• P.O. Box 301686, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-1686

March - Rail Tech Conference

2018 Rail Tech Conference
Engineering & Transit Night Dinner Meeting
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Conference: 12:30 p.m. • Supplier Reception: 5:00 p.m. • Dinner 6:45 p.m.

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 22, 2018, for the 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.

Keynote Speaker
Vinay Mudholkar, Transportation Consultant to US and International Rail & Transit Developments

Topic:  “Building Successful High Speed Shared Rail Corridors”

Who Should Attend

  • College Students and other Professionals interested in a career in the railroad industry. Learn about the field and the jobs within, and network with company representatives from all facets of the industry.
  • Active Industry Professionals from area railroads, state departments of transportation, consulting companies, and suppliers. Learn of new best practices and technologies in our shared field of employment that can be applied to your current organization.

DCU Center (Conference Center) – 3rd Floor
50 Foster Street, Worcester, MA

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 2018 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


10:00amExhibitor set-up
12:00pmRegistration open
12:30pmIndustry Pavilion Opens
1:00pm – 1:45pmSeminar #1: Improving Crossties - Recent advances that are improving service life and reducing disposal costs.
Conference Room A/B

Seminar #2: Drones in Railroading
North Ballroom
2:00pm – 2:45pmSeminar #3: FRA Part 219 Alcohol/Drug Program Overview and Updates
North Ballroom
3:00pm – 3:45pmSeminar #4: Important Updates to Title 49 CFR Part 243
North Ballroom
4:00pm – 4:45pmSeminar #5: UAV Technology in Railroading
North Ballroom
4:00pm – 5:00pmRoundtable Discussion
5:00pm – 6:30pmHosted Networking Reception
6:30pm – 8:00pmDinner and Keynote


Keynote: Vinay Mudholkar, Transportation Consultant

Vinay Mudholkar Transportation Consultant to US and International Rail & Transit Developments

“Building Successful High Speed Shared Rail Corridors”

High Speed Rail Corridors carrying passenger and freight will provide greater opportunities for partnerships between northeast railroads to better serve both the passenger and freight markets, improve assets, and profitability. New technologies will also improve capacity in existing corridors as proven in the United Kingdom. Mr. Vinay Mudholkar has worked in the Northeast and UK delivering such results. He is a former President of the New England Railroad Club and will share his successful private and public sector cooperative efforts with our membership.

Mr. Vinay Mudholkar is an international transportation consultant with over forty years of rail program management experience in fields of design, construction, project financing, operation, and maintenance. His understanding of multi-cultures and team building has enabled him to contribute to the successful and safe delivery of high speed rail programs throughout the world. Recent projects that he has played key roles in include the All Aboard Florida Amtrak’s 110mph Keystone Corridor upgrade. Overseas he has participated in Network Rail’s West Coast Mainline 125 mph upgrade, Metro construction and commissioning in Hyderabad, India, and a new shared freight and 125 mph passenger rail corridor in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Mudholkar’s career has included the positions of Chief Engineer at the Boston & Maine Railroad/Guilford Transportation Industries, Deputy Director of MBTA Commuter Rail, Principal Engineer for Bechtel International, Director of Program Management for Amtrak, and Technical Vice President for L. Berger International. He holds degrees and certificates from Northeastern, MIT, WPI, and the College of Engineering, Pune, India. Vinay is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Association, and Fellow Permanent Way Institute of UK. He is also a past President of the New England Railroad Club.


Seminar 1: Improving Crossties
Learn about the new technologies that are lengthening the service life and reducing the disposal costs of the standard wood crosstie, one of the most important, but often overlooked, pieces of railroad infrastructure. Presented by Dr. Hailing Yu, John A. Volpe National Transportation System Center.
Seminar 2: Drones in Railroading
UAV technologies are increasingly being employed throughout the industry, especially for bridge and right-of-way inspections. Panelists from area railroads and engineering companies will discuss how the technology is being used on some of the region’s railroads. Presented by Keolis Engineering Team, Keolis Commuter Services and Steven Youschak and Sam Johnson American Rail Engineers.
Seminar 3: Overview and Updates to FRA 219 Drug and Alcohol Rules
Learn about the intricacies of the FRA’s Part 219 drug and alcohol program and how your railroad can be in compliance with the law. Under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act, the Department of Transportation is required to implement Drug and Alcohol testing programs within various transportation industries. Drug and alcohol testing has been required by the FRA for railroad industry employees since 1986. The general purpose of this program is to prevent accidents and casualties in railroad operations that result from impairment of employees by alcohol and/or drugs. In Part 219, FRA has designated its safety-sensitive employees to be those who perform service covered under the hours of service laws and, since June 12, 2017, Maintenance of Way employees have also been subject to Part 219 requirements. Presented by Jerry Powers, Federal Railroad Administration.
Seminar 4: Important Updates to Title 49 CFR Part 243
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. This follow-up to last year’s presentation will highlight important updates to the rules governing training, qualification, and oversight of safety related workers. Presented by Michael Sanders, Federal Railroad Administration.
Seminar 5: UAV Technology in Railroading (2)
UAV technology has changed the way railroads inspect infrastructure, including bridges. This seminar will demonstrate the application of commercial use UAVs in the industry. Presented by Steve Youschak and Sam Johnson, American Rail Engineers.


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.