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OUR AGENDA

Find out more about what's happening at SafeRail 2018 and take a look at our full agenda...

  Day 1 - Monday 11th June
8:00 Registration
9:00 Welcoming address
  ROOM 1
 

Opening plenary session: Balancing safety with business continuity
The PTC deadline is on the horizon; with human error being responsible for the majority of rail accidents, installing this safety-critical system is more important now than ever. Railroad executives need to take responsibility for making sure their networks are as safe as possible, from installing and upgrading train control systems to ensuring maintenance programs are in place and followed. This session will bring together representatives of governments, freight railroads, and transit agencies to discuss the biggest priorities for improving the safety of American railroads.

• What is the current state of safety in US rail transportation?
• What’s next after PTC?
• Determining ROI for investing in new safety technologies: do the returns outweigh the risks?
• Innovative financing models for rail safety projects

Moderator: Jo Strang, Vice President - Safety and Regulatory Policy, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association

9:10

Developing a company-wide uncompromising safety culture
John Orr, 
Senior Vice-President, Southern Region, Canadian National Railway

9:25

Maintaining the economic viability of rail while making safety the top priority
Patrick J Lavin,
Chief Safety Officer, WMATA

9:40

Preparing for the final stages of PTC implementation: a government perspective
Carolyn Hayward-Williams, Staff Director, Signal and Train Control Division, Federal Railroad Administration
Dr Mark Hartong, Senior Scientist for PTC, Federal Railroad Administration

9:55

Developing robust safety certification to manage hazards and risks
Salah Al-Tamimi P.E., 
Chief Executive Safety and Quality Assurance Officer, Sound Transit

9:55

Ask the Leaders: Your chance to interact with our C-level panel and pose your questions on our interactive Q&A system. Delegates can vote for their favourite questions and get unparalleled industry insight.

• What should rail’s priorities be in order to increase safety?
• What is the current state of safety in North American rail transportation?
• Sources of funding and investment
• Enhancing safety while maintaining the economic viability of rail
• Simultaneously enhancing both safety and efficiency

John Orr, Senior Vice-President, Southern Region, Canadian National Railway
Patrick J Lavin, Chief Safety Officer, WMATA
Carolyn Hayward-Williams,
Staff Director, Signal and Train Control Division, Federal Railroad Administration
Dr Mark Hartong,
Senior Scientist for PTC, Federal Railroad Administration
Salah Al-Tamimi P.E., 
Chief Executive Safety and Quality Assurance Officer, Sound Transit

10:25 Networking coffee break and exhibition seminars

  ROOM 1
 

PREPARING FOR THE FINAL STAGES OF INSTALLING NEW TRAIN CONTROL SYSTEMS
Train control systems such as PTC and CBTC are vital to preventing derailments and accidents; the deadline for PTC installation is fast approaching and it is essential railroads meet this in order to avoid major, fatal disasters. With only six months to go until the December 31st deadline, this session will look at project management in the final stages of PTC installation, looking at challenges around testing, installation and industry collaboration, and how these can be overcome in order to ensure the deadline is met.

Moderator: Jo Strang, Vice President - Safety and Regulatory Policy, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association

11:25

PTC project management: staying on track to meet the implementation deadline
• An update on MTA LIRR's progress in PTC implementation
• Developing a recovery plan to ensure the PTC deadline is met
• Working with stakeholders, contractors and other railroads on project delivery
Deborah Chin, Executive Director - PTC, MTA Long Island Rail Road

11:40 

Optimizing maintenance of PTC systems
• Post-deployment: how to ensure PTC systems are well maintained
• Keeping down the costs of maintenance for PTC
• Using data to ensure ongoing safety and reliability of PTC systems
Dr Atousa Vali, 
Senior Engineering Director, Amtrak
11:55

Planning and compatibility across a regional rail network
• Co-ordinating PTC delivery across multiple railroads and transit agencies
• Testing PTC interoperability
• Integrating new systems with existing infrastructure
Bonnie Murphy, Vice President, Commuter Rail and Railroad Management Director, Trinity Railroad Express, Dallas Area Rapid Transit

12:10

Case study: Overcoming challenges to successfully implementing PTC
• Project management: keeping to time in order to meet the December 31st deadline
• 
Co-ordinating with railroads and suppliers
• The main challenges in testing and installation of PTC
Darrell Maxey, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, PTC and Engineering, Metrolink SCRRA

12:25

Panel discussion: PTC: Post-deployment strategies
• Attaining a return on investment from PTC installation
• What benefits do PTC and CBTC bring aside from improved safety?
• Post-deployment strategies for continued safe operations

Deborah Chin, Executive Director - PTC, MTA Long Island Rail Road
Bonnie Murphy, Vice President, Commuter Rail and Railroad Management Director, Trinity Railroad Express, Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Darrell Maxey, 
Deputy Chief Operating Officer, PTC and Engineering, Metrolink SCRRA
Dr Atousa Vali, Senior Engineering Director, Amtrak


12:55


Networking lunch and exhibition seminars

  ROOM 1
  BRINGING INFRASTRUCTURE UP TO A STATE OF GOOD REPAIR
The MAP-21 Act defines the minimum requirements for railroad asset management; in order to avoid derailments and fatalities, it is essential transit systems and railroads are maintained in a State of Good Repair. This session will look at how following maintenance programs is vital to enhancing railroad safety and how data analysis can help deliver smarter maintenance in a cost-efficient way.

