298 299 RAILWAY ENGINEERING-MAINTENANCE SUPPLIERS ASSOCIATION SERVING THE NATION’S RAIL NETWORK Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association R ailroading is nearly as old as the Unit- ed States itself. Perhaps no other in- dustry features as prominently in the founding and expansion of the country as the rail industry. In 1828, construction be- gan on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O), which eventually connected the burgeoning port of Baltimore to the Ohio River, and later to the growing Midwestern cities of St. Louis and Chicago. The B&O revolutionized freight and passenger travel between the East Coast and the Midwest, but the rails continued to look westward. Just over 40 years later, in 1869, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads met at Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory, forming the first transcontinental railroad in The United States. Ever since, railroads have played an integral part in our national supply chains and continue to provide efficient, safe, and environmentally-friendly freight and pas- senger transportation. Today our nation’s mighty rail network spans 138,000 miles and even connects us with two of our leading trade partners: Canada and Mex- ico. Rail serves not only as a vital piece of our trade network and domestic infrastructure, but as a powerhouse job creator. Strong and sus- tained railroad investments continue to provide not only direct railroad jobs, but employment and growth opportunities in the high-paying manufacturing sector. According to a Towson University economic impact study, Class I rail- roads’ operations supported approximately 1.5 million jobs, $273.6 billion in output, and $88.4 billion in wages nationwide in 2014. The mem- bers of the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) provide the tools, track, and maintenance equipment need- ed to maintain a healthy rail network. REMSA was created in 1965 by the merger of the Association of Track and Structure Sup- pliers and the National Railway Appliances Association, two long-standing organizations in the railroad maintenance-of-way industry. REMSA represents over 300 companies in- volved in engineering and design, consulting, and the direct supply and manufacturing of maintenance-of-way products. Its members participate in a more than $5 billion industry that supports over 35,000 jobs, and operates in 44 states, producing a diverse assortment of products ranging from locomotive cranes,