The 20th Annual
Southwestern Rail Conference

Register Now!

The 20th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference will be held April 15-16, 2024 at the Hurst Conference Center, Hurst, Texas in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. More information coming soon.

Hosted by Texas Rail Advocates
You should attend if you have any interest in:
Transportation planning, government affairs, rail coalitions, policy advisor, economic development, signaling and communications, passenger rail, transit, research and emerging technology, state affairs and funding, marketing, management and finance, freight logistics, infrastructure, intercity rail, management consulting, supply chain management, business services, railway supplier and manufacturer, management consulting, supply chain management, business services, railway supplier and manufacturer, energy and the environment.
Monday & Tuesday
Early Bird $329
Presentations & Dinner
Early Bird $149
Presentations & Luncheon
Early Bird $249

Event Sponsors

These sponsors are making the 2024 Southwestern Rail Conference possible:

Your sponsorship helps to promote freight and passenger rail in Texas and the Southwest as we educate and inform our elected / appointed leaders and the public on the economic benefits of rail.

Texas Rail Advocates' outreach to the public and private sector helps to advance the development of rail service to its full potential as a carrier of freight and passengers. Sponsorship gives you coverage before, during and the full year following the conference.

The Premier All-Rail Conference brings together the public and private sector to discuss important freight and passenger rail topics from experts in their field. We've expanded into two days of presentations and speakers to bring you more content from more rail industry leaders!

You won't want to miss these key presentations:

Amit Bose - Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration

It's a sea change at the FRA as the agency must decide what states and what projects are eligible for billions in federal grants for passenger and freight rail projects under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Administrator Bose outlines how the agency is reshaping the movement of people and goods by rail in the U.S.

John Robert Smith - Chairman, Transportation For America

Former Chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors, John Robert Smith is a recognized authority on public and private transportation & development funding. He guided the development and construction of the Southeast’s first multi-modal transportation center, Meridian Union Station.

Jeff Davis - Rail Division Director, Texas Department of Transportation

TxDOT was recently awarded passenger rail corridor planning grants by the FRA and has freight rail projects in progress. Texas is joining the national stage in highlighting innovative funding priorities & showing others what can be accomplished in rail projects.

Tony Hatch - Independent Transportation Analyst and Consultant

You don't have to go to the world famous RailTrends conference in New York when you can hear railroad analyst Tony Hatch speak at the Southwestern Rail Conference. Tony Hatch has 30 years of Wall Street savvy and was named Person of the Year by North American Rail Shippers Association. When he speaks, Class 1 CEO's pay attention.

Knox Ross - Chairman, Southern Rail Commission

This federally chartered Commission is bringing passenger rail to life along the Gulf Coast, the I-20 Corridor from Texas to the east coast and from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Knox Ross describes the work the commission is accomplishing and what the future holds.

Kirk Watson - Mayor of Austin

Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, testifying before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, said he is "eager to do anything I can to support intercity passenger rail in Texas." The former State Senator shares his views on why Texas needs a strong intercity passenger rail system.

Ian Hodkinson - Technical Director, Business Development for Transit Systems at Alstom

The Green Scene: Hydrogen and battery propulsion. What will these alternate power technologies mean for the rail industry? Ian Hodkinson will look at strengths and challenges as well as infrastructure requirements and case studies in light rail and intercity applications.

Dan Lamers - Senior Program Manager, North Central Texas Council of Governments

The North Central Texas Council of Governments is a national leader in developing and implementing air, road and rail transportation projects within its 16 county region. Senior Program Manager Dan Lamers takes us on a journey covering freight and passenger rail projects that benefit over 8 million residents.

Trey Walker - Vice President, Capital Design & Construction for Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Leading the team responsible for DART's Silver Line regional rail project, Trey Walker is responsible for civil design and construction on a variety of projects within the agency. The Silver Line cross-county line, now under construction, will link Plano in Collin County to DFW International Airport Terminal B.

Jim Pang - Vice President, New Services Development and Customer Solutions Innovation - Trinity Industries

Got a shopping cart? Jim Pang launched an industry-first freight railcar marketplace at Trinity, the largest railcar organization in North America. With next-gen technology, Trinity is transforming old school rail services into real-time intelligence.

Steve Roescher - Director of Business Development at Siemens Mobility

The Siemens rolling stock portfolio covers light rail vehicles, locomotives and high-speed railcars and their Sacramento plant is busier than ever churning out passenger equipment. Roescher explains other digital services provided for railways around the world.

Victor Vandergriff - Executive Director, Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition

As a former Texas Transportation Commissioner, he leads the TRTC, focused on opportunties for the public and private sector to work together creating innovative transportation solutions.

Transportation Reporters Roundtable

A lively discussion from the reporters and writers that cover transportation in general and rail in particular.
  • Dug Begley is the Transportation Writer for the Houston Chronicle

    He reports on issues related to commuting and movement in one of the fastest-growing, diverse and complex infrastructure areas of the country
  • David Peter Alan is a Contributing Editor for Railway Age

    When not writing or traveling, he practices law in the fields of Intellectual Property
  • Gordon Dickson teaches at the University of Missouri School of Journalism

    He previously covered transportation, mobility , growth real estate and business for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • Jim Blaze - You've seen his articles in Railway Age and Freight Waves

    He is a railroad economist and engineer who won't mince words.

"Move That Railcar!" - Update on Rail Freight Technology

  • Kenneth Mannka - Executive Vice President at Nexxiot

    Kenneth explains why critical real-time information for freight rail shippers and operators is needed.
  • Jim Pang - Vice President, New Services Development and Customer Solutions Innovation - Trinity Industries

    Got a shopping cart? Jim Pang launched an industry-first freight railcar marketplace at Trinity, the largest railcar organization in North America.
  • Steve Ditmeyer - Senior Railway Technology Consultant at The World Bank and former FRA Director of Research and Development

    Steve points out a crucial gap which is really hurting the industry.

Day #1 Monday, April 15 2:00pm - 9:00pm includes dinner presentation.
Day #2 Tuesday, April 16 8:30am - 4:00pm full day of presentations.

Watch for additional presentations to be posted on important freight and passenger rail issues.

The Texas Short Line and Regional Railroad Association annual meeting will be held Monday, April 15 in conjunction with the Southwestern Rail Conference at the Hurst Conference Center. Find details here:
Monday, April 15
12:00PM - Registration Opens

2:00PM - Opening remarks of 20th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference

Tuesday, April 16
7:00AM - Registration opens

7:00am-9:00AM - Continental breakfast

8:30AM - Today's events

Please consider a small donation to offset the production costs of bringing you these important topics.

Venue & Hotel Information

The Hilton Garden Inn Dallas
1615 Campus Drive
Hurst, Texas 76054

Our lead hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn, Hurst, Texas, which is directly attached to the Hurst Conference Center.

  • Sunday April 2
  • Monday April 3
  • Tuesday April 4

Located in the center of the DFW Metroplex, the City of Hurst offers first-class shopping, popular restaurants and new hotel accommodations just minutes from the Hurst Conference Center.

Nearby Hotels

The Hilton Garden Inn Dallas
(Connected directly to The Hurst Conference Center)
1615 Campus Drive
Hurst, Texas 76054

The Hampton Inn & Suites
1600 Hurst Town Center Drive
Hurst. Texas 76054

The Hyatt Place
1601 Hurst Town Center Drive
Hurst, Texas 76054

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites
820 Thousand Oaks Drive
Hurst, Texas 76054

Nearby Attractions

- Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy
- BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
- Bronco's Sports Bar & Grill
- Catfish & Co.
- Chili's
- Dairy Queen
- Del Taco
- Dunkin' Donuts
- Golden Chick
- In & Out Burger
- Italiannis Restaurant
- Carino's Italian
- Logan's Roadhouse
- McAlister's Deli
- McDonalds
- Olive Garden
- Outback Steak House
- Potbelley
- Pei Wei
- Pulido's Mexican Restaurant
- Quick Trip Store
- RaceTrac
- Red Hot & Blue
- Red Lobster
- Red Robin
- Slim Chickens
- Sonic
- Starbucks
- Subway
- DFW International Airport (10 mi)
- Dallas Love Field (22.5 mi)
- Alley cats Entertainment (2 mi)
- Globe Life Park in Arlington (13 mi)
- AT&T Stadium (13 mi)
- Chisholm Park & Aquatics Center (3mi)
- Grapevine Mills Mall (12 mi
- Hurricane Harbor (16 mi)
- IFly Indoor Skydiving (2mi)
- Iron Horse Golf Course (5 mi)
- Mountasia (1.2 mi)
- North East Mall (.5 mi)
- NRH20 (1 mi
- Nytex Sport Center (1.5mi))
- Rave Cinemas at North East Mall (.5mi)
- Six Flags (15 mi)
- Texas Motor Speedway (18 mi)
- Texas Star Golf Course (5.7 mi)
- Downtown Fort Worth (12 mi)
- Fort Worth Stockyards (11 mi)
- Downtown Dallas (25 mi)