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 Railcar Technical Services Association (RTSA) is “dedicated to the freight car maintenance professional. Our mission is to provide a value-added forum for sharing railcar customer maintenance needs through new technology, practical experience and best practices with the purpose of improving profitability. RTSA provides its members with a solid knowledge and understanding of railcar maintenance. The 2019 conference will be one of our most exciting with a full agenda covering current issues critical to every railcar maintenance professional, presented by speakers who are on the leading edge of today’s technology and regulations.”
Among the RTSA sessions:
- AAR M-1002 and M-1003 – Who Should Apply, and How: This session will provide valuable information to tank car owners, manufacturers, repair shops, and component suppliers engaged in the design, fabrication, manufacture, repair, and assembly of tank cars, tank car tank components, service equipment, and closures. The track will focus on AAR’s Circular CPC-1338, with respect to new and revised definitions and facility certification. The discussion will also respond to questions that have arisen since issuance of the circular. The speakers are Matt Forister and Don Guillen, TTCI.
- D15.1 Welder Performance Certification Requirements: This seminar will break down the requirements for performance certification of welders to AWS D15.1. Topics will include Certification to Material, Process, Position, and Filler Metal; 6-month Maintenance and Recertification Requirements; Requirements for NDT and Destructive Testing of Coupons; and Retesting Requirements for Failed Performance Tests. The speaker is John Killion, Manager Welding Processes, Union Tank Car Company
- Safe Railcar Jacking and Lifting Procedures: This session will provide attendees an overview of the key elements that must be considered prior to and during the process of jacking a railcar to ensure the work is performed in a safe manner for all employees in and around the work area. The program will cover items such as site safety inspection, environmental conditions, personal protective equipment, recommended tools and equipment, and best practices. The speaker is Andrew Schaffer, President, Plant Division, Rescar.
- Interchange Rules Panel: The Interchange Rule Panel will allow members of the AAR Arbitration and Rules Committee and AAR Car Repair Billing Committee to speak on current topics impacting the industry, as well as to afford the opportunity for the audience to pose questions and receive responses for both the Field and Office Manuals of the AAR Interchange Rules. Speakers are James Williams, Director Car Administration, Norfolk Southern; Gary Nelson, Sidney & Lowe; Jeremy Luna, Kansas City Southern; Rick Koenig, Union Tank Car Company; and Heidi Dyser, Union Pacific.
- Hi-Tech Methods for Railcar Maintenance: This session will include updates on the current focus of the industry’s Asset Health Strategic Initiative. Topics covered will include onboard & wayside condition & performance monitoring, component tracking, bad actor car identification, detector quality monitoring, multi-level M&R pool billing, and End-of-Train telemetry device management. The speaker is Kevin Stokes, Director Telecom & PTC Comms, CSX Transportation.
- Data Science Solutions for Railcar Maintenance: TTX Company is applying innovative data science solutions to railcar maintenance for its fleet of 220,000 railcars. It is developing machine learning models and advanced analytics techniques to tackle tough business challenges, automate processes and drive business value across the organization. This presentation will provide an introductory overview of machine learning and provide a foundational context for how the data science work at TTX has helped the company evolve its business processes and enhance decision-making. The speaker: Kristina Chambers, TTX Company.
- AAR Asset Health Initiative: This session will include updates on the current focus of the industry’s Asset Health Strategic Initiative. Topics covered will include: onboard & wayside condition & performance monitoring, component tracking, bad actor car identification, detector quality monitoring, multi-level M&R pool billing, and End-of-Train telemetry device management. Speakers are James Williams, Director Car Administration, Norfolk Southern; Darrell Iler, Senior Manager Mechanical, CN; Bo Thompson, Director Asset Health, Association of American Railroads; and David Summey, Director Asset Services, Railinc Corporation.
- AAR CPC-1338: Implementation of Chapter 1 & Appendix B: During this session, participants will learn about the AAR facility certification requirements as outlined in Appendix B of the AAR’s Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices, Section C, Part III, Specifications for Tank Cars. The program will focus on the types of facilities that require AAR certification and how each facility must demonstrate compliance with both the AAR quality assurance and technical certifications. Topics include proposed CPC-1232, “Solicitation of Comments for Appendix B and Associated Chapter 1 Definitions of AAR Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices (MSRP), Section C Part III, Specifications for Tank Cars (M-1002).” The speaker is Matthew Forister, Assistant Director, Tank Car/Hazmat Safety, AAR
- RSI-100 Product Certification Standard: The focus of this session is on a developing RSI Standard, RSI-100, addressing Product Quality Certification. The Standard will make available the fundamentals of product certification as a means to provide confidence that products acquired from an AAR non-certified facility conform to a specified quality requirement. The basis of the Standard follows ISO-17067, “Conformity Assessment — Fundamentals of Product Certification and Guidelines for Product Certification Schemes,” and ASA-100, “Aviation Suppliers Association: Quality System Standard.” The Standard places structure into the product certification process based on the level of complexity of the manufactured product. The speaker is John Byrne Vice Chairman, Committee on Tank Cars, Railway Supply Institute.
- TTCI Research and Technology Update: For more than 80 years, the AAR has maintained a steadfast commitment to research and development for its members. In its current form, the program is called the AAR Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) program. The primary objectives for the SRI program have remained constant and are aimed strategically to enhance the safety, reliability, and efficiency of rail operations. A critical cross-cutting initiative in the SRI program is the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST). Launched in 1976, FAST operates up to 140-million gross tons per year on a durability test bed for railroad track, rail vehicles and their component parts. At FAST, a 17,600-ton, full-scale train, comprising 3 SD-70 locomotives and 110 315,000-pound cars, operates at 40 mph over 2.7 miles of track termed the High Tonnage Loop (HTL). In addition to ongoing testing at FAST, this presentation will highlight several of the AAR Strategic Research Initiatives. Most of the AAR’s research is performed at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC), a federal laboratory and proving ground facility located near Pueblo, Colo. The TTC facility is operated by the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), wholly owned subsidiary of the AAR. The speaker is Lisa A. Stabler, President, Transportation Technology Center, Inc.
- AAR Equipment Engineering Committee Update: This session will provide an update on EEC activities as well as describing EEC efforts to respond to regulations on retro-reflective sheeting on freight cars and locomotives. The AAR EEC develops and maintains design and operation standards for freight cars and their components. EEC also serves as the oversight committee for the operations of all AAR Committees who handle freight car components including the Braking Systems Committee, the Wheels-Axles-Bearings & Lubrication Committee, the Coupling System & Truck Castings Committee, and the Specially Equipped Freight Car Committee. All components included on AAR Interchange approved freight cars (for other than tank car tanks themselves), fall under the guidance of the EEC, though most components are approved indirectly through the reporting committees. The speaker is Jon Hannafious, TTCI.