Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Short line railroad tax maintenance credit could become permanent fixture

The short line railroad tax credit, known as 45G, may receive a permanent extension based on a tax package released by the House Ways and Means Committee last week.

By ·
{scmr_abstract}
By ·

The short line railroad tax credit, known as 45G, may receive a permanent extension based on a tax package released by the House Ways and Means Committee last week. When that happens, though, remains to be seen, as a date for a vote on the bill has not been scheduled yet.

At its core, 45G assists the 603 short line railroads in upgrading their track and bridges in order to handle modern freight cars, according to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), adding that under the terms of 45G a short line railroad must invest $1 for every 50 cents in credit up to a credit cap equivalent to $3,500 per mile of track while allowing the rail industry to spend more of their own revenue to make rail transport safer and more efficient for more than 10,000 United States customers.

The 45G tax credit, which expired on December 31, 2015, was implemented in 2005, and since that time the ASLRRA said that it has enabled short line and regional railroads to invest $4 billion into infrastructure, with 2,140 rail miles improved in 2015, the last year for which data was reported), 5.27 million ties replaced, with the short line industry doling out $1.12 million, or 24%, of revenue on infrastructure.

Along with the potential permanent expansion for 45G, a Morgan Stanley research report said that in exchange for making the credit permanent, the bill reduces the 45G tax credit from 50% to 30%. The firm noted that the 50% to 30% reduction is sensible in that it removes “the hassle of voting for a credit every year.

At last week’s Rail Trends conference in New York City, which was hosted by Progressive Railroading magazine and independent railroad analyst Tony Hatch, the topic of the 45G tax credit received a fair amount of attention.

Chuck Baker, a longtime Rail Trends speaker and president of the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association, said at the event that this 45G proposal would keep the same cap of $3,500 per track mile, coupled with lowering the rate from 50% to 30%.

“A railroad would have to spend more to get that big credit, but we think those railroads either are spending that much or will be able to with the incentive,” he said. “We think that is a good trade-off for permanency. And of the 26 extenders [in this bill], this is the only one that House Republicans proposed making permanent, and we thought that was a fantastic endorsement of its popularity.”

While this bill, should there be a vote before the current session of Congress ends, is likely to pass the House on a party line vote, Baker described its chances of passing the Senate, in order for it to be signed into law by President Trump, as icy, largely due to the fact that Democratic lawmakers were not initially consulted on the House side.

As previously reported, the ASLRRA has said that 45G “represents real and immediate infrastructure investment and job creation that preserves transportation and economic development opportunities.”

And on top of that, this legislation provides myriad benefits for railroad and intermodal shippers and carriers alike.

Railroad stakeholders have said that this is really about is about keeping short line railroad customers connected to the national railroad network with adequate and safe rail service, which makes this provision has such broad appeal.  

There are more than 500 short line railroad carriers in 49 states, which serve as the first and last mile for more than 11,000 rail shippers. And preserving and upgrading short line railroad tracks is critically important to so many economies and communities throughout the U.S.

When freight railroads were deregulated in the U.S. in 1980 through the Staggers Act, there were 200 short line railroads, and today there are more than 550. Deregulation in effect encouraged the creation of short lines, which would have otherwise been abandoned, and short lines were previously owned by Class I railroads whom did not want to operate them anymore, because they were not part of the Class I’s core networks and were not financially viable for them, although they were financially viable for short line operators.

What’s more, abandoned short lines had suffered from decades of deferred maintenance, which supported the point of passing the tax credit to create a way of effectively lowering the costs of infrastructure upgrades so that more infrastructure upgrades could take place and preserve rail lines that would have otherwise been abandoned.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
2019 Top 5 Trends of Enterprise Labeling
This year’s sixth annual Top 5 Trends in Enterprise Labeling report outlines significant shifts in labeling that are impacting businesses and global supply chains at an unprecedented level.
Download Today!
From the January-February 2019
If history is our guide, economies take a turn every nine years. Yet time and again, a strong business cycle and fading memories convince us the good times will go on forever. Ten years after the great recession, we surveyed 100 manufacturing firms to find out if businesses are ready to fight through the next recession.
Truck Driver Shortage: No one behind the wheel
Intermodal to the rescue
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
Leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) in Manufacturing
Is Digital Transformation a risk or an opportunity? This webinar will detail Manufacturing industry challenges and how using IoT can address these challenges through optimizing logistics, improving processes and gaining meaningful insights.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Supply Chain Management Issues Confronting Us This Year
A variety of fresh challenges will surface for global traders in January and beyond
Global Supply Chain Pricing May Face New Pressures in 2019
The global economy started 2018 with strong, synchronized growth, but the momentum faded as the year...

IHS Markit’s New Economic “Predictions” for 2019 and Impact on Global Supply Chains
The U.S. will remain “above trend,” while other key economies will experience further...
Global Kuehne + Nagel Indicators Signal Global Supply Chain Resilience
So far this year, international merchandise trade has risen by 10.6%. Emerging markets and North...