Brent Laing Featured at Next-Gen Freight Rail 2024

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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CN Vice President of Engineering and Railway Track & Structures’ 2023 Engineer of the Year Brent Laing is among the featured speakers at Railway Age’s Next-Gen Freight Rail 2024 Conference. Laing will review rail trends in rail engineering and how some of the new technologies available to rail engineers are changing the landscape of the profession.

Laing will take to the stage on March 12, 2024, at the Union League Club of Chicago, along with other industry leaders like Union Pacific (UP) President Beth Whited; UP CEO Jim Vena; CN President and CEO and Railway Age’s 2024 Railroader of the Year Tracy Robinson; Genesee & Wyoming CEO Michael Miller; and Norfolk Southern AVP Enterprise Data & Analytics Mabby Amouie. They will engage in informal “fireside chat” style conversations with Railway Age and Railway Track & Structures editors.

This year’s conference will include a special luncheon honoring Railway Age’s 2024 “Fast Trackers” 25 Under 40 award winners. Established in 2016, this annual award is presented to railroaders under the age of 40 in the United States, Canada and/or Mexico for making an impact in their respective fields or within their company.

Meet Brent Laing

Brent Laing is a professional engineer with more than 38 years of extensive Class I heavy haul freight railway technical and management experience. He has served as Vice President of Engineering at CN since June 2022 and has the overall accountability of all engineering functions at CN, including track maintenance, production, work equipment, signals and communications, bridges and structures, infrastructure design, and construction.

A career railroader, Laing has served as President of a small engineering consulting firm and held various positions at Canadian Pacific (now CPKC). In addition to his engineering work, he also led corporate environmental teams as Director Environmental Affairs, and locomotive and freight car repair teams as General Manager Mechanical Operation. Laing has developed and managed overall annual corporate capital replacement and maintenance budgets in excess of C$1 billion as General Manager Standards & Performance.

Laing is a long-time member of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) and has been recently nominated to the AREMA Board of Governors.

Supporting Organizations

Railway Age’s Next-Gen Freight Rail 2024 Conference is supported by the following sponsors: CN (gold), Piper (gold), RECO (gold), TrinityRail (gold), Plasser American (luncheon), 4AI Systems (case study), Herzog (registration), RailWorks (energy break), Amsted Digital Solutions (bronze), Genesee & Wyoming (bronze), the Michigan State Center for Railway Research and Education (bronze), Union Pacific (bronze), The Greenbrier Companies (bronze), and Edna A. Rice Associates (morning coffee break).

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