News Archive

2017

Rail Transportation Minor for Michigan Tech
January 17, 2017

The Michigan Technological University Senate approved a Rail Transportation minor as part of their university offerings in the spring of 2016. This minor is targeted to Michigan Tech students from various disciplines with interests in the rail transportation industry. The mix of discipline specific and multi-disciplinary class requirements provide students with the basic skills and background necessary to rapidly become effective specialists and leaders in the industry. In addition to the courses in rail transportation and engineering, students also learn logistics, management, leadership, and/ or communications skills to meet the demands of rail industry careers. In addition to civil engineering and business needs, the industry is increasingly looking for graduates with the technical expertise needed for their signal and communications systems (including IT systems), and the background to handle the latest developments in mechanical systems, including locomotive engines. The minor is initially setup for students from Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering departments, but future additions will be considered based on the level of student interest. Click here to see the Rail Transportation Minor course requirements.

NURail Students Honored at TRB
January 13, 2017

(L-R) Chris Barkan (NURail Center Director), Steven Landry (Michigan Tech), Joanna Moody (MIT) and Samantha Chadwick (UIUC)

Three NURail students were presented with honors on January 7, 2017 during the CUTC Awards Banquet at the 96th Transportation Research Board Meeting in Washington, D.C. Samantha Chadwick, a PhD student in the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and Steven Landry, a PhD student in the Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors program at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech), both received NURail Center 2016 Outstanding Student of the Year awards from different grants.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student, Joanna Moody, received a Charley V. Wootan Memorial Award for best Master’s thesis in policy and planning. Joanna, now a Ph.D. candidate in the MIT Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Transportation, wrote the thesis, entitled "Development of a Predictive Coalition Building Analysis for Stakeholders of Sociotechnical Systems," under the supervision of Joseph Sussman, JR East Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems. In 2015, two other graduate students from the MIT Regional Transportation Planning and High-Speed Rail Research Group received Wootan Awards. Samuel Levy (MST '15) won in the Master's category and Maite Peña-Alcaraz (ESD Ph.D. '15) won in the PhD category.

2016

Women in Rail
December 21, 2016

Dr. Leslie McCarthy, Associate Professor with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Villanova University, shared her ideas as to why women should think about a career in rail and her predictions for the role of women in railroad careers in the future in NURail’s. Dr. McCarthy is the Chair of the NURail Affiliate University Program.

Rail Infrastructure and Vehicle Inspection Technology Conference Announced
December 20, 2016

NURail is co-sponsoring a new Rail Infrastructure and Vehicle Inspection Technology (RIVIT) Conference on 20-21 June 2017 on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. Its objectives include improving the effectiveness of existing technologies, development and implementation of new technologies, and presenting research on emerging technologies with the potential to be applied to rail transportation. Topic areas include: Infrastructure, Rolling Stock, Technologies, Analytics including both Freight and Passenger & Transit. The conference will provide ample time to meet and engage in discussions with experts in the field. The call for abstracts has been announced and are due by 3 February 2017.

2016 NURail Student of the Year Winners Announced
December 9, 2016

Two students were selected as the 2016 NURail Student of the Year. Samantha Chadwick, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) PhD student, received this award for Grant DTRT12-G-UTC18, and Steven Landry, a Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) PhD student, was the winner under Grant DTRT13-G-UTC52. As recipients of this award, Sam and Steve received an honorarium from NURail in recognition of their outstanding technical research, record of publications and presentation, academic performance, and professional leadership plus the cost of attendance to the 96th TRB Annual Meeting, two free registrations to the CUTC Banquet, and a certificate from US DOT. To read more about the award winners, please click here.

Designing RR Bridges using 3D Printings
December 7, 2016

A new structural engineering class culminated the semester by designing a railroad bridge and then building a model using 3D printing. University of New Mexico (UNM) civil engineering students, who earlier this semester visited the Rail Runner train station and its railroad bridge to learn more about railroad engineering design requirements, are being taught by Dr. Fernando Moreu, a UNM Assistant Professor. UNM is one of 16 members in the NURail University Affiliate Program. This program is a consortium of universities offering a combination of strengths in railway transportation engineering research and education in North America. The benefits of being an affiliate include participation in NURail’s annual meeting, recognition as a university with railway related activities and research and education resource sharing and collaborative opportunities. For more information about this program, contact Dr. Pasi Lautala (ptlautal@mtu.edu), Associate Director of Education for NURail, or Dr. Leslie McCarthy (leslie.mccarthy@villanova.edu), Chair of the Affiliate University Program. Click here to read the article.

Legal Landscape Impacts the Rail Industry
November 10, 2016

In November’s video listen to Dr. David B. Clarke, Executive Director of the University of Tennessee Knoxville Center for Transportation Research and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, discuss three basic topics on how the changing legal landscape impacts the rail industry. Dr. Clarke’s transportation experience includes a variety of projects in the areas of planning, design, system operations, and research. He has served as a university faculty member, consulting engineer, research manager, and researcher, and is active in national efforts to promote railway research and education, and teaches classes and short courses on rail subjects.

Spotlight: Aaron Dean from Michigan Tech
October 31, 2016

Aaron Dean, third year Mechanical Engineering major at Michigan Technological University, was recently selected as a DeVlieg Foundation Fellow for the Undergraduate Research Internship Program through the Pavlis Honors College. Aaron is an undergraduate research and administrative assistant for the Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program (RTP). His interest in research allowed him to shift from administrative tasks to research activities in a new area related to driver behavior at highway-rail grade crossings. In August, Aaron attended the AREMA conference in Orlando, FL where he won best undergraduate student poster. Following this success and the growing interest in his work, Aaron was invited to present at the 2017 Joint Rail Conference in Philadelphia this coming April. Aaron is very active in the Railroad Engineering & Activities Club (REAC), the Michigan Tech Student Chapter of AREMA, and was recently elected the 2016-2017 president. To read the complete article on Aaron, click here.

NURail’s October Video
October 7, 2016

NURail’s video of the month is Dr. Ahmed A. Shabana, University Distinguished Professor and the Richard and Loan Hill Professor of Engineering at UIC, discussing how he became involved with rail research. Dr. Shabana’s railroad research developing algorithms for railroad vehicle and track dynamics has been funded by the FRA since 1999 and he has developed computer programs that are licensed to industry and federal agencies. He is the author of Railroad Vehicle Dynamics: A Computational Approach and four other books.

NURail Affiliate Partner in the News
September 23, 2016

University of New Mexico (UNM) civil engineering students visited the Rail Runner train station and its railroad bridge to learn more about railroad engineering design requirements as part of their structural design class. Click here to read the article. This is a new class taught by Dr. Fernando Moreu, a UNM Assistant Professor in structural engineering. UNM is one of 16 members in the NURail University Affiliate Program.. This program is a consortium of universities offering a combination of strengths in railway transportation engineering research and education in North America. The benefits of being an affiliate include participation in NURail’s annual meeting, recognition as a university with railway related activities and research and education resource sharing and collaborative opportunities. For more information about this program, contact Dr. Pasi Lautala (ptlautal@mtu.edu), Associate Director of Education for NURail, or Dr. Leslie McCarthy (leslie.mccarthy@villanova.edu), Chair of the Affiliate University Program.

Off Peak Delivery Could Reduce Chicago Traffic
September 15, 2016

In a news release from the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois – Chicago researchers announced that reduced traffic congestion, better air quality, more efficient distribution of goods to businesses and stores, and an improved environment for pedestrians would be key benefits from implementing an off-peak delivery program in congested parts of Chicago. Similar delivery programs have reduced costs and improved traffic flow in several domestic and international markets. Funding for this project was provided by the NURail Center. Click here to read the article.

2016 AREMA Conference
September 6, 2016

Approximately 50 students from NURail Center partner universities attended the 2016 AREMA conference in Orlando, FL in August. The students are pictured above with Mike Franke (Amtrak), Mary Hay (daughter of William W. Hay) and Chris Barkan (NURail Center Director). In addition to attending technical sessions and giving poster presentations, many students worked the NURail booth in the exhibition hall. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s (NURail’s lead university) two teams scored first and second in the AREMA “Student Quiz Bowl” competition. The other NURail partner universities also placed well in the contest. The match consisted of four rounds of questions related to railroad engineering, operations, history and trivia.

NURail’s Featured Video for September
September 2, 2016

In this month’s video Dr. Joseph M. Sussman, JR East (East Japan Railway Company) Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Engineering Systems Division at MIT, discusses what excites him about his job after 47 years at MIT. Professor Sussman is also the director of the Regional Transportation Planning and High-Speed Rail Research Group. His research in railroads has had a major impact on the industry in the United States and abroad with several prize-winning papers.

Fostering the Future Generation of Railroaders
August 23, 2016

In the August 2016 issue of Railway Track & Structures (RT&S), AREMA President Brian A. Lindamood discusses in his monthly column the importance of viewing employees as a company asset and making the investment of time to foster the development of the generation of future railroaders. Brian also discusses his attendance at The Railway Academic Conference (TRAC), a combination of the Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES) and the NURail Annual Meeting, held on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus in July. Click here to read the article.

K-12 Students Learn about Railroads
August 3, 2016

On Wednesday, August 3, 2016, the NURail Center welcomed 21 students from the Next Generation School STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Summer Camp. This innovative summer program provides real-world experiences for students in grades 3-5 in the Champaign-Urbana area. Camp the week of August 1 was titled "STEAMventions" and focused on some of the most important inventions of the century from steam engine trains to nanotechnology. On the day the students spent on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, they focused on railroad planning, construction and safety, as well as investigating the physics of rail transportation.

For companion articles about this event please click here:

  • http://www.istem.illinois.edu/
  • STEAM article 1
  • STEAM article 2
  • Future of the Rail Industry
    August 4, 2016

    NURail's featured video for April is Dr. James L. McKinney, Roland Hutchins Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Dr. McKinney discusses where he thinks the rail industry is heading in the future.

    Michigan Tech’s Rail Summer Youth Program in the News
    July 22, 2016

    NURail partner Michigan Technological University held its Summer Youth Program in Rail and Intermodal Transportation this week. This program is a weeklong investigation designed to create awareness and stimulate interest in the area of rail and intermodal transportation. Since its inception, students that have participated in the program have arrived from vast geographic backgrounds, covering more than 16 states. Over 20% of the participants are from minority populations, and nearly 10% have been female students. KBJR-TV Channel 6 (NBC) in Duluth was on hand this week during one of the program’s technical tours. Click here to see their news clip.

    3-Minute Thesis Competition Winner
    July 20, 2016

    The winner of NURail’s 3-Minute Thesis competition this year was Ahmed El-Gandour, a PhD student from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The title of his presentation was “Coupled Finite Element and Multibody Dynamics for Studying Bridge Approaches”. Four student researchers delivered brief overviews of their research to a panel of judges and meeting attendees during the evening reception at The Railway Academic Conference (TRAC) on Wednesday, July 13. Each student presenter was allowed to speak a maximum of three minutes using a single PowerPoint slide. The winner was selected based on their presentation’s comprehension, content, engagement and communication.

    The Railway Academic Conference a Success
    July 19, 2016

    The Railway Academic Conference (TRAC) was held on the UIUC campus on July 12 – 14, 2016. Eighty attendees participated in this three-day event, with REES activities and the NURail Annual Meeting each comprising half of the program. Building on similar goals and objectives, TRAC further informed educators, industry professionals, and students about current developments in railroad engineering education, workforce development and outreach programs.

