Over 400 railway experts were gathered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, in the United States of America last week for the 2010 Railroad Environmental Conference. The conference is the largest annual gathering of the North American railroad environmental community, and includes representation from the railroad industry and of the railroads companies, including freight, short line, passenger, commuter, rail transit, as well as consulting engineers, environmental control equipment suppliers, regulators, academics and others involved in all aspects of railroad environmental topics, from both the US and Canada.
The main topics of the conference were pollution prevention; energy, emissions and air quality; noise and vibration; environmental management systems; compliance; risk and liability management; remediation; and training. UIC was represented by Lisette Mortensen, UIC Senior Adviser Environment, who was invited to give a presentation on Noise challenges facing Europe in the occasion that the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) has recently joint the UIC Expert Network on Noise. In the presentation she outlined the challenges the European railway operating companies and infrastructure managers have to deal with,
The RREC conference is co-sponsored by The Association of American Railroads (AAR), the American Railway Engineering & Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA), the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRA), the American Railway Development both on the national and the international level. Association (ARDA), and the Railway Association of Canada (RAC).
Lisette Mortensen was also invited to join the AAR Environmental Affairs Committee that held its autumn meeting in conjunction with the conference. In this meeting she got an even deeper insight to the ongoing environmental topics for the North American rail sector and took the opportunity of this more informal opportunity for exchange to inform the members of the Committee about UIC sustainability activities, and further on invited and encouraged the members to develop a closer cooperation with UIC on these issues. Especially issues like soil remediation and green procurement could be in the core of further cooperation between railways in North America and UIC.
For more information about the RREC 2010: