Yesterday, the Infrastructure Technology Institute held its Annual William O. Lipinski Symposium on Transportation Policy. Their theme? Moving the Goods: Chicago and the Nation's Freight. In my address to the symposium, I told them that DOT is fully engaged in revitalizing and modernizing the nation's rail systems.Rail offers us value--in safety, in fuel-efficiency, and in environmental benefits--and this nation cannot afford to overlook that value.
Rather, we need to embrace it and reconfigure rail transportation for the 21st century. This Administration will not leave the future of railroads in this country to chance.
That's why we recently released a preliminary national rail plan. But, that's also why we're reaching out to the rail industry, to state and local governments, and to other stakeholders.
We want to identify new opportunities, find creative ways to address our challenges, and encourage public and private entities to work together on effective rail strategies.
In the 1800s, this nation built a rail system that fit its needs at the time and fostered economic growth. Well, our needs may have changed, but this DOT is going to make sure that our passenger and freight rail systems are just as relevant to the future of our economy.