    Sharing with our Overseas Counterparts
    July 5, 2016

    Listen to Dr. Reginald R. Souleyrette, Department Chair and Commonwealth Chair of Transportation Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky, discuss what we can share with our overseas counterparts on rail infrastructure issues. Dr. Souleyrette serves as a program manager for the Kentucky Transportation Center and conducts research on safety information systems, GIS, railroad engineering and remote sensing.

    NURail’s Featured Video for June
    June 9, 2016

    David B. Clarke, Executive Director of the University of Tennessee Knoxville Center for Transportation Research and Research Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, discusses how knowledge is shared through NURail. Dr. Clarke is active in national efforts to promote railway research and education, and teaches classes and short courses on rail subjects.

    TRAC
    May 20, 2016

    The Railway Academic Conference (TRAC) will be held on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus on July 12 – 14, 2016 to build on synergy between the AREMA Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES) event and National University Rail (NURail) Center education and workforce development initiatives. TRAC is a three-day event, with REES activities and the NURail Annual Meeting each comprising half of the program.

    Why Should I Attend? This conference aims to:

    • Inform educators, industry professionals, and students about current developments in railroad engineering education, workforce development and outreach programs.
    • Facilitate sharing of education materials designed to introduce students to railway infrastructure, operations, engineering, and design concepts.
    • Strengthen collaboration between academia and industry to meet the challenge of developing the next generation of railroad professionals
    Click here to view the draft agenda. For additional information, visit the TRAC webpage.

    Rail Research Discussed
    May 3, 2016

    This month listen to Dr. Ahmed A. Shabana, University Distinguished Professor and the Richard and Loan Hill Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, discuss what interests him about his rail research. Dr. Shabana is an internationally recognized leader in the field of computational mechanics and nonlinear multibody dynamics, including rail applications. His railroad research developing algorithms for railroad vehicle and track dynamics has been funded by the FRA since 1999 and he has developed computer programs that are licensed to industry and federal agencies.

    Magazine Features NURail Affiliate Member’s Rail Program
    April 25, 2016

    The Winter 2016 issue of the Penn State Altoona magazine, Ivy Leaf, features an eight page article about their new Rail Transportation Engineering program. Established in 2011, the program graduated its first class in May 2015. Penn State Altoona is a NURail Affiliate Member and is the first and only college in the country to offer a bachelor of science degree in rail transportation engineering. Click here to read the article.

    Save the Date!
    April 21, 2016

    Mark your calendars now for three upcoming Michigan Tech programs. First is the Rail and Intermodal Transportation Summer Youth Program which will take place the week of July 17-23. This is an opportunity for high school students to explore the rail industry and its connections with other transportation modes. More detailed information is available on their website at http://www.rail.mtu.edu/event/rail-and-intermodal-transportation-summer-youth-program-2016. If you know of a youth who is interested in trains let them know immediately because the deadline for applications is May 2, 2016.

    The second event is the 4th Annual Michigan Rail Conference which will be held in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan this year. Save the date for August 17-18 and join Michigan Tech for a full day Wednesday centered on railroad issues across the state, followed by Thursday’s field trip spanning half of the UP. For registration, more information and partnership, please visit the conference web site at http://www.rail.mtu.edu/event/4th-annual-michigan-rail-conference.

    The last date to know is September 22 – 23 for the Michigan Tech Rail Day and Expo and 12th Annual Railroad Night. As an on-going tradition for the last decade, the 12th Annual Railroad Night will start with activities on the evening of the 22nd, bringing together rail industry representatives, Michigan Tech students, staff, and faculty, and members of the local community. Rail Day, with its rail industry displays designed to inform the student body about opportunities in the industry and motivate them to seek jobs with industry companies and with sessions showcasing the rail research and education at Michigan Tech, is on Friday, the 23rd. For more information, registration and sponsorship, visit http://www.rail.mtu.edu/event/3rd-annual-rail-day-and-student-expo.

    NURail Represented at JRC
    April 18, 2016

    NURail associated faculty and students attending the 2016 JRC

    The 2016 Joint Rail Conference (JRC) was held this year in Columbia, SC on April 12 – 15, 2016. In two special JRC sessions, twelve NURail students and faculty, representing both partner and affiliate schools, gave short presentations. This is the fourth year in a row for NURail to highlight their research and education activities at JRC.

    NURail Student Receives Outstanding Student Award
    April 11, 2016

    University of Kentucky student, Mr. Macy Purcell, has been selected as the recipient of UK’s College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Outstanding Master’s Student. The award consists of an engraved plaque and a cash award. He will be honored at the College of Engineering Awards Reception scheduled for Monday April 25, 5:30-7:30 pm in the Hilary J. Boone Center. Macy is actively pursuing his MSCE degree in Civil Engineering and will complete requirements in the Fall 2016 semester. He has also co-authored six research reports/technical papers during the past two years. Macy has been involved with collaborative research projects with the University of Tennessee and the University of Illinois through the NURail Center. These projects have involved both experimental laboratory testing and in-track instrumentation and testing of railway trackbeds.

    High-Speed Rail
    April 7, 2016

    NURail's featured video for April is Dr. Joseph M. Sussman discussing high-speed rail. Dr. Sussman is the JR East (East Japan Railway Company) Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Engineering Systems Division at MIT where he has served as a faculty member for over 47 years. He is also the director of the Regional Transportation Planning and High-Speed Rail Research Group. Dr. Sussman’s research in railroads has had a major impact on the industry in the United States and abroad with several prize-winning papers.

    Next William W. Hay Seminar
    March 21, 2016

    The next William W. Hay Seminar will be presented by Marco Eibenschutz from Italcertifer on Friday, April 1 at 12:20 pm (Central). He will be speaking on "ERTMS/ETCS L2 - Issues and Challenges in the Certification Process". Click here for login information. The first Hay Seminar of the Spring 2016 semester was held on March 4. David Lange, professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented on the topic of "Freeze-Thaw Durability of Concrete Crossties". Last week, Dave Davis from TTCI presented on “Advanced Designs to Improve the Performance of Special Trackwork”. To listen to the recordings of these seminars, see the Hay Seminar page.

