Sept. NRC column: 2022 NRC Conference will be ‘well worth the wait’

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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NRC Chairman Jim Hansen.

There’s no denying it. The decision to cancel the NRC’s annual conference in 2021 was painful.

Professionals across the rail industry let us know their disappointment. But the good news is the 2022 conference is on target and shaping up to be our best ever. The proverbial expression “well worth the wait” aptly describes what’s ahead Jan. 5 through 8. We hope you will join us at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix.

For so many contractors and suppliers, the NRC’s Annual Conference is an invaluable way to formulate their business gameplans for the year. They know the conference gives them access to learn about the engineering plans of key railroads and transit agencies, to network with other leaders, and to advocate for the rail industry.

The conference lineup has attracted MVPs from across the industry. I’m thrilled to announce that Union Pacific Corp. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz will be the keynote speaker for our fireside chat, which always is a conference highlight. You can anticipate a candid and wide-ranging discussion with Fritz about Union Pacific and the issues confronting our industry and what to expect with commerce across North America and beyond.

As always, attendees will gain first-hand insights from chief engineers about 2022 engineering and capital plans for all the Class 1 and major short line railroads as well as large passenger rail and transit authorities. Attendees tell us this detail and the opportunity for interaction are irreplaceable and provide insights that they share with others throughout their company.

Safety is always a top consideration, and the conference lineup will reflect that priority. Representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will address roadway worker protection updates and review key regulations, including FRA Part 219 on drug and alcohol testing and FRA Part 243 on minimum training standards.

Also expect some unique presentations to learn about operations outside of your wheelhouse. Don Hutton, director of New York New Jersey Rail, will discuss its float railroad operation extending across the Hudson River from New Jersey to Brooklyn, N.Y.

It’s time to make your plans to attend. Conference registration and hotel blocks are open. You also can find out about exhibitor options for the NRC-REMSA Exhibition, sponsorships, and the rest of the conference lineup. Find everything you need to know at the NRC website: https://bit.ly/3yTPoYC.

Here’s a request for every leader who plans to attend. Extend a hand up. Consider inviting a promising young professional on your team who would benefit from this development opportunity. I was fortunate someone looked out for me so many years ago. It made an enormous impact on my career.

I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces in Phoenix this January.

Building a safer and stronger railway construction industry together.

Categories: Class 1, Freight, Rail News, Railroad News, Track Construction, Track Maintenance
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