The 2015 Railroad Environmental Conference (RREC) will be held on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus on October 27 – 28. RREC 2015 will feature presentations by railroaders, consulting engineers, academics and others involved in all aspects of railroad environmental topics. Registration for the conference opens soon. Click here for the conference website.
RailTEC 2016 Short Course
Please mark your calendars now for RailTEC’s 2016 Short Course. This week-long session on track engineering will be held August 8 – 11, 2016 on the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign campus. Key topics include: Track Systems and Infrastructure Components; Locomotives, Rolling Stocks and Mechanical Components; and Rail Project Design and Construction. More details will be forthcoming. Registration begins in December!
In the News
RailTEC Short Course Well Received
August 2015: The Railway Engineering Short Course, held August 3 – 7, 2015 on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, was a rousing success. A post class survey showed that 98% of the students thought that their understanding of the course material was increased and agreed it was a positive and worthwhile experience. One student reflected, “I highly recommend the class. It combines engineering principles with real life applications. The instructors provide a balanced mix with their railroad and design experiences.” Another Short Course will be held in the summer of 2016. Details will be announced soon.
RAIL Grand Opening
August 2015: The Research And Innovation Lab (RAIL) held its Grand Opening on Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Gregory Winfree, Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology for the United States Department of Transportation, and Joseph Leader, Senior Vice President for New York City Transit, both gave brief remarks and had the honors of ribbon cutting. Approximately 70 people attended the event and had the opportunity to tour the 3,500 square foot facility. RAIL is quickly gaining attention and support from both the public and private sector. Additional media coverage can be found here: Engineering at Illinois, WCIA video, RT&S, University of Illinois Federal Relations newsletter, The News-Gazette
Article Addresses Tank Car Design
August 2015 - The dramatic increase in the transport of flammable liquids by rail has raised concerns about the risk of accidents producing large spills. A collaborative, multiyear research effort by several organizations, including RailTEC, focused on this issue. An article written by Professor Chris Barkan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Assistant Professor Xiang Liu (Rutgers University) and Research Assistant Professor Rapik Saat (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign )addressed this topic and was recently published in the summer issue of TR News. Click here to read the article titled “Enhanced Tank Car Design Improves the Safety of Transporting Crude Oil and Alcohol by Rail”.
9th Annual Summerail Conference
TRB Rail Freight Committee AR040 hosted the 9th Annual Summerail Conference on August 12-13, 2015 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. Approximately 40 people attended the two day conference which was designed to bring together railroad professionals, government officials, and academics to discuss the past, present, and future of the U.S. railroad industry. Forrest Van Schwartz (firstname.lastname@example.org) organized the conference and registration.. The 2015 TRB Summerail Program can be viewed here.
Eisenhower Fellowship Winners
July 2015: Two RailTEC Ph.D. students, Alexander Lovett and Samantha Chadwick, have received Dwight David Eisenhower Fellowships. This fellowship is awarded to students pursuing degrees in transportation related disciplines in an effort to attract qualified students to the field of transportation and research, and advance transportation workforce development. Alexander is currently working on a joint M.B.A. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. His research focuses on determining the various costs of railroad track maintenance including the direct costs associated with maintenance as well as how maintenance affects train operations. Sam’s research is focused on improving safety at highway-rail grade crossings by minimizing the risk of train derailments, specifically through development of a statistical model identifying high derailment risk crossings.