    Engineering Open House Visitors
    March 14, 2016

    The NURail Center welcomed Hanson Professional Services Inc. and a group of middle and high school students from Springfield, IL to Engineering Open House (EOH) on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus on Saturday, March 12. EOH is an annual student-led event featuring two days of exhibits and competitions that showcase the engineering students and is open to the public at no cost. In addition to a short rail lecture and demonstration by Tyler Dick, NURail’s Assistant Director for Education and Workforce Development, Hanson’s group of 16 students and 9 adults spent the day examining a portion of the over 250 interactive exhibits on display. This is the third year that NURail has sponsored the group. This is the third year that NURail has sponsored the group. Click here to read an article written by Roberta Codemo with the Springfield Business Journal discussing Hanson’s success with this program.

    NURail Video for March
    March 6, 2016

    NURail's March video is Stephen Schlickman, former Executive Director of the Urban Transportation Center (UTC) at the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He will be discussing how his work makes an impact on the environment, society or economy. Dr. Schlickman retired in December 2015 and has been replaced by Interim Executive Director, Dr. P.S. Sriraj.

    NURail Students Awarded AREMA Scholarships
    March 1, 2016

    The AREMA Educational Foundation has announced its 2016 Scholarship Winners. Eighteen of the 39 AREMA scholarships given went to students attending NURail Center partner schools. AREMA had a record number of scholarship applications this year and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had a record number of scholarship winners. For a complete list of names and their awarded scholarships, click here. Congratulations to all!

    NURail Partner Quoted in NPR Article
    February 24, 2016

    P.S. Sriraj , Interim Director of the Urban Transportation Center (UTC) at the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was recently quoted in a NPR national news story titled "Cheap Gas Means More Driving And Getting Stuck In Traffic". To read or listen to the story, click here.

    U.S. Rail Comparison
    February 10, 2016

    NURail's featured video for February is Dr. Pasi Lautala discussing "Where does America stand in relation to the rest of the world when talking about rail?". Pasi is an Assistant Professor at Michigan Technological University and has been the Director of the Rail Transportation Program there since October 2007. He is also the Associate Director for Education of NURail.

    Equitable TOD in Chicago
    February 5, 2016

    An equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) program is critical to the growth of metropolitan Chicago. Learn more about TOD tools and tactics developed by the Metropolitan Planning Council February 18 at a Spring 2016 Seminar Series event hosted by the Urban Transportation Center. The presentation will be led by MPC manager Yonah Freemark and is open to all. The event begins at noon and will be held in CUPPA Hall Room 110. Visit HERE.

    Michigan Tech’s Youth Summer Rail Program
    February 3, 2016

    NURail Partner, Michigan Technological University, is accepting applications for the 7th Annual Rail and Intermodal Transportation Summer Youth Program on July 17 – 23, 2016 in Houghton, MI. This program is sponsored by the NURail Center and is a weeklong investigation designed to create awareness and stimulate interest in the areas of rail and intermodal transportation. Student in grades 9 – 11 are encouraged to apply and scholarships are available. Applications are due by May 1.

    NURail Student Awards
    January 20, 2016

    Chris Barkan with Alexander Lovett

    Sam Levy, Joe Sussman and Maite Pena Alcaraz

    Three NURail students were spotlighted with awards on January 9, 2016 during the CUTC Awards Banquet at the Transportation Research Board Meeting in Washington, DC. Alexander Lovett, a graduate research assistant in the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), received the NURail Center 2015 Student of the Year award. His research on better planning and scheduling railway track maintenance addresses a key concern as higher-speed passenger trains operate more frequently on the same track infrastructure as heavy-axe-load freight trains.

    Two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students received Wootan Awards for best theses in policy and planning. Sam Levy and Maite Pena Alcaraz, both of whom were supported by NURail funding and studied under NURail partner, Professor Joseph Sussman, were recognized. Sam won in the Master’s category for his MST thesis entitled Capacity Challenges on the California High-Speed Rail Shared Corridors: How Local Decisions Have Statewide Impacts and Maite won in the PhD category for her ESD PhD thesis entitled Analysis of Capacity Pricing and Allocation Mechanisms in Shared Railway Systems.

    Announcing NURail Videos
    January 12, 2016

    To continue our outreach effort, each month in 2016 we’ll release a new short video with a member of our NURail leadership team answering one of a variety of questions about the railroad industry. In addition, videos are being added throughout our website where appropriate. This month we’ll start by talking with Dr. James L. McKinney, Roland Hutchins Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Jim will be discussing why a student should consider rail as a future career.

    RailTEC/NURail Highlighted by
    DOT Assistant Secretary Winfree
    January 7, 2016

    Gregory Winfree, Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology for the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), acknowledged RailTEC and the NURail Center when he reflected on 2015’s transportation research and educational accomplishments in his December 31 Fastlane blog post. He described four examples of how USDOT is having an impact advancing safety, mobility, and environmental sustainability through new opportunities for cooperative transportation research and innovation. Among these were the USDOT-supported University Transportation Center program in general and RailTEC and the NURail Center in particular, citing their role educating the next generation of transportation professionals through world-class research and facilities. Earlier this year, Assistant Secretary Winfree participated in the grand opening of RailTEC’s new Research and Innovation Lab (RAIL). Railway Track and Structures also published an article about Winfree’s DOT Fastlane blog.


    2015

    NURail Funded Paper Receives Award
    December 17, 2015

    A NURail funded research paper was selected as the winner of the 2016 TRB Committee on Transportation of Hazardous Materials (AT040) Outstanding Contribution Award. Published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials in 2014, the paper titled, “Probability analysis of multiple-tank-car release in railway hazardous materials transportation,” was written by the research team of Dr. Xiang Liu (Rutgers), Dr. Rapik Saat (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Dr. Chris Barkan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). The purpose of this award is to formally recognize outstanding achievement in hazardous materials transportation research, innovation, regulation, or management. Awards are granted on an annual basis and presented to awardees at the TRB annual meeting during the Committee on the Transportation of Hazardous Materials meeting. This year the award will be presented on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 in Washington, DC.

    2015 NURail Student of the Year Announced
    December 2, 2015

    The NURail Center has announced its 2015 Student of the Year. The winner is Alexander Lovett, a graduate research assistant in the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), who is working on a joint MBA-PhD. Alexander has been active in research with RailTEC since starting his MS program in Fall 2011 and has been supported by NURail since 2012. His research on better planning and scheduling railway track maintenance addresses a key concern as higher-speed passenger trains operate more frequently on the same track infrastructure as heavy-axe-load freight trains. Alexander will be honored at the CUTC Awards Banquet in Washington, DC in January 2016.

    NURail Funding Supported Wootan Award Winners
    December 1, 2015

    Sam Levy

    Maite Pena Alcaraz

    The Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) has announced the 2015 Charley V. Wootan Awards for best theses in policy and planning. Two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students , both of whom were supported by NURail funding and studied under NURail partner, Professor Joseph Sussman, were named winners.

    Sam Levy won in the Master’s category for his MST thesis entitled Capacity Challenges on the California High-Speed Rail Shared Corridors: How Local Decisions Have Statewide Impacts and Maite Pena Alcaraz won in the PhD category for her ESD PhD thesis entitled Analysis of Capacity Pricing and Allocation Mechanisms in Shared Railway Systems.

    The Wootan Award is given annually to four graduate students in transportation for the two best PhD dissertations, MS theses, and MS/ME reports. The students will travel to Washington, D.C. in January to formally receive the Wootan Award at CUTC's annual awards banquet.

    UIC Partner Quoted in Article
    November 23, 2015

    Stephen E. Schlickman, NURail partner and Executive Director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, was quoted in a November 23 edition of the Chicago Tribune on how public transportation is the solution to alleviating the chronic traffic congestion on a stretch of the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago. Click here to read the article.

    The Railway Academic Conference (TRAC)
    November 18, 2015

    The Railway Academic Conference (TRAC) will be held at UIUC on July 12 – 14, 2016 to build on synergy between the AREMA Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES) event and National University Rail (NURail) Center education and workforce development initiatives. TRAC will be a three-day event, with REES activities and the NURail Annual Meeting each comprising half of the program. Building on similar goals and objectives, TRAC will further inform educators, industry professionals, and students about current developments in railroad engineering education, workforce development and outreach programs. Through the REES component, TRAC will facilitate sharing of education materials designed to introduce students to railway infrastructure, operations, engineering, and design concepts. By combining these activities, TRAC aims to strengthen collaboration between academia and industry to meet the challenge of developing the next generation of railroad professionals.

    Hay Seminar on BNSF-UP Tower 55 Project
    November 13, 2015

    The first William W. Hay Seminar of the semester was held on Friday, November 13, 2015 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mark Martin, Senior Rail Project Manager with HDR Engineering, presented “Design and Construction of the BSNF-UP Tower 55 Project in Fort Worth, Texas”. The lecture was well received and there were over 90 online participants, almost doubling a typical seminar. To listen to a recording of the presentation, click here.

    Off-Peak Delivery Research Webcast
    October 15, 2015

    James C. LaBelle, research staff member at the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, delivered a well-received webcast on Off-Peak Delivery research, funded in part through NURail. The webcast was hosted by the Center for Urban Transportation Research. A recorded version of the webcast is available from this link.

    2015 AREMA Conference
    October 5, 2015

    Over 60 students from NURail partner universities attended the 2015 AREMA Conference in Minneapolis in October. In addition to attending technical sessions and giving poster presentations, many worked the NURail booth in the exhibition hall. UIUC’s (NURail’s lead university) two teams scored first and fourth in the AREMA “Student Quiz Bowl” competition, while Penn State Altoona’s (a NURail affiliate university) two teams took second and third. The competition consisted of four rounds of questions related to railroad engineering, operations, history and trivia. AREMA also held a student research poster competition with both graduate and undergraduate categories. In this competition, UIUC’s grad students took first and second place while a UIUC undergrad entry took first in that category.

    NURail PI Research Featured in Mass Transit Magazine
    September 18, 2015

    To gain a strategic perspective on the impact of a shared use passenger and freight rail corridors, a research study was undertaken to better understand challenges, identify some potential solutions and provide key stakeholders — freight railroads, Amtrak schedulers and federal and state policymakers — with a new resource. The report, “Integrated Modeling of High Performance Passenger and Freight Train Operation Planning on Shared Use Rail Corridors: A Focus on the US Context,” was written by Dr. Bo Zou, Assistant Professor, Civil and Materials Engineering, in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Results from this research provide a new framework for short-term train tactical and operational schedule planning and offer practical and general insights into future rail planning on shared use corridors now or a few years down the line. Click here to read the report.

    3rd Annual Michigan Rail Conference a Success
    September 10, 2015

    The 3rd Annual Michigan Rail Conference took place on August 19-20, 2015 at the Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids. The conference broke earlier participant records with over 150 total registrations and 16 conference sponsors. The conference was co-organized by the Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program (RTP), National University Rail Center (NURail) and the Michigan Department of Transportation. Keynote speaker was Mr. Joe Szabo, Executive Director of Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and past Administrator for the Federal Railway Administration. For more information, click here to go to the conference website. ]

    Michigan Tech Partner Quoted in Article
    September 9, 2015

    The Detroit Free Press quoted Pasi Lautala, NURail Partner at Michigan Technological University, in an article on a plan to create a special logistics and supply chain district near the new bridge to Canada and downtown Detroit. Pasi is the Associate Director for Education of NURail. He is also a member of Governor Rick Snyder’s Commission for Logistics and Supply Chain Collaboration. Click here to read the article.

