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October 2022

Rail News: MOW

NRC chairman's column - The NRC conference in one word: Networking

Steve Bolte, NRC chairman


We asked some attendees at the NRC’s last conference for one word to describe the benefit of the annual event. Their responses were illuminating, not because they were so surprising, but because they were so universal.  

More than half of the respondents provided the same word (or something similar): Networking!  

The next one scheduled for Jan. 4-7, 2023, at The Boca Raton resort in Boca Raton, Florida, the annual NRC conference has a well-earned reputation for being the premier networking event in the railway industry. More than 1,000 leaders from a range of railroad disciplines gather to exchange information, gain valuable insights, and collaborate with customers and potential partners. They know their investment in the conference will help generate substantive action plans for the year ahead that will yield tangible results. 

Most of the other words attendees offered to describe the conference — including “valuable,” “outstanding,” “impactful” and “collaborative” — point to its excellent programming. 

Chief engineers from Class Is, major short lines and large transit agencies detail their capex programs and budgets. They also share insights on industry operating practices and trends. More than simply listening to presentations, attendees have the opportunity to ask questions and connect with these leaders and their engineering and procurement teams throughout the conference. 

The program includes much more, including legislative and sustainability panel discussions along with compelling breakout sessions. Attendees find out about the latest industry innovations offered by dozens of exhibitors at the NRC-REMSA Exhibition. The four-day schedule is jam packed with opportunities to connect with and learn from other industry leaders. 

New in ’23: ‘Innovation in Technology Award’

Each conference the NRC recognizes exemplary performance by member companies and their employees. At the upcoming January conference, the NRC is introducing a new award that acknowledges the increasing and vital role of technology in our industry. The “Innovation in Technology Award” will honor and recognize innovation and unique technologies, or technological services, created or implemented by an NRC member company.  

The NRC’s recently formed technology committee — chaired by Allen Branham, president of B4 Solutions LLC — developed the award to highlight ways our members are using technology to enhance safety and operations in our industry. The committee’s evolution and work come in response to requests by railway engineering leaders at the NRC conference for technology solutions that will help generate returns on investment and bottom-line savings. 

Please take advantage of the chance to secure well-deserved recognition for your company, co-workers, partners and other industry leaders by completing one or more the following award applications on the NRC website: 

• Safe Contractor of the Year 

• Large and Small Projects of the Year 

• Field Employee of the Year 

• Hall of Fame 

• Innovation in Technology 

Registration for the 2023 conference is now open. Learn all the details here, along with instructions for hotel and golf reservations: https://bit.ly/3CQdYhT

As you make plans to attend the conference, consider another word that often comes up when describing the conference: Legacy. Throughout our careers, we all have benefitted from a helping hand. Please consider inviting a high-potential young professional from your organization. Be a mentor and help these young professionals leverage the benefits of the greatest networking event and networking association in our industry.  

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


Steve Bolte, NRC chairman
The National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association Inc.
80 M Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

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