April 19, 2016
NCRR Hosts Sixth Progress In Motion Rail Forum
The North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) held its sixth Progress in Motion Rail Forum today, April 19 at the Raleigh Convention Center. The Forum gathered freight and passenger rail, economic development professionals, engineers, government officials, planners and policymakers to discuss the rail industry and the role of rail infrastructure in economic development and job creation.
“The Progress in Motion Rail Forum is an opportunity to for a diverse group of people to come together to discuss the future of rail in North Carolina and the unique role it plays in the recruitment and retention of business and industry in our state,” says North Carolina Railroad President, Scott Saylor. “NCRR’s foundation is rooted in economic development and that’s why the railroad was created 167 years ago. The Rail Forum gives our partners an opportunity to discuss how we can leverage our state’s rail infrastructure to ensure North Carolina continues to be competitive.”
The NCRR Rail Forum was moderated by Business North Carolina publisher, Ben Kinney and featured both morning and lunchtime key note speakers. Nationally recognized rail industry analyst Tony Hatch, President of ABH Consulting, offered an overview of the current state of the rail industry. Gray Swoope, President of Vision First Advisors, a leading economic development consulting firm, shared insight on how North Carolina’s economic development efforts stack up against other states.
The Forum also featured a panel discussion, Moving People in North Carolina, moderated by Joe Milazzo, the Executive Director of the Triangle’s Regional Transportation Alliance and featuring Paul Worley, Director of the North Carolina Department of Transportation Rail Division; Jeff Mann, General Manager of Go Triangle; and John Lewis, CEO of Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS). The panelists discussed passenger rail at a statewide level, as well as the future of rail transit in North Carolina and their respective communities.
NCRR Board of Directors Chairman, Franklin Rouse, Jr. welcomed more than 250 attendees to the event, and debuted a video highlighting the North Carolina Railroad Company’s mission and its importance to the state’s economy. Anna Lea Moore, Vice President of Economic Development with the North Carolina Railroad Company, shared a presentation on “NCRR Invests,” which will provide rail infrastructure investments to companies that are adding jobs by either locating or expanding their businesses in North Carolina. “Our goal is simple: drive job creation and economic growth through initiatives that aim to better position the state in the highly competitive economic development arena,” says Moore.