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Call for Papers

2017 Annual Conference

September 17-20, 2017
Indianapolis, IN

<< Download The 2017 Call For Papers (PDF) >>

<< Online Submission Form >>

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) invites all interested parties to submit Papers on subjects of interest to the railway engineering community to be considered for publication and/or presentation at the AREMA 2017 Annual Conference to be held in Indianapolis, IN from September 17 - 20, 2017.

Although some Papers may be selected for General Plenary Session presentation, all Papers will be organized into subject tracks. Papers will be selected based on their originality, timeliness, and suitability within the subject track in which they will be presented. The AREMA 2017 Annual Conference will include the following subject tracks (organized around the AREMA Functional Groups and interests): Communications & Signals, Engineering Services, Maintenance, Passenger & Transit, Structures and Track.

Papers should provide information on recent, significant and substantive achievements and results, and should be sufficiently focused on a particular subject or a narrowly defined group of related subjects. Papers that are predominantly commercial in nature, or obvious sales presentations, will be declined.

Papers may be accepted for publication and not presentation at the discretion of the Program Chair. All Papers accepted for presentation will be published (see guidelines and release information on Submittal Form).

While all submissions on relevant railway engineering topics are welcomed, the following topics have been identified as being of current interest to membership:

  • Communications & Signals – PTC; multiple topics - How to leverage PTC, PTC Integration from a scheduled passenger/commuter rail perspective, PTC-Integrated grade crossings, PTC - Moving blocks. Product and application recommendations for non-track circuit train detection, Wayside asset remote systems management, Vital back office technology, Environmental stress testing best practices, Discussion of industry concerns with FRA 49CFR236-Subpart H, Overview of health management for hot box detectors, Risk management strategies for hot box detectors, Leveraging remote reporting capabilities of grade crossing event recorders, Technologies for protecting work groups and lone workers, Leveraging Big-data and technology: Are we managing our data or is it managing us?
  • Engineering Services – Machine vision/AI systems for railroads, Liquefied Natural Gas projects, Automation at port facilities and intermodal terminals, Hump yard design, Economics of handling fracking materials and crude oil by rail, Use of Unmanned Aerial Surveillance (UAS) in the railroad industry, Conversion to lines to 286K capacity, Recent FRA rulings, Use of drones (UAVs) for emergency response, inspection, and data collection.
  • Maintenance – Advances in track maintenance techniques for short window operations, Maintenance of way equipment – latest and emerging technologies, Building a safer work force – innovative safety initiatives or training programs, Security, Change in FRA Part 270 rule.
  • Passenger & Transit - Level boarding & platform side clearance issues, New electrified commuter system such as Denver FasTracks, Autonomous inspection vehicles vs. crewed trains – the impact of technology on operations, Design and operation differences between commuter rail and light rail, Future of High Speed Rail. Structures – Applications of new Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) materials & systems, Case study of projects using roll-in processes or other means to reduce work windows or enable work to be performed under traffic, Review of TTCI derailment, Multi-modal/multi-phase projects, Innovative International projects.
  • Structures - Applications of new Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) materials & systems, Case study of projects using roll-in processes or other means to reduce work windows or enable work to be performed under traffic, Review of TTCI derailment, Multi-modal/multi-phase projects, Innovative International projects.
  • Track - New environmental regulations for wood tie disposal, Case study of project where innovation was used to improve existing standards.


Complete the online Submittal Form and submit an Abstract of your Paper (no more than 250 words) and a short Biographical Sketch (View Sample Biographical Sketch) via the Presenters’ section of the AREMA website by December 16, 2016. The Abstract should be a concise synopsis of the Paper and should be able to serve effectively as a screening mechanism for reviewers.

Final draft copies of accepted Papers are due for review at AREMA no later than May 12, 2017 and must be submitted electronically, via the AREMA website in the following format:

  • Electronic copy, single-spaced, Arial, 10-point font.
  • Format must be MS Word. No other formats will be accepted.
  • Graphics incorporated into the Paper must be in .JPG or .TIF format.
  • All authors and co-authors must be identified along with contact information.

For Electronic Submission of Abstracts, Papers and PowerPoint Presentations, click here to go to the Conference Presenters page and follow the instructions.

Please Note:  PowerPoint presentations and speeches are NOT acceptable as submitted Papers. PowerPoint slides are used to enhance the presentation of your Paper. However, a full text-based Paper will be required for publication. The requirement for a formal Paper may be waived, at the discretion of the Program Committee, for presenters proposing Presentations in the Maintenance Functional Group area. PowerPoint Presentations will also be published in the Proceedings. Presenters are required to register for the AREMA Annual Conference. A reduced “Presenter Rate” is available. The AREMA 2017 Manuscript Guide and Presentation Guide will be available at www.arema.org.

Once an Abstract is accepted for publication and presentation, the final Paper and PowerPoint slides will be reviewed by the appropriate Conference Program Committee. If the final Paper and/or PowerPoint Presentation is not deemed appropriate for presentation by this Committee, or if submission deadlines are not met, AREMA reserves the right to remove the Presentation and/or Paper from the Conference Program and any AREMA publications. All decisions are made by AREMA and are considered final. Authors will be notified of any such decisions no later than July 1, 2017.


Dec. 16, 2016 Abstracts, Bios and Call for Papers due at AREMA
Mid Feb., 2017 Authors notified
Mid Feb., 2017 Authors confirm participation
May 12, 2017 Papers due for review
Deadline for Author Biographies
June 9, 2017 PowerPoint Presentation due for review
July 7, 2017 Final documents due for publication
July 21, 2017 Presenter Registration Deadline
Sept. 17-20, 2017 AREMA 2017 Annual Conference