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December 2020

Rail News: MOW

NRC chairman's column: Four smart reasons to get on board with NRC FirstLook 2021


The NRC’s annual conference has a well-deserved reputation for being the can’t-miss event of the railway industry. So, when confronted with a pandemic of historic proportions, the NRC board and staff had no intention of sitting out 2021.

The NRC instead is offering an exciting alternative to its annual conference called NRC FirstLook 2021. Through a series of four webcasts in January, you’ll get a first look at railway industry plans, insights and information you can use to benefit your business or operation all year long.

James Squires
Norfolk Southern

With so many webcasts offered by groups and associations from across our industry, why should you register for NRC FirstLook? I can give you lots of reasons — starting with the great lineup, convenience, and affordability — but here are four smart reasons to get on board:

1. Live Fireside Chat with Norfolk Southern Chief Executive Officer James A. Squires, Jan. 6. The fireside chat, always the highlight of the NRC’s annual conference, will feature a casual but far-reaching discussion. Squires will soon be wrapping up his sixth year as CEO of NS, where he has presided over a lot of change. We’ll ask him about those changes, others he expects at NS and in the industry, and how contractors and suppliers can participate as valued partners. We invite you to join in this insightful live discussion and take advantage of the opportunity to ask Mr. Squires your own questions. 

2. Signal and Communications (S&C) Opportunities for Contractors and Suppliers Panel, Jan. 13. This won’t be your father’s S&C panel. Don’t miss this chance to learn about the latest S&C trends, best practices and technology developments. I guarantee it will make you smarter and better prepared to take on more complex, integrated opportunities coming down the track. 

3. Freight Procurement Opportunities for Contractors and Suppliers Panel, Thursday, Jan. 21. Procurement personnel are playing an increasing role in defining a project’s specifications and scope of work. Gain insights on how the engineering and procurements departments work closely together, and how to make sure your proposals hit their targets and translate into business opportunities. 

4. Class I Capital Program and Opportunities for Contractors and Suppliers Panel, Wednesday Jan. 27. Information exchanged during this webcast gets to the heart of our annual conference where attendees hear from a broad cross section of engineering personnel at Class I railroads. Expect to hear about various railroad capital programs and how that turns into opportunities for your company.

NRC FirstLook will be here right after the New Year. If you have not yet registered. please do it today.  You won’t be disappointed.  

As we close out the year, I’d like to express my thanks to Herzog Senior Vice President Scott Norman for his dedicated service on the NRC Board of Directors. I also welcome new Board Member Dave Ferryman, vice president of commercial & technology at EVRAZ North America. Our board members play an invaluable role in shaping the scope and quality of NRC programming and services for our members. I am grateful for their service.

“Building a Safer and Stronger Railway Construction Industry Together!”

 — Jim Hansen, NRC Chairman


The National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association Inc.
80 M Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
202-715-2920 •


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