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Published:January 5th, 2007 07:24 EST
Growing Economy Making it Easier for Roanoke Railroad Industry

Growing Economy Making it Easier for Roanoke Railroad Industry

By SOP newswire

Growing Economy Making it Easier for Roanoke Railroad Industry to Add Jobs, Federal Railroad Administrator Says on Day Government Announced More Than 167,000 Jobs Were Created in December

Roanoke, VA – On the day the government announced that over 167,000 new jobs were created in the U.S. in December, the nation’s top railroad official was in Roanoke to see how companies like Norfolk Southern and FreightCar America are adding jobs as a result of growing demand for rail services caused by the expanding economy.

Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Boardman today toured Norfolk Southern’s locomotive repair facility in Roanoke, where he announced plans by the company to add 100 new jobs to its existing local workforce of nearly 2000 people over the coming months in order to keep up with growing demand. The center repairs and maintains an average of 45 locomotives every 24 hours, he said. Boardman also noted that FreightCar America, another Roanoke rail company, more than doubled its original workforce and will open a new production line in February to fill an increase in orders.

“Today, unprecedented economic activity is driving unprecedented demand for transportation services, which make our economy more powerful, productive and prosperous” said Administrator Boardman.

Boardman said that what is happening at both Norfolk Southern and FreightCar America is happening around the country, noting that “everywhere we look this economy is creating jobs by the thousands.” Boardman said the December job growth marked the 40th straight month that the economy has added jobs, noting that since August 2003, the economy has added more than 7.2 million jobs. He added that unemployment remains low at 4.5 percent, well below the average rate of 5.1 percent for 2005.

He explained that the Bush Administration is investing record levels of money in transportation and leveraging public funds by encouraging partnerships with the private sector. He went on to announce a $23.2 million grant for the Heartland Corridor Project that will increase rail capacity to handle freight between ports in Virginia and the Midwest.

Boardman added that these funds “represent the first down-payment on a $95 million dollar federal commitment to keep freight moving efficiently between the Eastern seaboard and the nation’s heartland and will help lay the tracks for an even stronger future for this region and for our nation.”

Source: DOT 02-07
Friday, January 5, 2007
Contact: Sarah Echols
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