AREMA Technical Conference Program Announced
The Annual Technical Conference of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) to be held at the Palmer House in Chicago from September 25 thru September 28 has been announced, and, as usual, topics will be covered that look to be valuable to those in attendance. Frequently, topics at these Technical Conferences are very beneficial, and are at the cutting edge of Railway Engineering, Construction, and Maintenance. Also frequently, many of the consulting engineers who seem to be writing many project specifications are never there to take advantage of such practical and timely experience.
But that is a topic for a future discussion. I want to point out three scheduled events that should be quite interesting. One is the annual Chairman's Luncheon, where Amtrak President and CEO David Gunn has been invited to speak. The second is a presentation to be done by Mr. Michael McGinley of SCRRA (Metrolink) together with Mr. Gordon Bachinsky of Advanced Rail Management Corporation, who will combine to speak on "SCRRA's Turnkey Rail Maintenance Service Contract". And finally, Mr. Kevin Jeffers of the Washington State DOT - Rail will discuss "Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor - Building Blocks into the Future".
The recent debate between Congress and the Bush Administration should give Mr. Gunn a good opportunity to bloviate. To get an idea of what Mr. Gunn thinks about the current situation, read a recent letter sent to Amtrak employees. To get another insight into the man himself, read this interview done some years ago. Mr. Gunn is outspoken, unconventional, and usually correct in his observations. Speaking before a sympathetic audience of Railroad Professionals should open the door for salient observations. AREMA does say, however, that Mr. Gunn is invited but not yet confirmed. Here's hoping he decides to attend.
Mr. McGinley is one of AREMA's most respected and knowledgeable members. If you read the last few sentences of this portion of Advanced Rail Management's website, you will see why such a presentation could be valuable to certain agencies, but those very agencies will have to admit their need, whatever it might be.
And some good insight should be gained from Mr. Jeffers presentation. Several agencies and much coordination has been required to pull off Rail Commuter Service to an urban area that desperately needs it. The Corridor itself is extensive, and the Plan is multifaceted.
Not that the "Nuts and Bolts" type presentations should be missed, but sometimes a few very interesting insights are to be gained from presentations such as these noted above. If the Technical Conference finds you in attendance, you will have a leg up on all who do not attend. Hopefully, you can use this advantage for the benefit of us all.