CHICAGO, March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Railroad, shipping and regulatory leaders will top the 2012 North American Rail Shippers annual meeting at the Chicago InterContinental Hotel, May 23-25.
Association of American Railroads and CSX Chairman Michael Ward will lead Thursday's opening session. Providing a shipper's perspective will be James S. Metcalf, chairman, president and CEO of Chicago-based USG Corporation, which has 46 plants in North America.
Thursday's luncheon speaker is U.S. Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel R. Elliott, III, who, as the industry's chief economic regulator, will share his thoughts about issues affecting the future of rail shipping.
NARS attendees will hear how Chicago and its railroads are unblocking bottlenecks with CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program)—a $3 billion cluster of some 70 flyover, realignment, signaling and grade crossing projects. "The City of Chicago has been instrumental in making CREATE a national example of the power of public and private partnership," said NARS President Jennifer Krueger. Chicago is America's rail hub, where some 1,300 freight, passenger and commuter trains operate each day.
A top NARS draw is the Railroad Chief Marketing Officer Forum, moderated by Ed Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads. CMOs will also be available in separate breakout sessions to go over issues and answer questions relating to their respective companies. "AAR's Customer Forum is free-of-charge to those who wish to register for just this part of the conference," said NARS Executive Director Leo Mountjoy.
NARS expects more than 300 to attend the three-day session—'Sharing the Visions that Shape the Future'. "We offer an excellent and cost-effective way for people to connect with all facets of the rail shipping industry," notes Mountjoy. Registration is $425 before May 1 (www.railshippers.com).
Additional panelists will discuss rail equipment, environmental, financial and legislative issues.
Argus Media will present its 15th annual "Win-Win Award," which is given to those companies achieving the most successful railroad-shipper partnership in 2012.
SOURCE North American Rail Shippers Association