SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Railroad Association announced State Senator Patrick Joyce as a recipient of the Association’s annual Railroader of the Year Award.

“Senator Patrick Joyce is a true champion of the freight railroad system in Illinois,” said Tim Butler, President of the Illinois Railroad Association. “He understands the importance of what our historic rail system means not just to Illinois, but our nation, our continent and our entire world. His hard-fought advocacy for issues promoting a robust freight rail system helps get our state’s goods to market, ensures that Illinoisans have the items they want to purchase on store shelves and continues the emphasis that rail is an environmentally-friendly method of shipping.  The Illinois Railroad Association is proud to designate him as Railroader of the Year for 2022.”

Senator Joyce, as Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee in the 102nd General Assembly, ensured that the railroad industry was included in the 2022 working group which discussed extending the sales tax exemption on bio-diesel fuel.  Through the work of Senator Joyce, the rise in bio-diesel blends over the next several years will also allow locomotives to continue using the fuel safely and help advance the railroad industry’s commitment to sound environmental policy.

“There are many people who don’t realize the importance of our state’s railways. This is the most efficient way to move freight across land, and this major industry needs the same amount of investment as other industries in our state,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “Investments in the Illinois railway system are a necessity, which is why I have always been dedicated to ensuring Illinois railroads are a priority.”

Mark Denzler, President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, was also a recipient of the Association’s annual Railroader of the Year Award.