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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

The NRC conference is bigger, better and more relevant than ever

Joe Daloisio, NRC Chairman
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The NRC and the railroad industry have come a long way since I attended my first conference in 2012. The more than 1,400 industry professionals at the 2024 NRC Conference in Scottsdale in early January experienced the reasons why.

The conference gets bigger, better and more relevant to contractors and suppliers every year. This year’s program — from the speaker lineup to the breakout sessions and social events —provided unlimited ways to learn about market opportunities and establish your game plan for the year ahead.

From the very beginning, this conference has always been about making valuable business connections, which has set it apart from others in the industry. Attendees say this year’s conference was the best ever for building and strengthening industry relationships.

A common theme came through loud and clear from the railway engineering and procurement representatives who gave presentations about their capital plans. Most presenters said there have never been more opportunities for contractors and suppliers to participate in their work ahead. They’re looking for partners to help them operate with greater safety, reliability and innovation.

The Fireside Chat continues to be a conference highlight. This year, former NRC Chairman Steve Bolte and I had a straightforward conversation with Michael McClellan, chief strategy officer with Norfolk Southern Railway, about issues facing the industry and the outlook ahead.

Mr. McClellan thanked attendees for all they do and said NS is committed to working with contractors.

“We are all in this together,” he said, while challenging attendees to “think about where we can collaborate. We need to do this together. What can you do to help us improve safety and service?”

Mr. McClellan said there are “tons of technologies driving safety” as well as improvements in productivity and the customer experience. “We can develop things together to do it better, faster, cheaper.”

Thank you to Mr. McClellan, and to all the conference speakers, attendees, sponsors and exhibitors. Thanks, also, to the NRC team for executing a tremendous conference and exhibition. It all came together to deliver immense value.

The evolution of the NRC conference is a tremendous story thanks to the work of the dedicated staff, its leadership and members promoting partnerships with railroads and transit agencies that are truly adding value. But it’s only a portion of the many ways the NRC is working to benefit its members.

I am grateful to my predecessor, Steve Bolte, for his work as NRC chairman to enhance the landscape for our members. I am excited and ready to continue on that track, growing the NRC and working for our member companies. We are in a strong position and I am optimistic about what lies ahead.

This spring the NRC Railroad Equipment Auction on May 2 in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the return of Railroad Day on the Hill on May 8 in Washington, D.C. Refer to the NRC website for more details.

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

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

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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