• P.O. Box 120173, Boston, MA 02112-0173

March - Rail Forum & Expo

2017 Rail Tech Conference
Engineering & Transit Night Dinner Meeting
March 23, 2017

The New England Railroad Club invites members, industry professionals, students, and individuals interested in a career in the railroad industry to join us at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, on March 23, 2017, for the new Rail Tech Conference. The Rail Tech Conference is both a technology driven forum and a professional development conference exploring high-tech solutions to issues relevant to the rail industry in New England.

The conference will provide participants – industry professionals from railroads, consulting companies, and suppliers, as well as those looking to start a career in transportation - with insight as to how the rail industry is seeking out and employing a wider range of tech skills in its daily operations. The application of new technologies, coupled with a skilled workforce that can both utilize and maintain them, is transforming the industry, allowing it to be faster, safer, and more efficient when responding to the challenges of today’s marketplace.

Ticket Costs:
Conference & Dinner/Keynote
$85/$850 Table - Club Member and Regular Attendee
$35 - Student Dinner/Conference Ticket (with valid college ID)

Conference Only (all events except dinner)
$25 - Club member and Regular Attendee
Free to all College Students with valid college ID

Exhibitor Tabletop:
$200- Includes table and skirting, electrical, chairs, and 2 conference only tickets

Click on a tab below to register, reserve a booth space, become a sponsor, or to find out more about the event.

Expo Schedule & Events

The 2017 Rail Tech Conference will be held on the third floor of the DCU Center. All events, including registration, seminars, reception, and dinner will occur there.

Expo Floor Plan


Location: 3rd Floor, DCU Center
10:00amExhibitor set-up
12:30pmRegistration open
1:00pm – 2:00pmSeminar #1: An Introduction to Title 49 CFR Part 243 – Training, Qualification and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees
2:00pm – 3:00pmSeminar #2: Quality Management Systems in Today’s Railroad
3:00pm – 4:00pmSeminar #3: Planning Towards Resilience
4:00pm – 5:00pmDOT Roundtable Discussion
5:00pm – 6:30pmHosted Supplier Reception
6:30pm – 8:00pmDinner and Keynote


Keynote: John C. Hellmann, Chief Executive Officer, Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

John C. Hellmann
Chief Executive Officer
Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

John C. Hellmann has been Chief Executive Officer of Genesee & Wyoming since 2007 and President since 2005. He joined the company in 2000 as Chief Financial Officer, a position that he held through 2005. During his 16 years at G & W, the company has grown from 21 railroads to 121 railroads. Previously, Mr. Hellmann worked in corporate finance at Lehman Brothers in the Emerging Communications Group and at Schroder & Co. in the Transportation Group. He also worked for Weyerhaeuser Co. in Tokyo, Japan and Beijing, China. Mr. Hellmann currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Railroads and is also the Chairman of the Board of Adelaide-based Genesee & Wyoming Australia, Montreal-based Genesee & Wyoming Canada, and London-based Freightliner Group.

Mr. Hellmann is a graduate of Princeton University and received an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a concentration in China Studies. He is married with three children and lives in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Overview of Genesee & Wyoming Inc.
Genesee & Wyoming owns or leases 122 freight railroads worldwide that are organized in 11 operating regions with 7,500 employees and more than 2,800 customers. G&W’s nine North American regions serve 41 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces and include 114 short line and regional freight railroads with more than 13,000 track-miles. G&W subsidiaries provide rail service at more than 40 major ports in North America, Australia and Europe and perform contract coal loading and railcar switching for industrial customers.

G&W’s Australia Region provides rail freight services in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia and operates the 1,400-mile Tarcoola to Darwin rail line. G&W’s U.K./Europe Region is led by Freightliner, the U.K.’s largest rail maritime intermodal operator and second-largest rail freight company. Operations also include heavy-haul in Poland and Germany and cross-border intermodal services connecting Northern European seaports with key industrial regions throughout the continent.


Seminar #1
1:00pm – 2:00pm
Title 49 CFR Part 243 – Training, Qualification and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees

Presented by Rob Castiglione, FRA Human Performance Division

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 required that the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation establish minimum training standards for all safety-related railroad employees. To comply with that statutory mandate, the Federal Railroad Administration published a final rule on November 7, 2014, establishing Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 243, Training, Qualifications, and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees, which requires each railroad or contractor that employs one or more safety-related railroad employees to develop and submit a training program to FRA for approval and to designate the minimum training qualifications for each occupational category of employee. The rule also requires most employers to conduct periodic oversight of their employees and develop annual written reviews of their training programs to close performance gaps.

In addition to establishing the new 49 CFR Part 243, the rule modified two existing CFR parts. First, the rule includes specific training and qualification requirements in 49 CFR Part 214, Railroad Workplace Safety, for operators of roadway maintenance machines that can hoist, lower, and horizontally move a suspended load. Second, the rule clarifies the existing training requirements for railroad and contractor employees who perform brake system inspections, tests, or maintenance under 49 CFR Part 232, Brake System Safety Standards for Freight and Other Non-Passenger Trains and Equipment; End-of-Train Devices.

In this special webinar seminar Rob Castiglione will join us from Texas via internet to discuss the minimum training standards regulation for Title 49 CFR Part 243. Currently Rob is Staff Director of FRA’s Human Performance Division. He is also responsible for leading cross-functional teams in connection with the new Minimum Training Standards Rule, which will entail review, approval, and audits of training programs developed by railroads, contractors, training organizations and learning institutions, used to qualify and train safety-related railroad employees on Federal laws, regulations, and orders.

Rob has been with the FRA for 31 years and has held several progressively responsible positions with FRA beginning with Inspector, Regional Supervisory Specialist, and Technical Training Specialist. He is currently responsible for the nationwide implementation and training of all Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS),.and Clear Signal for Action (CSA) sites.

Seminar #2
2:00pm – 3:00pm
Quality Management Systems in Today’s Railroad

Presented by DonnaLynn DiSpirito, Quality Manager, ISO 9001, Keolis

Operating a railroad is complex. It takes a lot to keep all the “moving parts” functioning safely, on time and within budget. Several organizations offer guidelines and requirements. These include FTA QMS guidelines, AAR M-1003 and QA5000, and IRIS (International Railway Industry Standard). These requirements have one thing in common: they are all based upon the ISO 9001 Quality System Management standards.

This presentation will provide an overview of ISO 9001:2015 with a concentration on its use in a commuter rail system.

Seminar #3
3:00pm – 4:00pm
Planning Towards Resilience

Presented by Clary Coutu, Manager of Environmental Compliance, Keolis

Railroads are exposed to multiple natural hazards and emergencies that threaten the continuity of operations. Resiliency is the ability to reduce the magnitude and or duration of disruptive events and recover from impact and adversity. The effectiveness of a resilient infrastructure and or system depends upon management ability to anticipate, absorb, adapt to, and or rapidly recover from disruptions. Every railroad has undergone changes and understanding threats that impact operations, safety and security, economic performance, and corporate image supports the development of plans that help prepare for continuity of operations and strengthen business operations.


The hosted networking reception will be held in the prefunction area/exhibitor pavilion from 5:00pm to 6:30pm. We welcome you to join us for refreshments and hot and cold hors d’ouevres brought to us through the sponsorship of exhibitors and other members of the Club. The reception has traditionally been the event where the membership of the club gathers to meet each other, catch up with acquaintances, and discuss the goings-on in the New England railroad scene.