The RSI Education & Technical Training Conference—IAROO

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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The RSI Education & Technical Training Conference at Railway Interchange 2019 “serves to educate attendees on new technologies and trends in the rail industry and provide an opportunity for industry networking and collaboration. There are more than 50 educational sessions on railcar maintenance, rail operations, air brake technologies and trends and a focus on leadership in the rail industry,” RSI notes. “Session content is provided by the Railway Supply Institute, the Air Brake Association, the International Association of Railway Operating Officers, the League of Railway Women, the Locomotive Maintenance Officers Association and the Railcar Technical Services Association."

The International Association of Railway Operating Officers (IAROO) “provides its members with the latest operating and technical information that drives superior railroad management now and in the future.” IAROO’s 2019 program includes railroad technology trends: opportunities and challenges; a PTC implementation update, transportation security and NTSB’s Most Wanted List.

Among the IAROO sessions:

  • CFR 243-Training, Qualifications, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees: An overview of regulatory components and anticipated involvement from participating railroads as to prepare for the implementation date. The speaker is Brandon Hanzlicek, Manager Transportation Training, BNSF.
  • Transforming Railroad Policy and Investment: Placing Railroads at the Center of North American Economic and Environmental Revitalization: The future of U.S. rail transportation depends on legislators, planners, business operators, financiers and citizens aligning on the value of railroads. The speaker is Michael Sussman, President of Strategic Rail Finance and Founder of OnTrackNorthAmerica. He has overseen the capitalization of freight rail projects in 44 states and Canada, and has conducted more than 1,000 educational meetings with local and congressional officials and staff.  He will share his experiences carrying the flag of the railroads and their contribution to society, and discuss a multifaceted plan for progress.
  • An Update from the NTSB – Accident Investigations and the NTSB Most Wanted List: This session includes an overview of completed NTSB accident investigations in the past three years with a discussion of the findings and probable causes; a review of resulting safety recommendations and their current status; the NTSB 2019 Most Wanted List; and how railroad accident investigations are linked to the Most Wanted List. The Speaker isGeorgetta Gregory, Railroad Accident Investigator IIC, National Transportation Safety Board.
  • RailTerm Dispatching and Software Solutions: This session will address the problems and solutions of dispatching multiple railroads, explained from the perspective of service provider RailTerm. Speakers are Dan Mongeau, Vice-President, Rail Control and Regulatory Affairs; and Jade Hickey, Director, Rail Traffic Control, RailTerm.
  • AAR Train Control, Communications, and Operations Committee Research Update: This is AAR’s efforts related to advanced train control, including new methods of operation, autonomous train capability and autonomous vehicle interactions with crossings. The speaker is Michael R. Newcomb, AVP Transportation Systems Development, Union Pacific; and Chair, AAR Train Control, Communications and Operations Committee.
  • LOCOTROL Remote Control Locomotives and Advanced Yard Technologies: Wabtec-GE Remote Control Locomotive (RCL) technologies has continued to expand capabilities from shunting operations to use on the main line to enable reduced crew operation. This session will cover existing and emerging RCL technologies and how they can help increase automation in the yards and enable efficient train operations on the main line. The speaker is Adam Franco, Senior Digital Product Manager, Wabtec Railway Electronics (GE Transportation).
  • PTC Implementation 2020 – Safety Improvement but With Issues Yet to Resolve: This is one citizen’s interpretation of the Denver Regional Transportation District’s interaction with FRA and how this might affect the circumstances surrounding the 2020 date for universal PTC implementation. The speaker is Paul Michael Lovette, Independent Engineering Consultant; and TTCI (ret.).
  • 30 Years of RCL Safety and Productivity – Here’s What’s Next: This is a brief history of RCL, including where the industry is now and the vision of for future. The speaker is Jeremy Jovenall, Product Manager Rail, Cattron.
  • Innovation and Technology in the Railroad Industry: The Next 25 Years. What are the likely challenges and technical opportunities for North American railroads between now and 2045? Are railroads changing and/or innovating fast enough to succeed and avoid disruptive change? Michael Iden, Union Pacific (retired 2018) and a consultant to the railroad industry, will address this important topic.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Implementing Countermeasures or Hoping for the Best: Railroad employees with undiagnosed and untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) may compromise their own health and pose significant safety risk s to themselves, co-workers, their company and the public. This presentation provides insights why and how Anacostia Rail Holdings (ARH) implemented a screening, testing and treatment program at its six railroads. The speaker is Thomas A. Leopold, CSP, Chief Safety and Compliance Officer, Anacostia Rail Holding, Inc.
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