    NURail Partner Featured in TR News Profile
    August 28, 2015

    NURail Partner, David B. Clarke, Research Associate Professor and Director, Center for Transportation Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was featured in the June-July-August 2015 edition of TR News. Dave has been involved in the NURail Center since its inception. He is active in national efforts to promote railway research and education, and teaches classes and short courses on rail subjects. Click here to read the article.

    Article Addresses Tank Car Design
    August 21, 2015

    The dramatic increase in the transport of flammable liquids by rail has raised concerns about the risk of accidents producing large spills. A collaborative, multiyear research effort by several organizations, including NURail, focused on this issue. An article written by Professor Chris Barkan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Assistant Professor Xiang Liu (Rutgers University) and Research Assistant Professor Rapik Saat (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ) addressed this topic and was recently published in the summer issue of TR News. Click here to read the article titled “Enhanced Tank Car Design Improves the Safety of Transporting Crude Oil and Alcohol by Rail”.

    Upcoming Presentation by NURail Partner
    August 11, 2015

    Transit authorities are being challenged to rely more on local sources of funding to develop and renew their infrastructure and Federal transit officials have urged the transit industry to use value capture strategies to fund their capital investments. The OST Office of the Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R) presents Stephen E. Schlickman, Executive Director of the Urban Transportation Center (UTC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 12:00 (CST). He will be presenting “Transit Value Capture Coordination: Best Practices and Recommendations” in a pre-recorded event. The link is: http://www.rita.dot.gov/utc/. Click on the Transportation Innovation Series banner to connect.

    Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program
    July 30, 2015

    Michigan Tech’s 6th Annual Summer Youth Program in Rail and Intermodal Transportation, held July 26-31, 2015, was featured on both Fox 21 KQDS and Northland News Center websites. Twenty two students finished the week long camp where most of the program time was devoted to industry field trips and hands-on activities. The goal of the program is to attract a new generation to the rail industry.

    Addison Wins Best Student Paper Award
    July 21, 2015

    Michigan Tech graduate student Priscilla Addison received the Best Student Paper Award for "Rail Embankment Investigation Using Remote Sensing for a Permafrost Region" which she presented at the 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Cold Regions Engineering Conference: Developing and Maintaining Resilient Infrastructure, held July 19-22, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The thrust of Addison's paper was to look at remote sensing as a site investigate tool for the portion of the Hudson Bay railway embankment underlain with discontinuous permafrost in northern Manitoba, Canada. This research is jointly supported by OmniTRAX Inc. and NURail. Addison is co-advised by Associate Professor Thomas Oommen and Assistant Professor Pasi Lautala.

    Passenger Railway Engineering Education Symposium (p-REES)
    July 8 – 10, 2015

    Built on the success of AREMA’s original REES program, the inaugural "p-REES" program, meeting and collaboration with other engineering professors on passenger rail and transit education and research was held this summer in Philadelphia. NURail Center partners participated in this symposium and provided practical, hands-on engineering information and materials, with the goal of encouraging engineering faculty interest in adding rail and transit engineering content to their current courses and curricula. The symposium also included a field visit to the rail transit facilities of SEPTA in Philadelphia, the sixth largest transit system in the United States. To read the Passenger Transport magazine write-up on the p-REES symposium, click here.

    Hanson’s CEO Joins NURail Board
    July 8, 2015

    Sergio “Satch” Pecori, P.E., president and chief executive officer at Hanson Professional Services Inc., has joined NURail’s Executive Advisory Board (EAB). Pecori started his career at Hanson in 1974 and has worked on a wide variety of projects in the U.S. and overseas, including railroads. “Satch’s experience and commitment to advancing railway engineering education is a great asset to NURail, and he also brings the perspective of the consulting engineering community to the EAB, which is important to our rail workforce development mission,” Chris Barkan, NURail Center Director, said. Click here to read the news release.

    NURail Welcomed STEAM Summer Camp Students
    July 3, 2015

    On Friday, July 3 the NURail Center welcomed eleven students from the Next Generation School STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Summer Camp. This innovative summer program provides real-world experiences for students in grades 4-6 in the Champaign-Urbana area. Camp the week of June 29 was titled "Zoom Zoom Invent" and focused on transportation and scientific inventions of transportation technology. On the day the student spent at the NURail Center, they focused on railroad planning, construction and safety, as well as investigating the physics of rail transportation.

    Spotlight on NURail Partner Steve Schlickman
    June 30, 2015

    In an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members, the June 30, 2015 issue of the Passenger Transport e-newsletter spotlighted NURail Center partner, Stephen E. Schlickman, Executive Director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Click here to read the article.

    Special Hay Seminar Series on Shared Rail Corridors
    June 16, 2015

    Ahmadreza Talebain

    Sam Levy

    Hamed Pouryousef

    Chen-Yu Lin

    William W. Hay Seminar listeners were treated to a special two part seminar series this semester when four NURail students, each representing a different partner university, gave presentations on their research related to Shared Rail Corridors. The special series started on Friday, April 3 with Hamed Pouryousef from Michigan Tech and his topic "Introducing Hybrid Optimization of Train Schedule (HOTS) Model as Timetable Management Technique". Next, Chen-Yu Lin from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign spoke on "Hazards Associated with Shared-Use Rail Corridor Operations". To listen to Hamed and Chen-Yu’s presentations click here.

    On Friday, April 17, Sam Levy from MIT spoke along with Ahmadreza Talebian from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Sam spoke on "Shared-use Passenger Corridors in California: HSR and the Peninsula Corridor” while Ahmadreza discussed "Capacity Allocation in Vertically Integrated Railway Systems: A Sequential Bargaining Game Approach with Focus on the US Context”. To listen to their presentations click here. This special series was well received by audience members and may be repeated in the future.

