2016 Newly Elected Legislator Workshop Summary

The Georgia Railroad Association hosted newly elected legislators at a freight rail workshop on Thursday, October 13, at the CSX REDI Center in Atlanta.

Again this year, the Georgia Railroad Association hosted newly elected legislators at an educational workshop to introduce them to the freight rail industry.  The workshop was held on Thursday, October 13, in Atlanta at the CSX REDI Center.
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The morning began with GRA President, Joel Harrell, welcoming both the legislators and GRA members followed by introductions and an overview from Mark Middleton.  Next, the legislators and GRA members watched an excellent video presentation produced by GDOT.

Craig Camuso, CSX, then presented a very informative overview of the freight rail industry including many specifics for the state of Georgia.

Representative Erica Thomas, House District 39, addressed her new peers speaking about “A Day in the Life of a Freshman Legislator”.  Having just concluded her freshman term, Representative Thomas was uniquely qualified to offer pertinent information on what to expect during their first legislative session and advice on how to successfully navigate their way at the Capitol.

Over lunch, highly respected House Transportation Committee Chairman, Christian Coomer, shared advice that resonated with both the newly elected Republicans and Democrats.
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Upon conclusion of lunch, the group took a quick tour of the CSX REDI Center (Railroad Education & Development Institute), which was founded in 2005 to train locomotive engineers, conductors, track and signal technicians, mechanics and yardmasters at the facility.  Instructors also use REDI to provide courses for management trainees and help develop field managers' skills.

The workshop concluded in the Human Performance Laboratory where the legislators put on their “conductor caps” and experienced firsthand what it is like to conduct an actual freight rail locomotive in the locomotive simulators used to train future engineers.
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We are most appreciative of the time that these busy, newly elected legislators gave us to spend the day learning about the freight rail industry.  And we offer our best wishes to them as they begin their careers serving in the state legislature.  We look forward to working with each of you!

Many thanks to Representatives Christian Coomer and Erica Thomas for making the time to share with the group.

A huge thank you to Craig Camuso and CSX Transportation for hosting our workshop.

Finally, thank you to Jennie Glasgow from Operation Lifesaver for hosting a booth with safety education materials.
EDUCATE, ADVOCATE, ACTIVATE
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