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May 20, 2021
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17), a member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, was joined by Representative Mike Doyle (PA-18) to introduce the Freight Rail Innovation Act.  Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.  The bicameral legislation would establish a Freight Rail Innovation Institute, comprised of a university research partner and locomotive manufacturer, with the goal of developing zero-emission locomotives. 

“This legislation is a perfect example of Congress working together with industry and academic leaders to develop new and innovative transportation technologies,” said Lamb.  “This federal funding could be used locally in Western Pennsylvania to accelerate the development of hydrogen-powered locomotives, creating jobs in the energy industry and boosting our local economy.”

“This legislation will invest in alternative energy freight rail technology and lower emissions, incentivize more and longer lasting private investment in energy solutions, contribute to research and development in Pittsburgh and create jobs in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  I look forward to seeing its inclusion in future infrastructure legislation,” said Casey.

“Investing in innovative technologies like fuel cell locomotives and more efficient rail operations won’t just make our freight transportation sector the cleanest in the world, it will enable us to move more freight, grow our economy, and create thousands of new good-paying jobs,” said Doyle.

The Freight Rail Innovation Act would carry out a research and development program to:

  • Develop technologies necessary for the design, development, manufacturing, and operation of zero-emission battery and hydrogen-powered freight locomotives;
  • Develop technologies that enhance freight rail safety, efficiency and utilization; and
  • Accelerate the deployment of zero-emission locomotives, including passenger locomotives, as well as support supply chains; advance freight and logistics systems; and related workforce development and education innovations.

The legislation also includes Buy America and Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements for institute grant recipients, and requires a 50% non-federal match.  

Visit Lamb’s website to learn more about the Freight Rail Innovation Act.