Congressman Cohen Questions Experts about Increasing Passenger Rail Opportunities

March 10, 2021
Press Release
Also discusses Lamar Avenue access to Memphis intramodal facility

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee, today questioned expert witnesses at a hearing on “Full Steam Ahead for Rail: Why Rail is More Relevant than Ever for Economic and Environmental Progress.”


In his exchange with witnesses, Congressman Cohen spoke of the importance of increasing passenger rail opportunities, such as from Memphis to Nashville, and establishing more regionalized commissions, such as the successful Southern Rail Commission serving Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. One witness, the Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Virginia, confirmed that such commissions would facilitate more passenger rail opportunities for states.

Congressman Cohen is working on introducing legislation, the Interstate Rail Commissions Act, that would establish interstate commissions to oversee regional intercity passenger train development and operation that will enable completion of complex projects that take longer than a single gubernatorial or presidential administration.

Congressman Cohen also asked about the need to improve access via Lamar Avenue to an intramodal facility in Memphis.

See Congressman Cohen’s exchange with the witnesses here.

Today’s witnesses were:

  • Shannon Valentine, Secretary of Transportation, Commonwealth of Virginia;
  • Caren Kraska, Chairman and President, Arkansas and Missouri Railroad;
  • Greg Regan, President, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO;
  • Tom Williams, Group Vice President, Consumer Products, BNSF Railway.