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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

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

    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.  

    Riverfront Golf Course, Suffolk, VA

    https://www.riverfrontgolf.com/

    $95 per player

    Club rental:  Contact the Riverfront Golf Course to arrange to rent clubs at 757-484-2200.


    Hotel Information

    The meeting will be held in downtown Norfolk at the Hilton on the Main, 100 East Main Street, Norfolk, Virginia, 23510, USA+1-757-763-6200.

    Room Rate:  $179/night   Make your reservation by July 1, 2019 to get this special rate!

    Make your reservation here:

    Book Your Room

    Monday, July 22

    Industry Tour of Norfolk Harbor! 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

    Tour Sponsored by:  

    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 sponsored by 

    8:00 am Keynote Speaker

    Jim Squires, President, CEO & Executive Chairman, Norfolk Southern

    9:00 am Break in Technical Showcase

    9:30 am Regional Perspective

    David Gooden, Division Superintendent, Norfolk Southern

    10:15 am Rising Stars Panel: Achieving Success in the Rail Industry

    Kelley Carr, Sr. Manager – Positive Train Control, Safety, Compliance & Training, Amtrak

    Scott Schiemann, Chief Engineer, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad

    James Schwichtenberg, Vice President, Chief Safety Officer, CSX


    11:45 am Break in Technical Showcase 

    12:00 Annual Industry Luncheon & Lantern Awards 

    Charge to Superintendents

    Ed Harris, EVP Operations, CSX

    1:30  Onboarding a Shortline

    Stefan Loeb, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Watco Companies

    John Rickoff – President & CEO Lake State Railway

    Mark Rosner – President & CEO Carload Express


    2:30  Break in Technical Showcase 

    3:15 pm 

    Panel Presentation: Precision Scheduled Railroading


    -          Dave Ferryman, VP Commercial & Technology, EVRAZ N.A. (confirmed)

    -          Brian Murray, Regional Superintendent, CSX


    4:15 p.m. Update on the “Railroad Renaissance” Tony Hatch, ABH Consulting

    Wednesday, July 24

    7:00 am Continental Breakfast and Technical Showcase in Great Room, 6th floor

     8:00 am   Attracting & Retaining New Employees


    Bill Fountain, Director of Recruitment, Genesee & Wyoming

    Rachael Peterson, EVP People Services, Watco Companies

    Dan MacKay, AVP Human Resources, Norfolk Southern

    9:00 a.m.  Enhancing Your Safety Culture within Your Railroad – Panel

    Darrell Snyder, VP Mechanical, Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad

    Clay Smith,  Manager of Safety & Training, Florida East Coast Railway

    Ken Glover, VP Safety, Genesee & Wyoming

    10:30 am Business Session

    11:00 am Adjourn

    11:30 pm Bus Loads for Annual Golf Outing, departing at 11:45 a.m.

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

    1:15 p.m. Shotgun Start at River Front Golf Club, Suffolk, VA





    • 24 Jul 2019
    • 1:00 PM (CDT)
    • Riverfront Golf Course, Suffolk, VA
    Register

    The AARS will host a golf outing during the AARS 123rd Annual Meeting at the Riverfront Golf Course in Norfolk on Wednesday, July 24, 2019.

    Proceeds from the outing will benefit the Frank J. Richter Scholarship Fund which provides educational scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students. 

    Shotgun start: 1:00 p.m.

    Registration opens at 12:00 p.m.

    Dinner:  6:00 p.m.

     Take advantage of the early bird rate of $100 per player or $360 per foursome before June 28. 

    Additional prize fund:  to contribute funds to for additional prizes, click here.  The additional prize fund contribution link is not on the registration page.  

    The AARS Annual Golf Outing will be held at the conclusion of the AARS 123rd Annual Meeting in Norfolk.  Event registration is $100 per person and includes green fees, cart, refreshments, box lunch, dinner after golf, and a prize for every participant. Golf outing registration is NOT included with registration for the 123rd Annual Meeting.

    Register as an individual player or as a foursome. 

    Proceeds of the event will benefit the Frank J. Richter Scholarship Fund.


    Need to rent clubs?  Contact the course directly at 757-484-2200.

    You do not need to be an AARS member, nor do you have to register for the Annual Meeting to participate in the golf outing.  Golf outing registration is NOT included with 123rd Annual Meeting registration.

    Questions?

    Contact Carrie Foor at 331-643-3369. 




    • 05 Nov 2019
    • 8:00 AM (EST)
    • 06 Nov 2019
    • 5:00 PM (EST)
    • Sheraton Suites Chicago O'Hare
    Register

    Gary Wolf, President, Wolf Railway Consulting, offers valuable derailment investigation information you can’t get elsewhere.  Click here to view seminar agenda.

    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.

    Hotel Information

    The seminar will be held at the Sheraton Suites Chicago O'Hare.  

    Please make your hotel reservations directly with the hotel at the phone number listed below.  The special room rate for AARS Derailment Investigation Seminar attendees is $149/night.  To access this rate, please mention your participation in the AARS seminar and make your reservation prior to October 14.  

    Sheraton Chicago O'Hare

    Address: 6501 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018

    Phone(847) 699-6300

    Registrants must be employed in the rail industry and meet qualifications for AARS membership to register for this seminar.

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