Thursday, August 24, 2017

Rep. Walz tours Miller Ingenuity, discusses rail safety

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Left to right, Sean Winkler, REMSA, Steve Blue, Miller Ingenuity and Rep. Tim Walz. Left to right, Sean Winkler, REMSA, Steve Blue, Miller Ingenuity and Rep. Tim Walz. REMSA

Miller Ingenuity, Operation Lifesaver, Inc., and local railroads hosted U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN-1) for a roadway worker safety demonstration, as well as a discussion on rail safety programs on Aug. 22.

Steve Blue, Miller Ingenuity President and CEO led a tour of the facility where Rep. Walz saw a demonstration of Miller's ZoneGuard, which is a worker protection safety system that uses a sophisticated communication network to warn railway workers of approaching track vehicles in an active work zone.

"Congressman Walz has long been a champion for economic development and sound public policy and we are pleased to host him today," said Blue. "Miller Ingenuity is committed to providing freight railroads and transit systems with the latest technology needed to keep their workforces safe. We greatly appreciate the Congressman's and Mayor Peterson's commitment to creating a safe and thriving railroad network, which allows suppliers to continue to invest in their communities."

Rep. Walz is in his sixth term and Railway Engineering-Maintenance and Suppliers Association, which coordinated the event, notes that he has made infrastructure investment a priority in Congress.

"I greatly appreciate the opportunity to tour Miller Ingenuity and learn more about their Winona-made safety products and systems," said Rep. Walz. "I look forward working together to create jobs, spur economic development across the state and ensure our communities are safely and efficiently served by freight and passenger rail service alike."

The group highlighted Rep. Walz's vote for the 2015 FAST Act, which authorized increased funding for the Section 130 program designed to eliminate hazards at railway-highway crossings and enhance safety for all users. Additionally, advocates pushed for full funding of the TIGER and the Federal Transit Administration's Capital Investment Grants Program for Fiscal Year 2018.

The group was also joined by Minnesota Operation Lifesaver, Inc., a statewide nonprofit, affiliated with Operation Lifesaver, Inc., whose mission is to raise awareness and provide free education to drivers and pedestrians alike about how to make safer decisions around tracks and trains in an effort to bring the number of preventable tragedies closer to zero.