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American Association of
Railroad Superintendents


Derailment Investigation Seminars Led by Industry Expert Gary Wolf Announced for 2018!

April 23-24 in Philly and May 8-9 in Los Angeles

AARS announces two Derailment Investigation Seminars to be held in 2018

Gary Wolf, President, Wolf Railway Consulting, offers valuable derailment investigation information you can’t get elsewhere. 

Railroad managers, superintendents, engineers, trainmasters and others gain a working knowledge of basic track structure, performance, causes of common problems; examination of detail on axle loads, traffic density, operating speeds; optimal learning potential with presentations on railroad turnouts, crossings with details handling spots and much more.

Participants of the two-day seminar will receive a certificate of completion along with a binder full of course content to share with colleagues.

Visit the Meetings and Seminars page to learn more.




Dates Announced for AARS 2018 Conference Events!

Industry leading speakers, real world insight, Rising Stars Awards, golf on the lake,  scotch and cigar fundraiser and more!

The following events have been scheduled during the AARS 122nd Annual Meeting at the W Lakeshore, Chicago, IL July 22-24, 2018

- Sunday, July 22, 2018 1 p.m.  AARS Rail Tour:  Tour of Indiana Harbor Belt Railway's system using new Compressed Natural Gas engines.  

- Sunday, July 22, 2018 5 p.m. AARS 122nd Annual Meeting Opening Reception and Progressive Railroading Rising Stars Award dinner.

- Monday and Tuesday, July 23-24, 2018 7 a.m. AARS 122nd Annual Meeting at the W Lakeshore

- Monday, July 23 6 p.m. Michael A. Paras Foundation Scotch Tasting and Cigar Fundraising Event at Biggs Mansion, Chicago, IL

- Tuesday, July 24, 2018 1 p.m. AARS Annual Golf Outing at the Harborside Golfcourse, Chicago, IL




Congratulations to the AARS 2017 Lantern Award Winners

On Monday, July 24, 2017, the American Association of Railroad Superintendents awarded its 2017 Lantern Awards to three award recipients. 

The AARS "Ones to Watch" Award was awarded to Jason Engle, Asst. General Foreman, BNSF and to Rob Garofolo, Terminal Supt., CSX.  

The AARS Michael A. Paras Leadership Award was awarded to Rick Webb, CEO of Watco Companies.  

Congratulations to the award recipients!


Sustained Attention Research & Training to

Reduce Human Factor Caused Train Accidents

by Ron Robusto

The railroad industry is beginning to see the benefits of the Federal Railroad Administration’s partnership with Transdev (formerly Veolia Transportation) in a recently completed research and development project on cognitive distraction and reducing major rule violations in commuter rail operations. As a result of the study’s conclusive findings, the Sustained Attention Training Program was developed by Transdev with the objective of offering training across the industry to reduce human factor caused train accidents.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers partnered with Transdev for the research portion of the project. The BLE provided thirty-six locomotive engineers who operated the locomotive simulator that is part of the FRA’s Cab Technology Integration Laboratory in Cambridge, MA. The research included testing and analyzing locomotive engineers under various scenarios. A control group of locomotive engineers was provided basic training on everything required to operate the simulator safely and effectively. A second group of locomotive engineers was provided the same basic training PLUS a short module on the science of distraction and how it affects performance.

The results were significant and meaningful for our industry. The second group performed better by a margin ranging from 7.1% to 11.2% in the various subjectively measured areas that were analyzed. The research clearly validated the effectiveness of minimal training on the science of distraction. However, we expect an even higher level of performance of locomotive engineers, as well as other safety critical employees, with a more structured and recurring training approach.

This research reveals real opportunityto improve safety in our industry. I strongly believe Transdev’s Sustained Attention Training program will make a significant and positive difference in reducing human factor caused train accidents. The training consists of four key modules: Your Safety Culture; The Science of Cognitive Distraction; Signs and Symptoms of Loss of Attentiveness; and Solutions and Strategies for Fighting Distraction. The curriculum is designed to fully engage students in all four modules and will be reinforced with additional tools and processes. We currently are piloting the training program within our company over the course of this year, and intend to roll it out and make it available to the entire rail industry in 2016.

For more information about the progress of this study and training initiative, please contact Ron Robusto, COO and VP Safety and Compliance, TransDev, at ron.robusto@transdev.com. 

This blog was authored by by Ron Robusto, Chief Operating Officer and VP Safety and Compliance- Rail Division, TransDev, and 2nd Vice President of AARS

 

Upcoming events

    • 06 Nov 2018
    • 8:00 AM
    • 07 Nov 2018
    • 5:00 PM
    • Sheraton O'Hare 6501 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018
    Register

    This 2-day seminar will provide education regarding human factor issues related to accident causation. 

    The first day is presented by Gary Wolf, President, Wolf Railway Consulting, the rail industry's preeminent expert on railroad accident investigation and causation. The second day is presented by Randy Jamieson, President of Atticus Consulting, a leading researcher of attention related human factors in accidents and includes the CAPTÔ program described below.

