The Signal

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About AAR

Helpful Content

Podcasts & Interviews

  • Mobility Podcast: Governing Technology in Transportation
    This  year’s RailxTech on Capitol Hill offered a panel discussion with transportation experts moderated by Mobility Podcast’s Greg Rogers and Pete Gould, honing in on the rapid innovation occurring across the transportation sector, the societal and economic implications of this transformation and how policymakers can encourage innovation.
  • Emerging Freight Rail Safety Technology
    Mike Rush, AAR SVP of Safety & Operations, joined The Mobility Podcast to talk about the potential automated technologies have for transforming the rail industry, including through PTC.
  • Lisa Stabler, President of TTCI, Talks Future of Rail Tech
    In a recent radio interview, Lisa Stabler highlights how the Transportation Technology Center Inc. develops technologies that make rail transportation safer and more efficient.

Freight Rail Facts

  • A Private Network
    America’s freight rail industry is one of the most efficient and cost-effective transportation networks in the world. Fueled by billions of dollars in annual private investment — averaging about $26 billion a year — railroads maintain and modernize the nation’s nearly 140,000-mile rail network to deliver for America.
  • Economically Critical
    In 2017, Class I railroads’ operations and capital investments supported over 1.1 million jobs, $219.5 billion in economic output and $71.3 billion in wages, while creating nearly $26 billion in total tax revenues.
  • Safe & Getting Safer
    America’s freight rail industry is among the safest sectors in the U.S. — and the world. Railroads train 20,000 first responders annually and more than 99.99% of all hazmat moved by rail reaches its destination without a release caused by an incident.
  • Future Focused
    Innovative technologies like ultrasound and drones allow railroads to inspect infrastructure and equipment with greater precision and frequency. America’s freight railroads continue to meet all Positive Train Control (PTC) deadlines.
  • Sustainable
    As one the most sustainable way to move goods over land, a freight train, on average, moves one ton of freight more than 470 miles on one gallon of fuel. Moving goods by rail instead of truck reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75%, on average.
  • Trade Connector
    Global commerce is directly tied to 42% of rail traffic and 40,000 domestic rail jobs, worth $4.4 billion in annual wages and benefits. Railroads haul roughly 33% of U.S. exports, allowing U.S. industries to compete abroad while providing consumers access to a greater variety of goods.
  • Employee Driven
    Freight railroads employ roughly 140,000 people — the vast majority of whom are unionized. Class I freight rail employees earn and average of $130,2000 per year in wages and benefits.

Rail Industry Links

  • The Surface Transportation Board (STB): Federal, bipartisan, independent adjudicatory board that has economic regulatory oversight of railroads.
  • The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA): Agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that promulgates and enforces rail safety regulations.
  • Railinc: Wholly-owned subsidiary of the AAR and is the leading provider of information technology, related network operations and financial services, and near rail-time network data to North America’s railroads.
  • The Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI): Wholly-owned subsidiary of the AAR is and the railroad industry’s world-class rail research and testing facility that works to improve the safety and efficiency of freight railroads throughout North America and the world.
  • GoRail: Works with thousands of community leaders across the country to tell the local story of freight rail — stronger economies, more jobs and cleaner skies.
  • The American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association: Founded in 1913, ASLRRA represents approximately 600 owners and operators of short line and regional railroads throughout North America.
  • Operation Lifesaver, Inc.: Nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks.
  • League of Railway Women (LRIW): Professional association that advances the representation, recognition, and opportunities for women in the railroad industry by providing networking opportunities, sponsoring industry educational activities and supporting mentoring partnerships.