The 16th Annual
Southwestern Rail Conference

The 16th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference was held January 23-24, 2020.

The Premiere Freight & Passenger Rail Conference in Texas

Thanks for attending the 16th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference at the Beeman Hotel, Dallas. Please scroll down for video presentations and slide decks from selected speakers and panels.

Note: the audio quality on videos was not up to our quality standards and we apologize for the interference.

Presentations on the 16th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference may be viewed for personal use only. Any other use of the presentations require pre-approval from Texas Rail Advocates and must be identified as 17th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference hosted by Texas Rail Advocates. Email for authorization.

Dinner Panel: “Tourist Railways & Heritage Railway Museums – Boosting Travel & Tourism”

Allen C. Harper, Kenneth C. Bitten

Allen C. Harper Chief Executive Officer-Chairman, American Heritage Railways (AHR) is a heritage tourism company based on the preservation of railroad history. Its current operations reach nearly 1,500,000 rail passengers annually through three directly owned railroads, and through the licensing of special events like Polar Express at over 50 additional railroads. Kenneth C. Bitten, General Manager – Heritage Rail Leasing. Over the course as General Manager of 8 different railroads and 2 large fleets of passenger cars, Mr. Bitten has extensive experience in acquiring, upgrading, maintaining and operating passenger trains and equipment.

Tech Panel

Robbie H. Brownell, Robert Grant

Director of Business Development – Rail Transportation - duostech | Duos Technologies

Robert Grant - Managing Director – NxGen Rail, A Sasser Family Company

Rail Within Reach

Eric Watkins, Union Pacific Railroad‘s General Director of Network, Economic and Investor Development. On the lookout for new business opportunities and ways to work with Economic Development Organization and Communities to develop rail served facilities for customers. Video not available.

Autonomous Rail?

Jim Blaze, Steve Ditmeyer

Driverless cars soon but how will it work with railroads? Our panel sorts it out.

Urban Transport Solutions

Sandra Akmansoy – ARUP

Basic issue for ground transportation is always interconnection with local transport to final destination.

Passenger Rail Reauthorization 2020

Jim Mathews

Jim Mathews, President and CEO of DC-based Rail Passengers Association talks about Congressional Reauthorization for the nation’s passenger rail services.

“Under The Dome” – The Texas 2021 Legislative Crystal Ball

Texas State Representative Matt Krause (Fort Worth), Texas State Representative Celia Israel (Austin)

The Texas Bullet Train – Shovel Ready

Carlos F. Aguilar, Paul Waby

The biggest infrastructure project to happen in decades. The latest update from Texas Central Railway.

Finding Federal Funding For State Projects

Jim Dubea – Vice President - TranSystems

What are the strategies for getting a federal grant, the requirements and how do you develop partnerships and manage the finances?

Texas Short Line and Regional Railroad Association: Spotlight on Fort Worth Western RR

Kevin Erasmus – President/CEO of Fort Worth & Western Railroad Company

Close to 50 Short Lines in Texas. What do they need to grow? Video not available.

Economic Engine: Industrial Rail Parks in Texas

Adrian Cannady

Economic Development outside of the major metro areas in Texas. Hear from Adrian Cannady, President of Temple Economic Development Corporation, how that city has built a dynamic industrial rail park.

TRA is a 501(c)3 not for profit. Our continuing work of educating and informing the pubic and private sector on the benefits of freight and passenger rail come from conference registrations, sponsorships and financial contributions from private citizens and the business community.