2:10

Case study: Meeting safety requirements when building new infrastructure
• Prioritizing safety in the construction of a new railway line
• What is needed in order to ensure new infrastructure is safe?
• Planning to ensure new infrastructure is maintained in a State of Good Repair
Philip Thomas, Director of Safety - Purple Line, Maryland Transit Administration

2:25

Obtaining a return on investment from new infrastructure safety programs
• Cost effective ways of improving infrastructure management
• How can predictive maintenance both improve safety and reduce costs?
• How long does it take  before new maintenance programs see a return on investment?
Onyinye Akujuo, Director of Federal Grant Programs, MARTA

2:40

The value of open source software
Sompop Noiwan, 
Business Development Programs, Emerging Technologies, RedHat

2:55

Case study: Initiatives at PANYNJ to achieve a State of Good Repair
• The challenges of co-ordinating acrossmultiple transit agencies
• Predictive maintenance: dealing with issues before they arise
• Developing specifications in order to better manage assets
John Burkhard, Superintendent, PATH, Way and Structures Division, PANYNJ

3:10

Panel discussion: Tackling the challenges ageing infrastructure presents to safety 
• Strengthening regulation in order to ensure railroads are following maintenance programs
• The importance of identifying potential failures before they happen
• How attaining a State of Good Repair can improve operational efficiency as well as safety


Salah Al-Tamimi P.E., 
Chief Safety and Quality Assurance Officer, Sound Transit
Onyinye Akujuo,
 Director of Federal Grant Programs, MARTA
Philip Thomas, Director of Safety - Purple Line, Maryland Transit Administration
John Burkhard, 
Superintendent, PATH, Way and Structures Division, PANYNJ
Sompop Noiwan, 
Business Development Programs, Emerging Technologies, RedHat

3:40


Networking coffee break and exhibition seminars

   ROOM 1
4:40 

Interactive roundtables: The roundtable sessions promote niche and open discussion amongst delegates. The conference hall will be divided into zones, each themed around a different challenge. Delegates can choose which zone they would like to join and a moderator will lead the group in discussion of the topic

Following the discussion, each table leader will feed their conclusions from the session back to the whole group.

 

What technologies can reduce risks associated with sleep apnea?
Dr Alan Lankford, 
Chief Science Officer, SleepSafe Drivers

 

Ensuring the safety and security of wireless communications systems
Andy Maxymillian, 
President, GWTCA

 

Drones for compellingly enhanced rail safety and security
Grant A Begley, 
Former Pentagon Senior Advisor for UAVs/Drones, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense

  Moving towards a collaborative safety culture
Tony Colavito, Rail Safety Research Engineer, The MITRE Corporation



5:55

Networking Drinks Reception
   
  Day 2 - Tuesday 12th June
8:00 Registration
  ROOM 1
 

PROVIDING SAFETY NETS FOR HUMAN ERROR
The primary cause of railway accidents, collisions, and derailments is human error; with sleep apnea becoming increasingly prevalent, more and more avoidable accidents are occurring as a result of employee ill health. In the absence of intense medical screening, railroads across North America are in desperate need to find solutions to mitigate this risk: increasing digitalization and automation are one method of doing so, as is improving methods of staff training. This session will look at technologies and strategies to protect people and cargo from the dangers caused by human error.

Moderator: Jo Strang, Senior Vice President – Safety and Regulatory Policy, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
8.30 Threats and challenges of increased reliance on digital processes
• Is automation always safer than manual operation?
• 
Who is responsible when an automated system fails?
• 
Defending networks against cyber attacks

R.T. McCarthy, Chief Safety Officer, Keolis Commuter Services

8.45

Human factors: art vs algorithm
• Modernizing equipment to protect workers, safeguard communities, and improve efficiency
• 
Understanding the capabilities and limitations of workers interacting with evolving systems
• Challenges ballast level employees face as the rail industry evolves from the art to the algorithm of railroading
Ken Glover,
Senior Vice President, Safety, Genesee and Wyoming

9:00

Leveraging the Internet of Things to enhance safety
Larry Jordan, President, Wi-Tronix

9:15 Case study: The case for centralized training facilities
  • The purpose for and benefits of providing centralized training
  • The results from Watco’s centralized training programme
  • How can improved methods of staff training increase safety?

