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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
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
Steven Santoro, 
Executive Director, New Jersey Transit

9:40

Creating an FTA-compliant State Safety Oversight Program
Dr Thomas Littleton,
Associate Administrator for Safety and Oversight, Federal Transit Administration

9:55

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

10:10

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

Dr Thomas Littleton, Associate Administrator for Safety and Oversight, Federal Transit Administration
John Orr,
Senior Vice-President, Southern Region, Canadian National Railway
Steven Santoro,
Executive Director, New Jersey Transit
Carolyn Hayward-Williams,
Staff Director, Signal and Train Control Division, Federal Railroad Administration
Dr Mark Hartong,
Senior Scientist for PTC, Federal Railroad Administration

10:40 Morning networking and coffee break

  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

11:10

How to test signalling system interoperability on a large scale 
• Why is signalling interoperability such a major challenge?
• What are the challenges when conducting large scale tests on signalling systems?
• Ensuring full network coverage across railroads
Paul Renaud, Executive Director PTC Delivery, Canadian National Railway

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 

Advanced signalling systems for safety
11:55

Case study: Co-ordinating and implementing an integrated PTC system
• An update on Amtrak's progressin meeting the PTC deadline
• Testing and deploying Amtrak's PTC system
• What's next after PTC is implemented?
Dr Atousa Vali, Senior Engineering Director, Amtrak

12:10

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
Tim McKay, Executive Vice President, Growth and Regional Development, Dallas Area Rapid Transit

12:25

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

12:40

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

Paul Renaud, Executive Director PTC Delivery, Canadian National Railway
Deborah Chin, Executive Director - PTC, MTA Long Island Rail Road
Dr Atousa Vali, Senior Engineering Director, Amtrak
Tim McKay, Executive Vice President, Growth and Regional Development, Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Darrell Maxey, 
Deputy Chief Operating Officer, PTC and Engineering, Metrolink SCRRA


1:10  


Networking lunch

  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

Predictive maintenance: how long before a return on investment is seen?
• How can predictive maintenance both improve safety and contribute to a better customer service?
• Maximizing use of data in order to enhance maintenance programs
• How long does it take before new maintenance programs see a return on investment?
Onyinye Akujuo, Director of Federal Grant Programs, MARTA

2:25

Optimizing data analysis techniques to improve safety of railroad assets
• Using data to increase safety
• How can data be leveraged to extend the lifecycles of infrastructure and rolling stock?
• Mathematical programming techniques to maximize the use of data gathered from rail networks

2:40

Using AI to maximize use and potential of data

2:55

Case study: Meeting safety requirements when building new infrastructure
• Prioritising 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

3:10

Maintaining safety in extreme weather conditions
• How is climate change increasing the frequency of extreme weather?
• Minimizing the impact of harsh weather on operations while maintaining a high level of safety
• Using remote technologies such as drones for post disaster recovery

3:25

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

Onyinye Akujuo, Director of Federal Grant Programs, MARTA
Philip Thomas, Director of Safety - Purple Line, Maryland Transit Administration

3:55


Afternoon networking and coffee break

   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.

 

Next generation technology for remote safety monitoring

 

Overcoming barriers to testing PTC interoperability on a large scale

 

Track worker protection systems and how to enhance employee safety

  Using mathematical modelling techniques to optimize the use of Big Data



5:30

Networking Drinks Reception
  Day 2
8:00 Registration
  ROOM 1
 

TECHNOLOGY AS A SAFETY NET 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 digitalisation and automation are one method of doing so. This session will look at technologies and strategies to protect people and cargo from the dangers caused by human error.

Moderator: Jo Strang, 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
Ken Glover,
Senior Vice President, Safety, Genesee and Wyoming

9:00

What technologies can reduce risks associated with sleep apnea?

9:15

Optimizing close call reporting systems
• Data analysis and monitoring patterns in close call reports
• 
How can close call reporting systems take pressure off both managers and employees
• Using close call reporting systems to reduce risk and increase worker safety
Jennifer Gdanov, Director, Safety Reporting and Compliance, Union Pacific Railroad

9:30

Case study: the case for centralized training facilities
• How poor tunnel ventilation is becoming a fire safety hazard
• Are manual overrides a risk to safety systems?
• Optimizing workforce training
Travis Herod, Senior Vice President, Safety and Training, Watco Transportation Services

9:45 

Panel discussion: Are higher levels of automation key to delivering a safer rail network?
• 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
Jennifer Gdanov, 
Director, Safety Reporting and Compliance, Union Pacific Railroad
Ken Glover, 
Senior Vice President, Safety, Genesee and Wyoming
R.T. McCarthy,
Chief Safety Officer, Keolis Commuter Services

10:15


Morning networking and coffee break

 

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 ROOM 2
10:45 Testing and installation: the final stages of PTC implementation
• Conducting large scale tests on PTC systems
• Training your workforce in new systems
• Ensuring your PTC launch is smooth
Senior representative, Rockwell Collins

Analysing Big Data
• Mathematical modelling techniques for data analysis
• Sharing and re-using data for different projects
• Cost-efficient processes for maximizing the potential of Big Data

11:45


Networking lunch

  ROOM 2
 

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

12:30

Obstacle detection systems at grade crossings
• How to ensure the safety of automatic obstacle detection systems
• 
What are the opportunities of installing automatic obstacle detection technology?
• 
Ensuring no or minimal delays to train services from equipment failure and false detection

1:00

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?
John O'Grady, Chief Safety Officer, Toronto Transit Commission

1:15

Public awareness campaigns around mental health and anti-rail-suicide
• 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

1:30

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?

John O'Grady, Chief Safety Officer, Toronto Transit Commission
Michael Allen,
Director, New Jersey Operation Lifesaver
Kurt Topel,
Chairman, Chicagoland Rail Safety Team

2:00 End of SafeRail
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