    Registration Fee:  $549 for AARS members, $649 for non members and includes the two-day seminar with lunch each day.  (AARS annual membership is $75.)

    Questions:  Call Carrie Foor, AARS Executive Director, 331-643-3369

    Hotel:  The seminar will be held at the Sheraton O'Hare in Rosemont, IL

    Call the hotel directly to make your reservation.  Mention AARS to get the special AARS rate of $149/night.  Make sure to book your room by Oct. 22 to get this rate.

    Address: 6501 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018

    Phone(847) 699-6300

    Seminar Topics:

    Day 1. Agenda – Presented by Gary Wolf

          The nature of human failure
          Overview of top human factor causes
          Statistical review of where we are in the rail industry with human failure
          The old way vs. new way of dealing with human failure
          The role of discipline in human failure accidents
          Failures of typical investigative techniques
          Looking at the organization as a source of human failure
          What is a safety culture
          Safety leadership What are the tenets of good safety leadership
          Safety Management Systems (SMS)
          Behavior Based Safety (BBS)
          Root Cause Analysis of Human Factor Accidents
          Detailed walk through for conducting investigation of human failure incidents
          The importance of rules testing and how to make good rule tests
          Tips for prevention of typical human failure derailments/incidents
          Case study Class tabletop simulation of a human factor accident investigation

    Day 2. Agenda - Presented by Randy Jamieson

    The CAPTÔ Training Program consists of 11 eleven (11) interrelated modules that build on one another to introduce and explain key aspects of the science of human attention.  These modules are as follows:   

     1.       Introduction to Human Attention-related Railroad Accidents

    2.       Limits of Visual Perception

    3.       Limits of Human Spatial Attention

    4.       Dangers of Operation Overload and Multitasking

    5.       Dangers of Operational Underload and Mind Wandering

    6.       The Link Between Stress and Human Attention

    7.       Worry, Rumination and Unfinished Tasks and How They Affect Attention Performance

    8.       How Habits Can be Exploited by Unusual Situations to Create Attention-related Errors

    9.       Fatigue, Nutrition, Exercise and Their Role in Attention Performance

    10.    Training Attention Control

    11.    Deliberate Practice and the Power of Intrinsic Motivation

    Feedback from Participants the CAPTÔ Program:

    “I’ve attended a lot of training programs over the years, really a lot, and this is the best training I have ever had!”

    …. Railroad Manager

    “This is not just a tool.  This is integral to better living!”

     …. Locomotive Engineer

    “Management really needs to understand the importance of this work.  There is a need to provide this education to managers so that they know how attention works”.  “

    …. Railroad Manager



    • 22 Jul 2019
    • 5:00 PM (CDT)
    • 24 Jul 2019
    • 11:00 AM (CDT)
    • Norfolk, VA

    Save the date for the AARS 123rd Annual Meeting, July 22-24, 2019 at the Hilton in Norfolk, VA.

    The meeting will open with a reception on Monday, July 22 at 5:00 p.m.

    AARS will host the Progressive Railroading Rising Stars Award Dinner as part of the AARS Annual Meeting on Monday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m.

    Registration to the AARS Annual Meeting includes a ticket to the Rising Stars dinner.  For more information about the Rising Stars dinner, visit http://www.progressiverailroading.com/risingstars/about.asp

    The meeting program will continue Tueday, July 23 at 8:00 a.m. and will conclude on Wednesday, July 24 at 11:00 a.m. 

    Register Now!

    Golf Outing:  On Wednesday, July 24, the AARS will hold its annual golf outing to benefit the AARS Scholarship Fund.  More details to come.

    Hotel Information

    The meeting will be held in downtown Norfolk at the Hilton.  More information to come.

    Monday, July 22

    Industry Tour of Norfolk Harbor!

    5:00 pm Opening Reception and Technical Showcase

    6:30 pm Progressive Railroading Rising Stars Awards and Dinner

    Tuesday, July 23

    7:00 am Continental Breakfast and Technical Showcase

    8:00 am Charge to Superintendents


    9:00 am Break in Technical Showcase

    9:30 am Regional Perspective

    Norfolk Southern

    10:30 am

    Day to Day Management:

    • -          Training new hires
    • -          Dealing with difficult managers/employees
    11:45 am Break in Technical Showcase

    12:00 Annual Industry Luncheon

    Lantern Awards

    1:15 Challenges Facing New Managers

    .

    2:45 p.m. Break in Technical Showcase

    3:15 pm Instilling the Railroad Culture in New Employees


    5:00 pm Adjourn 

    Wednesday, July 24

    7:00 am Continental Breakfast and Technical Showcase

    7:00 am Continental Breakfast and Technical

    Showcase 

    8:00 am Developing a Safety Culture

    9:15 am Break in Technical Showcase

    9:45 am Market Outlook

    10:30 am Business Session

    11:00 am Adjourn

    Bus departs  for the AARS Annual Golf Outing to benefit the Frank J. Richter Scholarship



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