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The American Railway Engineering Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA), Railway Supply Institute, Railway Systems Suppliers Inc. (RSSI), Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association and Coordinated Mechanical Associations held the fourth edition of Railway Interchange Sept. 17-20 in Indianapolis. The biennial event was held in Indy for the second time. Below are some photos that depict highlights and activities from Railway Interchange 2017.
Photos by Daniel Niepow, Jeff Stagl and Pat Foran
The event was held at the Indiana Convention Center. More than 8,000 attendees were on hand, while more than 730 exhibitors displayed their wares or touted their services in the exhibit hall, according to organizers.
On Sept. 17, event organizers held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the exhibition hall.
Just before the exhibition hall opened, RSSI Executive Director Mike Drudy told attendees they'd see a few empty booths on the floor because some companies that had planned to exhibit still were dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
More than 300,000 square feet of exhibits — which showcased various products and services in the MOW, mechanical and communications/signals sectors — drew thousands to the exhibition hall each day.
AREMA garnered more than 70 sponsors for its conference at Railway Interchange. Progressive Railroading was a diamond sponsor for the association and published the event guide.
Two late afternoon receptions and several meals available to attendees helped keep people flowing through the exhibit hall.
AREMA's first general session held the morning of Sept. 18 included several award and project presentations, and a keynote address by former Harley Davidson communications czar Ken Schmidt.
TTCI President Lisa Stabler (at left) received the League of Railway Industry Women's (LRIW) 2017 "Woman of the Year" award. LRIW President Jodi Heldt (center) and Progressive Railroading Publisher Kirk Bastyr (right) presented Stabler with the honor.
Representatives from BNSF Railway Co. and the Washington State Department of Transportation took home the 19th annual Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence for a five-year passenger-rail improvement effort.
AREMA Past President David Becker teased the association's new logo and website, which are slated to launch sometime in October.
On Sept. 19, AREMA offered more than 60 technical sessions on an array of topics that were divided into the following six categories: communications & signals; engineering services; maintenance; passenger & transit; structures; and track.
Several suppliers demonstrated new technologies, products and services on the show floor.
During his keynote address Sept. 20 at AREMA’s second general session, independent rail industry analyst and Progressive Railroading columnist Tony Hatch said "the intermodal growth story is back" and "the war on coal is done and dusted."
Railway Interchange will return to Minneapolis in 2019, then come back to Indy in 2021. The event alternates between the two cities, so each serves as the host venue every four years.