2006 AREMA Annual Conference
It's coming up, this year it will be held between September 17th and 20th in Louisville, Kentucky. This year will also feature the REMSA World Rail Expo, with both indoor and outdoor exhibits. These outdoor exhibits generally mean high attendance for the Conference.
The Exhibit combined with the Technical Presentations are usually enough to convince any boss to pop for travel expenses required to get there. This year's presentations cover topics such as eliminating mud in track, how to deal with 200 MGT's traffic on a flood plane, performance of asphalt underlayment, recycling an open deck half through plate girder span, and the preliminary design of the Silicon Valley Tunnel Segment. Plus, there are at least a couple items that deal with the new generation of employees, from special opportunities to meet them to justifying training them, and that's a very good thing.
A couple of Presentations stood out for me, and will definitely be on my "must see" list. The first one, "Railroad Security Efforts Post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita" by Mr. Gary Gordon, PE and Mr. Curt Secrest of the Transportation Security Administration should provide a positive reaction to recent hurricane damage and give all railroaders some ammunition to use when it comes time to brag on how the industry can respond to emergencies.
The second is a very interesting sounding presentation, "How Agencies Can 'Railroad' a Railroad: A Case Study" by Mr. Gary Lewis of Parsons Water and Infrastructure and Mr. Mark McCune of the Union Pacific Railroad. Common experience is that the UPRR gets its own way when it comes to dealing with any agency. I will be interested in hearing if and how Uncle Pete was out maneuvered by someone. At least, it will shed some insight into one particular agency's thought process.
Figure on somewhere around 1,200 railroad track engineering professionals in attendance. If you have any connection at all, you have probably already made your reservation. If not, you should do it soon.