax Credit permanent. This effort will allow the nation’s small, local freight railroads to increase their reinvestments to upgrade and expand the “first and last mile” of their transportation infrastructure. The bill has garnered over 220 bi-partisan cosponsors in the House, including Congressman Rogers.
The group also expressed their concerns about proposed new regulations.
Congressman Rogers is seeking an eighth term in the US House of Representatives. On the November 8 General Election ballot he is being challenged for the second time by Jesse Smith (D).