WRI 29 Is In The Books

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief of Railway Track & Structures (l), welcomes WRI Heavy Haul session attendees with Gordon Bachinsky, Founder of the Wheel/Rail Interaction Conference
Mike Yuhas

CHICAGO - I have just returned from the 29th annual Wheel/Rail Interaction Conference in Chicago, and the event exceeded my expectations.

Although I had attended the conference in 2015 as a journalist, it was great to see that the quality of presentations and other aspects of the meeting were as well maintained and executed as in 2015, and perhaps even better. And as most readers, know, Railway Track & Structures was the presenting sponsor for the Heavy Haul section of the conference, which took place on May 23-24.  The two previous days were devoted to Mass Transit (Tuesday, May 21) and the Principles Course (Wednesday, May 22).

During the two days of Heavy Haul, there were fifteen presentations to an audience of around 225 attendees on a variety of rail engineering topics, each made by an expert in the discipline. For example, Fabian Hansmann, Head of Marketing at Plasser & Theurer presented “Track Geometry: Quality vs. Performance?” Corina Moore, Executive Vice President of Transportation and Infrastructure at WSP in Canada made a somewhat different presentation, “The Intersection of Culture and Technology Implementation.”

Gordon Bachinsky, Founder, Wheel/Rail Interaction Conference Photo by Mike Yuhas

Brad Kerchof Photo by Mike Yuhas

Brad Kerchof, Senior Track Engineer at Global Rail, NA (formerly ARM) and long-time Director of Research and Tests at Norfolk Southern, went through a derailment investigation exercise that focused on the diligent and careful work required to find the correct cause of a derailment. His presentation was entitled “Case Study: A Derailment Investigation–– Was the Right Cause Found?” Gary Wolf also presented on derailment investigations with his “Current Status and Trends in Track Caused Derailments with Emphasis on Causes Related to the Wheel/Rail Interface.”

Fabian Hansmann, Plasser & Theurer Photo by Mike Yuhas

In addition to the presentations, the Heavy Haul section featured three “InfoZone” sessions. Each InfoZone session lasts approximately 30 minutes, and during three InfoZone breaks over the two days, two sessions were offered during each. These sessions take place in private rooms and allow vendors to engage in in-depth discussions with attendees to learn more about the technical aspects of products and services available now or on the horizon. The vendors participating in InfoZones this year were BOSSPAC, LORAM, Plasser American, FTS Tools, and Global Rail NA. Each InfoZone session is followed by a thirty-minute “ExpoZone” session where attendees can spend time with vendors with booths in an open area of one of the larger meeting rooms. In addition to these thirty-minute sessions, the ExpoZone is open throughout the conference.

Gary Wolf Photo by Mike Yuhas

Railway Track and Structures is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Heavy Haul session at WRI, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with this organization in the coming years. Please note, too, that at least one of our stories in the magazine each month will be a detailed written presentation originating from a conference, prepared by the team of Bob and Jeff Tuzik at Interface: The Journal ofWheel/Rail Interaction.

Bob Tuzik Photo by Mike Yuhas

Crowd listens intently to Gordon Bachinsky’s Remarks Photo by Mike Yuhas

David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief, Railway Track & Structures Photo by Mike Yuhas

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