Travis Herod, Senior Vice President, Safety and Training, Watco Transportation Services

9:30

Using technology to improve grade crossing safety in Nigeria
James Gyang N. Zang, Deputy Director, Research, Health, Safety and Environment, Nigerian Railway Corporation

9:45 

Panel discussion: Are higher levels of automation key to delivering a safer rail network?

  • How can increased automation contribute to better safety?
  • What are the risks brought by higher levels of automation?
  • Which technologies are most crucial to ensuring the prevention of accidents caused by human error?

Panelists:
R.T. McCarthy, Chief Safety Officer, Keolis Commuter Services
Travis Herod, Senior Vice President, Safety and Training, Watco Transportation Services
Ken Glover, Senior Vice President, Safety, Genesee & Wyoming
Larry Jordan, President, Wi-Tronix
James Gyang N. Zang, Deputy Director, Research, Health, Safety and Environment, Nigerian Railway Corporation

10:15


Networking and coffee break and exhibition seminars

 

INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP SESSIONS
The workshop sessions offer a perfect platform for interaction, debate, and sharing of best practice. Following the moderators' introductory presentation, delegates will sit on tables of no more than 10 led by specialist facilitators and will discuss the challenges presented on their tables. Each table will then feed their conclusions back to the whole group, so you can take practical information back to the office to improve your business.

  Room 1
10:30 Testing and installation: the final stages of PTC implementation
  • Conducting large scale tests on PTC interoperability
  • PTC Safety Plan Development
  • Ensuring your PTC launch is smooth
Bill Everett, Principal Regional Sales Manager, Rockwell Collins
   
11:35


Networking lunch and exhibition seminars

  ROOM 1
 

COUNTERMEASURES TO MITIGATE FATALITIES ON HIGHWAY-RAIL CROSSINGS AND RAILROAD RIGHTS-OF-WAY
While safety at grade crossings is consistently improving, trespassing and suicide are the primary cause of fatalities on North American railroads, and those fatalities are increasing. However, discussion around this is often limited, and the use of existing technology needs to be maximized in order to successfully tackle fatalities resulting from accidental or intentional trespassing. This session will look at how railroads can reduce the risk of collisions with pedestrians and the role of technology in this.

Moderator: Kurt Topel, Chairman, Chicagoland Rail Safety Team

12:20 Trespassing and suicide: the neglected rail safety problem
  • Recent good news in rail trespassing and suicide
  • What is necessary to make real progress on reducing rail trespassing and suicide?
  • Why are trespassing and suicide often overlooked?
Kurt Topel, Chairman, Chicagoland Rail Safety Team
12:35

Case study: Policies and processes for improving grade crossing safety
Cayela Wimberly, Grade Crossing Director, Norfolk Southern

12:50 Case study: formalizing a suicide prevention program
  • Developing a program document to formalize facets of a suicide prevention program
  • What can be done to save lives on railway tracks?
  • How much responsibility should the railroad take on for trespass and suicide prevention?

Christine Triggs, Acting Manager of Policy and Strategy, Toronto Transit Commission

13:05 How is pedestrian safety changing over time at highway-rail grade crossings?
  • Findings from a longitudinal study of pedestrian safety at highway-rail grade crossings
  • Identifying safety trends in terms of pedestrian accidents, contributing factors, and mitigations
  • Examining pedestrian behaviors through topic modeling of accident narratives

Tony Colavito, Rail Safety Research Engineer, The MITRE Corporation

 13:20 Public awareness campaigns around suicide and trespassing
  • What can transit agencies do to reduce the numbers of intentional deaths on railways?
  • What is the best way work with public health authorities to raise awareness about suicide, while minimizing rail as a means of suicide?
  • What further research is needed to better understand and prevent railroad fatalities?

    Michael Allen, Director, New Jersey Operation Lifesaver
 13:35  Panel discussion: What can rail do to reduce the number of railroad-related deaths to members of the public?
  • Where should funding to reduce railroad fatalities come from?
  • What should the government’s role be?
  • How can rail support and work alongside mental health charities to increase suicide awareness, particularly for white middle-aged men?
  • How can technology be deployed effectively to protect the general public?

Panelists:
Christine Triggs, Acting Manager of Policy and Strategy, Toronto Transit Commission
Michael Allen, Director, New Jersey Operation Lifesaver
Kurt Topel, Chairman, Chicagoland Rail Safety Team
Tony Colavito, Principal Systems Engineer, The MITRE Corporation
Cayela Wimberly, Grade Crossing Director, Norfolk Southern

2:00 End of SafeRail
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