Washington, DC - Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Denham (R-CA) will lead a roundtable discussion on the impacts of emerging railroad technologies. Subcommittee members and representatives a freight railroad, a rail industry technology supplier, the railroad technology research center, and a labor representative will participate in Tuesday’s roundtable.

New and emerging technologies in the rail industry hold significant promise for safety, reliability, and efficiency. What sets these new technologies apart is the breadth of sophisticated applications being developed or recently introduced into operation, their use of the internet, and their ability to effectively integrate and use large quantities of data effectively.

The Subcommittee will hear from the panelists about ultrasound, laser, and other technologies to obtain information about the condition of equipment components and track; new locomotives that use data to maximize train performance, while reducing emissions and fuel consumption; the use of drones to inspect track and bridges; and other technology breakthroughs. Many of these technologies have the potential to help continue industry trends in rail safety. Since the Staggers Rail Act was enacted in 1980, the freight rail industry has experienced an 83.4 percent reduction in total train accidents and incidents per million train-miles and a 91.7 percent drop in rail employee on-duty fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.

The Subcommittee roundtable, entitled “Emerging Railroad Technologies,” is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.

The roundtable is open to the public and news media, and will be webcast, however video recording is not permitted during the roundtable.

Roundtable Participants:

  • Mr. Seth Bodnar, Chief Digital Officer, GE Transportation
  • Mr. John Risch, National Legislative Director, Transportation Division, Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Union (SMART)
  • Ms. Lisa Stabler, President, Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI)
  • Mr. Lynden Tennison, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR)