Technology

  • Prioritizing Safety Means Prioritizing Workforce for Rail Industry
    Freight rail is delivering on its commitment to safety and its workforce through cutting-edge technology to protect and empower employees.
  • Why Freight Rail’s Future Tracks with America’s Future
    AAR President & CEO, Ian Jefferies discusses how 21st-century thinking and technology are transforming the industry that helped build this nation. “Freight railroads are working to meet the demands of a world that is changing not by the year, but by the minute.”
  • Experts Weigh in on Governing Technology in Transportation
    In a recent Mobility Podcast episode, leading transportation experts from the Mercatus Center, Oliver Wyman, the USDOT and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation discuss the challenges facing freight railroads — including changes to distribution patterns and increased use of intermodal transportation — and outline how policy can and should promote innovation across the transportation industry.
  • Prioritizing Safety Means Prioritizing Workforce for Rail Industry
    Freight rail is delivering on its commitment to safety and its workforce through cutting-edge technology to protect and empower employees — from drones to ultrasound, smart sensors and Positive Train Control.
  • AskRail App: Arming First Responders with Critical Rail Information
    In the event of a rail incident, timely and accurate information is critical. No one knows this better than former Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner who worked with the rail industry to develop the AskRail emergency response mobile app. “AskRail enables us to shrink the process of getting information from hours to minutes or even seconds,” says Werner.
  • TECH Q&A: Big Data, Machine Learning & a Team of Jedi Masters
    Technology is opening a new frontier for rail, says Norfolk Southern’s John Scheib. Full-realization of the benefits requires FRA to “reimagine possible” and “unleash a new age of innovation for railroads that will benefit our customers, the public and our national economy.”
  • TECH Q&A: Embracing the Future: How Do Technologists Integrate Into Railroads?
    From Big Data to automation, CSX’s Chief Information Officer, Kathleen Brandt explains how techies work alongside railroaders to enhance business operations and strengthen the entire network.
  • Meeting the Demands of the Digital Age
    By spending billions of dollars in private capital on infrastructure, equipment and technology, freight railroads are helping to solve a national transportation capacity crisis while keeping the economy moving.
  • TTCI & Railinc: Delivering Tomorrow’s Railroads
    Lisa Stabler, President of TTCI, and Allen West, President and CEO of Railinc, highlight how railroads develop and deploy high-tech tools that help make North America’s freight rail network safer than ever before.
  • Today’s Railroads Can Predict the Future. Here’s How.
    Using machine learning and Big Data, railroads identify patterns and predict what elements of their private, 140,000-mile network may soon need to be repaired or replaced.
  • 6 Ways Freight Rail Gets Techie
    The nation’s freight railroads put technology to work every day to make the network safer and more efficient.
  • How Technology Drives the Future of Rail
    Railroads use advanced algorithms and data analysis software to improve safety, reliability and service. Next generation automation technology will continue to reduce the impact of human error and human limitations on railroad operations, further improving safety and efficiency.
  • Tech Makes Freight Rail Even Safer
    Thanks to steady, substantial spending on infrastructure, equipment and technology, we are living in the safest era ever for U.S. railroads.
  • Railinc & Big Data Ensure Network Efficiency
    Railroads use big data to identify repairs, time deliveries and coordinate millions of railcars across a 140,000-mile network.
  • Sounding the Alarm: Big Data Finds Problems Before They Happen
    Data scientists analyze massive amounts of freight rail data to help prevent railroad accidents.
  • The Eyes & Ears of Freight Rail
    FRA rail safety data continues to show that recent years have been the safest on record for the rail sector. See how technologies once found only in the pages of science fiction novels help make this possible.

Safety


Policy Issues

Infrastructure

  • Expert Q&A: Rail is Ready for Fiercer Competition
    We spoke with Patrick Lortie, transportation expert with Oliver Wyman, about how railroads can keep pace through technology and policy: “Although freight rail companies are incredibly successful today, the railroad of tomorrow is going to be vastly different. They’re absolutely on the cusp of big transformational change.”
  • Freight Railroad Industry FAST Act Reauthorization Priorities
    Fueled by billions of dollars in private spending on infrastructure and equipment — averaging $25 billion annually — the freight railroad industry’s top priority in FAST Act reauthorization legislation is to preserve its ability to serve its customers and compete successfully in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner. Discover how freight rail’s six priorities will help the nation #BuildForTomorrow.

Technology & Automation

  • Experts Weight in on Governing Technology in Transportation
    In a recent Mobility Podcast episode, leading transportation experts from the Mercatus Center, Oliver Wyman, the USDOT and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation discuss the challenges facing freight railroads — including changes to distribution patterns and increased use of intermodal transportation — and outline how policy can and should promote innovation across the transportation industry.
  • Automation Guidance Wise to Include Railroads, But More Work Remains
    AAR applauds the DOT’s recently issued guidance for automation in the transportation sector, but calls for expanding freight rail’s place in the automation discussion.
  • The Wall Street Journal: American Railways Chug Toward Automation
    The Wall Street Journal highlights how American freight rail companies are increasingly automating functions — which will help improve network fluidity and customer service — and that current regulations aren’t keeping pace with these technological advancements.

Highway Issues

  • Congress Should Reject Bigger Trucks
    A recent poll found that 4 in 5 Americans oppose boosting truck sizes. Bigger trucks would drive more freight traffic to roads, creating gridlock and more damage to public infrastructure.
  • The Real Cost of Heavier Trucks
    Increasing trucks from 80,000 pounds to 91,000 pounds would further damage America’s roadways and harm the transportation partners who help keep America’s economy moving.

Economic Regulation

USMCA & International Trade

Crew Size


Capacity & Investment


Sustainability

  • Freight Rail: Moving Miles Ahead on Sustainability
    Freight railroads use innovative technologies to help limit greenhouse gas emissions, increase fuel efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint, making rail the most environmentally friendly way to move freight over land.
  • Freight Rail & the Greening of America
    From technology that reduces idling to improved freight car design, railroads are investing in new equipment and pioneering fresh ways of efficiently running greener operations.
  • Locomotive or Supercomputer? How Tech Drives Rail Efficiency
    More than just brawny engines that power trains, today’s locomotives also have brains: smart sensors and computer programs that monitor and assess dozens of variables to help make freight rail more environmentally friendly and efficient than ever before.

What We Haul


Rail 101 & More