American Railway Development Association


October 2017
Technology Section Feature
Accurate Data Improving Public Safety One Grade Crossing at a Time
Alan B. Johnson, PE
Asst. Chief Engineer, NS & ARDA Technology Section Vice Chair

Railroad freight shipping is one of America's most efficient ways to transport goods across the country. Despite the industry's efforts to highlight the success of its safety initiatives which have made rail one of the safest options to ship freight, accidents at rail-highway at-grade crossings continue to grab the attention of the public, and help form their opinion of the rail ind
ustry. While grade collision rates continue to trend downward, continued improvement in grade crossing safety must be implemented.  Although at face value, data may not seem like an obvious component to improving grade crossing safety, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and railroads think otherwise.

To this end, FRA published a rule on January 6, 2015 requiring railroads to submit more detailed information on their crossings, and to keep this information updated on a regular basis. Maintaining an accurate inventory provides a tool for railroads and transportation agencies to successfully manage the wide array of grade crossing information, and analyze options for improving public safety and awareness. By implementing new inventory technology and improving grade crossing inventory records' accuracy, the federal database of over 200,000 grade crossings in the United States can create a solid foundation for dramatically improving grade crossing safety.  

Fall Drone Webinar - Registration Now Open!

On November, 8, 2018, at Noon Eastern, the ARDA Technology Section is hosting a webinar on the use of drones in the railroad i ndustry. Our presenter, Jonathan Rupprecht is an expert in commercial drone regulations, and has advised a number of companies  on how best to comply with federal drone regulations, and how to successfully i ntegrate the use of drones into the corporate environment. His presentation will cover:
  • Current commercial drone regulations and licensing requirements
  • Specific regulations that are of interest to railroads
  • Integrating drone use in the corporate environment
  • Managing employee and contractor use of drones
Participating in this webinar is free of charge and open to the public. To register please go to this link.

If you have any questions regarding the drone webinar please contact Fred Oelsner at
Register for the 2018 Executive Forum!

For 2018, ARDA will be focusing our effort and events around the theme of "Building on Our Foundation." This theme reflects the long history of the railroad industry and our aim to look at future opportunities that take advantage of our current position and strengths. Our first event is the 2018 Executive Forum in Savannah, GA, from February 8-9, 2018 which will be held at the Charles H. Morris Center. In addition to our educational program highlighting timely issues within the railroad industry, the Forum will include a tour of the Port of Savannah on Thursday, February 8, followed by a networking reception downtown.

To register for the 2018 Executive Forum please go to this link.

Hotel Block:
We have reserved a room block for Forum attendees at the  Homewood Suites by Hilton Savannah Historic District / Riverfront. Rooms in our block can be booked by calling (912) 355-0025 and requesting a room in the "2018 ARDA Executive Forum" block.

Other Information:
More information on the Forum can be found at

If you have any questions regarding the 2018 Executive Forum please contact Fred Oelsner at
Time to Renew Your ARDA Membership for 2018! 

If you have not yet renewed your ARDA membership for 2018, please visit our website at and log-in at the top right corner of the page. 

Your renewed membership allows ARDA to continue fostering the industrial, real estate, natural resources, market development activities and environmental concerns of the North American railroads through the advancement of ideas and education of its members. Members also discounted registration rates at ARDA events, including a $200 discount on the Annual Meeting!

If you are not an ARDA member and would like to join, please visit our  registration page .

Sponsor ARDA in 2018
First, thank you to all of ARDA's 2017 sponsors who helped make our Get Connected year, including events in Atlanta and Memphis, such a big success! 

2017 ARDA Sponsors

Bartlett & West
Norfolk Southern

GEI Consultants
Kansas City Southern

Clear Channel Outdoor
Florida East Coast Railway
LJA Engineering, Inc.
TRC Solutions

Daley Mohan Groble
Halff Associates
Jesco, Inc.
RMI Midwest
W.G. Yates & Sons Contsruction

We hope that we will continue to have your support for our work in 2018.  ARDA offers companies the opportunity to sponsor the association on an annual basis, or by specific events at our Annual Meeting and Executive Forum. Multiple levels of Annual Sponsorship are available for your consideration. Corporate commitments greater than $1,000 also include complimentary individual memberships in ARDA.

If you have any questions or would like to sponsor ARDA for 2018 please contact Fred Oelsner at or 202-715-1259 .

Annual ARDA Sponsorships
Bronze Level
$1,000 - $2,999
Silver Level
$3,000 - $4,999
Gold Level
$5,000 -  $7,499
Platinum Level

2017-18 ARDA Board of Directors

President: Gary Rozmus, GEI Consultants
First Vice President: Mark Holder, Bartlett & West, Inc.
Second Vice President: Doug Morrison, Bartlett & West, Inc.
Treasurer: Mike Ray, BNSF Railway Company
Secretary: Devin Sprinkle, CN
Past President: Alan Sisk, Norfolk Southern Corporation

For more information, visit the ARDA website  or contact: 
ARDA staff at
The  American Railway Development Association  (ARDA) is a not-for-profit educational trade association founded in 1906 to promote Economic Development, Real Estate Development, Technology, and Environmental Activities of the North American Railroads. 
The objectives of the Association are to foster the industrial, real estate, natural resources, market development activities and environmental concerns of the North  American railroads; and through the advancement of ideas and education of its members, further promote the effectiveness of railway development and related work .
Technology Feature
Drone Webinar
Forum Registration
Membership Renewal
Sponsor ARDA!
In the News

Join Our Mailing List

ARDA logo