The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) was formed on October 1, 1997, as the result of a merger of three engineering associations -  the American Railway Bridge and Building Association (ARB&B), the American Railway Engineering Association (AREA) and the Roadmaster's and Maintenance of Way Association (RMWA), along with functions of the Communications and Signals Division of the Association of American Railroads.  During the merger discussions, it was decided to use the original AREA name (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association – Formed in 1899) as the official name of the new organization and to use the acronym “AREMA” in reference to it. 

Each of the four groups that came together to form AREMA have, in their own way, built an excellent foundation upon which to base AREMA, whose mission is the development and advancement of both technical and practical knowledge and recommended practices pertaining to the design, construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure.

The rich history of the predecessor organizations, each having over 100 years of service to the rail industry, is the legacy of AREMA now and in the future.