    Samantha Chadwick Wins 3-Minute Thesis Competition
    June 8, 2015

    Samantha Chadwick, a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was the winner of the 3-Minute Thesis Competition at the 2015 NURail Annual Meeting. Four student researchers, each from a different NURail university, delivered brief overviews of their research to a panel of judges and meeting attendees during the evening reception on Wednesday, June 3. Each student presenter was allowed to speak a maximum of 3 minutes using a single PowerPoint slide. The winner was selected based on their presentation’s comprehension, content, engagement and communication.

    2015 NURail Annual Meeting a Success
    June 8, 2015

    The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) worked together to host the 2015 National University Rail Center (NURail) Annual Meeting held at UIC on June 3 - 4. Around 100 attended the NURail Annual Meeting, which was held at the UIC Student Center West. The theme of the 2015 meeting was “Delivering Results.” Academic researchers, industry professionals and student researchers from the seven NURail partner colleges and universities met to discuss current rail research, technology transfer, education and workforce development and other topics related to railway transportation in the United States.

    Michigan Tech Student Reports

    NURail in Action Panel

    Special Summer Hay Seminar Speaker
    May 29, 2015

    There will be a special summer William W. Hay Seminar presentation on Friday, May 29 at 2:00 pm. Please note the different time. The speaker will be Professor NIE Lei who is a Professor and Dean of the School of Traffic and Transportation in Beijing Jiaotong University in Beijing, China. Professor Nie will be speaking on “The Development of High Speed Railway in China and its Economic and Social Benefits.” To join us remotely please see the Hay Seminar page for login details.

    NURail Center Faculty Interviewed
    May 14, 2015

    Faculty from two NURail partners were interviewed on Marketplace on Wednesday, May 13. Marketplace programs focus on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets. Professors Joseph Sussman, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Mark Burton, Director of Transportation Economics at University of Tennessee at Knoxville, briefly discussed Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. Click here for the story.

    NURail Annual Meeting Registration Open
    April 15, 2015

    Registration is open for the 2015 NURail Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago Student Center West. It starts on Wednesday, June 3 at 1:00 PM and ends at 3:30 PM on Thursday, June 4. Click here to register. A hotel block has been arranged at the Club Quarters – Chicago at Central Loop on West Adams Street. The cut-off date for making reservations is May 3. See the annual meeting page for additional details.

    Engineering Open House Visitors
    March 14, 2015

    Youth Summer Rail Program

    The NURail Center welcomed Hanson Professional Services Inc. and a group of high school students from Springfield, IL to Engineering Open House on the Illinois campus on Saturday, March 15. This is the second year that NURail has sponsored a group.

    Youth Summer Rail Program
    March 5, 2015

    Youth Summer Rail Program

    NURail Partner, Michigan Technological University, is gearing up to host the 6th Annual Rail and Intermodal Transportation Summer Youth Program on July 26 – August 1 in Houghton, MI. This program is sponsored by the NURail Center and is a weeklong investigation designed to create awareness and stimulate interest in the areas of rail and intermodal transportation. Student in grades 9 – 11 are encouraged to apply and scholarships are available. Applications are due by May 2.

    NURail Principal Investigator Named Fulbright Scholar
    March 3, 2015

    Congratulations to Civil and Materials Engineering Professor Craig Foster at the University of Illinois at Chicago for being named a 2015-16 U.S. Fulbright Scholar. Professor Foster's work is to study earthen buildings in India. Click here to read the UIC News Bureau article for additional information. For the NURail Center, Professor Foster is the principal investigator for the project titled “Modeling of Rail Track Substructure and Rail Vehicle Energy Dissipation”. Congratulations to all!

    NURail Students Awarded AREMA Scholarships
    February 20, 2015

    On February 20, 2015 the AREMA Educational Foundation announced its 2015 Scholarship Winners. Of the 34 scholarships given over half went to students attending NURail Center partner schools. For a complete list of all 18 names and their awarded scholarships, click here. Congratulations to all!

    NURail Center Partners Interviewed
    February 17, 2015

    Progressive Railroading magazine interviewed two NURail Center partners for their article entitled “Colleges, universities develop courses, degree programs for rail-minded engineering students”. Pasi Lautala, Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program director and assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Jerry Rose, professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky’s College of Engineering, offered their insight on the topic. Click here to read the article.

    NURail Has Strong Showing at TRB
    January 10, 2015

    (L – R) Ivan Atanassov and Mei-Ching Shih from UIUC and Hamed Pouryousef from Michigan Tech pose after their presentations at TRB

    National University Rail (NURail) Center partner universities had an outstanding showing at the 94th Annual Transportation Research Board meeting in Washington, DC on January 11 – 16, 2015. Our students, faculty and alumni were referenced 199 times in the session schedule! Click here for a guide to NURail presentations or session chairs.


    2014

    Dr. Bo Zou Next Hay Seminar Speaker
    October 17, 2014

    NURail Center welcomes Dr. Bo Zou, Assistant Professor of Civil and Materials Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as the Hay Seminar guest speaker on Friday, October 17. His presentation is titled: Integrated Modeling of High Performance Passenger and Freight Train Operation Planning on Shared Use Rail Corridors. See the Hay Seminar page for details.

    2014 AREMA Conference
    October 7, 2014

    Over 60 NURail students from the partner universities attended the 2014 AREMA Conference in Chicago in September. In addition to attending sessions and giving poster presentations, many worked the NURail booth in the exhibition hall.

    First Hay Seminar of 2014-2015 School Year
    August 25, 2014

    The first William W. Hay Railroad Engineering Seminar is scheduled for Friday, August 29 at noon. The guest speakers will be Eric Pachman and Mark Dingler of CSX. The title of their presentation is “Railroad Capacity Analytics at CSX". See the Hay Seminar page for more details.

    NURail Annual Meeting 2014
    August 25, 2014

    Dinner Keynote Speaker John Tunna

    Presentation by Maen Farhat

    The NURail annual meeting, held this year in Altoona, PA on August 18 – 19, was hosted by NURail Affiliate Member Penn State Altoona. The two day meeting provided the opportunity to recap highlights of the previous year and discuss plans for 2015. In addition, a variety of presentations on education, outreach, workforce development, and research were given. To see copies of the presentations, click here.

    Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES) 2014
    June 23, 2014

    REES 2014 Participants

    Professors from around the country attended the Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES) on June 23-25, 2014 in Overland Park, Kansas. NuRail helped sponsor the event. The objective of the symposium was to further inform the professors of the workforce crisis and give them materials to educate students about railway infrastructure, performance, engineering, and design at their respective universities. It also included trips to BNSF Railway’s Freight Yard and the Kansas City Intermodal Facility. Click here to see additional pictures from REES.

    Barkan Testifies at U.S. House Committee
    June 18, 2014

    Professor Christopher P.L. Barkan, Executive Director of RailTEC and Director, National University Rail (NURail) Center, testified in front of the U.S. House Committee on Science Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology. He and several other witnesses testified to the Subcommittee about the “Future of Surface Transportation". As part of his testimony Dr. Barkan made several references to the ongoing activities of the NURail UTC. Click here to read his testimony or view an archive of the webcast.

    Sussman Wins Distinguished Researcher Award
    May 8, 2014

    NURail MIT partner, Joseph Sussman, the JR East Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems, became the 30th recipient of the Transportation Research forum's Distinguished Researcher Award. This award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves throughout their careers as research scholars in transportation. Click here for more information.

    NURail Sponsored Workshop, San Francisco, CA
    April 16, 2014

    NURail partners from the University of Kentucky will be hosting a NURail sponsored technical workshop in San Francisco, CA on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The topic is “When Rail Meets Soil". Speakers include both academic and industry experts. Click here for more information.

    NURail 2014 Registration Opens
    April 16, 2014

    Registration for the 2014 NURail Annual Meeting is open. Click here to go to the meeting website. The annual meeting will be held August 18 – 19 in Altoona, PA and is sponsored by Penn State University, a NURail Affiliate member. This will be a joint meeting with TRB Summerail.

    Michigan Tech Summer Youth Program Registration Open
    April 2, 2014

    NURail partner, Michigan Technological University, announces its 5th Annual Summer Youth Program on Rail and Intermodal Transportation on July 24 - August 2, 2014. Click here to see the flyer.

    NURail 2014 Update
    March 11, 2014

    The 2014 NURail Annual Meeting will be held August 18 – 19 in Altoona, PA sponsored by Penn State University, a NURail Affiliate member. This will be a joint meeting with TRB Summerail. Their program starts on August 20 and the two groups will combine for a joint reception the evening of August 19 at the Railroader’s Memorial Museum in downtown Altoona. Check back for registration information.


    2013

    GLXS 2014 Update
    December 1, 2013

    NURail is proud to be a supporter of the 2014 Global Level Crossing Safety & Trespass Prevention Symposium. Mark your calendars now for August 3 – 8, 2014 in Urbana, IL. Abstracts are due by February 10. Click here for more information.

    Martin B. Hamper 2013 NURail Student of the Year
    November 20, 2013

    Martin B. Hamper, a PhD student in the Dynamic Simulation Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the 2013 NURail Student of the Year. Martin’s research is primarily focused in the area of multibody contact problems with applications to vehicle/track interaction in railroad vehicle dynamic simulations. He will receive a $1,000.00 honorarium plus the cost of attendance to the 93rd TRB Annual Meeting, two free registrations to the CUTC Banquet, and a certificate from USDOT. Congratulations Martin!

    $1.4 million Grant to NURail Center from USDOT
    September 26, 2013

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded a grant of $1.4 million to the National University Rail (NURail) Center, a multi-university rail transportation and engineering research center led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The NURail Center was established in 2012 with funding from the USDOT as the nation's first rail-specific UTC. This new grant emphasizes work toward the USDOT's strategic goal of economic competitiveness and will address rail issues related to infrastructure and vehicle engineering, capacity planning and optimization, operational safety and risk mitigation, systems integration and finance and policy. Click here to read more. Click here to read the RT&S article.

    NURail Annual Report 2012
    September 9, 2013

    The NURail Center published its inaugural annual report detailing, among others, activities and accomplishments of the center in 2012.

    NURail Annual Meeting 2013 Update
    June 21, 2013

    The NURail Center will be having its annual meeting on Wednesday, September 11 and Thursday, September 12, 2013 on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana, IL.

    RITA Features NURail in UTC Spotlight
    June 8, 2013

    The Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is featuring NURail as their June 2013 UTC Spotlight. Click to View Article In January 2012, USDOT-RITA awarded NURail as the first Tier 1 University Transportation Center dedicated solely to rail.

    Joint Rail Conference 2013
    April 22, 2013

    NURail faculty and students attending JRC

    The 2013 Joint Rail Conference (JRC) was held on April 15 - 18, 2013 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The event was attended by over 250 people; 67 of these were students. Chris Barkan gave an introduction on the NURail Center at the opening plenary session on Tuesday, April 16. Click on the following link to see his PowerPoint presentation. Two special JRC sessions featured NURail students who gave presentations on their sponsored research projects. For a complete list of NURail sponsored speakers, click here.


    2012

    3.5 Million Grant to UIUC from USDOT
    January 17, 2012

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded a grant of $3.5 million to a multi-university consortium led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to establish a rail transportation and engineering research center. Headquartered within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Illinois, the National University Rail (NURail) Center will focus on rail education and research to improve railroad safety, efficiency and reliability. Particular focus will be on challenges associated with rail corridors in which higher-speed passenger trains share infrastructure with.