I want to welcome you to the AREMA 2018 Annual Conference & Exposition. This year’s program will again provide an excellent opportunity for members of the railway industry to increase their railroad knowledge and technical expertise, and to network and exchange ideas with other conference participants.  The Program Committee has assembled a great slate of almost 80 technical presentations that I am sure you will find informative and valuable in your jobs. Our Monday opening session will feature guest speaker Captain Mark Kelly, Commander of Space Shuttle Endeavour’s Final Mission. Anthony B. Hatch, noted transportation analyst, will also be speaking and presenting an “Industry Update” on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. The AREMA Exposition will include more than 200 exhibits from various contractors, suppliers and consulting firms and will provide the chance to see exciting products and services. There will also be additional interactive opportunities by attending events such as the “Engage with AREMA” session, the Committee Reception, the Young Professionals event and the League of Railway Industry Women's (LRIW) reception. Please take advantage of this excellent opportunity to converse with your fellow railroaders, exchange ideas and learn more about the industry. We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!

James K. Kessler, PE
VP-Engineering and Planning
North Carolina Railroad Company
AREMA Senior Vice President 
& Program Committee Chair