American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association

American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) is a North American railway industry group. It publishes recommended practices for the design, construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure, which are requirements in the United States and Canada.


AREMA is headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. Its Mission Statement is "The development and advancement of both technical and practical knowledge and recommended practices pertaining to the design, construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure." Charles H. Emely has been the Executive Director and CEO of AREMA since November 1998. Larry L. Etherton is the AREMA President and Chairman of the Board of Governors for 2007-2008.cite web
last =
first =
title = AREMA web site
accessdate = 2007-12-15


AREMA was created October 1, 1997 by the merger of four industry-related groups:
*the American Railway Bridge and Building Association
*the American Railway Engineering Association
*the Roadmasters and Maintenance of Way Association, and
*the Communications and Signal Division of the Association of American Railroads

Each of these organizations brings over 100 years of service to the rail industry to AREMA.

American Railway Bridge and Building Association

Formed in 1891 in St. Louis, Missouri as the American International Association of Railway Superintendents of Bridges and Buildings, the Association initially represented 40 railroads. The name was changed in 1907 to the American Railway Bridge and Building Association. The group provided a forum to exchange information and to mind solutions to problems that confront the railway industry.

American Railway Engineering Association

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association was formed in Buffalo, New York in 1899 to organize a forum for the development and study of recommended practices for the newly-integrated standard-gauge North American railway network. Later, the name was shortened to the American Railway Engineering Association (AREA). Five of its technical committees (ties, rail, track, buildings, yards and terminals) have remained intact from 1899 and continue under AREMA functional groups. The first "Manual of Recommended Practices" was issued in 1905 and its name was changed to the "Manual of Railway Engineering" in 1970.

Roadmasters and Maintenance of Way Association

The oldest of the groups was organized in 1883 by 61 roadmasters representing 24 railroads. The Association provided a means through which maintenance officers would have an opportunity to meet and discuss their mutual problems. Rail joints, switches, frogs and ties were among the subjects studied, leading to the standardization of maintenance practices.

Communications and Signal Division of the Association of American Railroads

In 1885, the Association of Telegraph and Telephone Superintendents was formed by the telegraph superintendents of the major railroads. In 1895, the Railway Signaling Club was organized at a meeting in Chicago, Illinois and created a code of rules governing the operation of interlockings. In 1919, the Signaling Club became the Signal Division of the newly created American Railway Association (ARA) and the Telegraph Superintendents became its Telegraph and Telephone Section. The ARA became the Association of American Railroads (AAR) in 1934; the Signal Division was renamed the Signal Section and the Telegraph and Telephone was renamed the Communications Section. The two sections merged in 1961 to become the Communications and Signal Division of the AAR, which has now been merged into AREMA.

Technical committees

AREMA has 28 technical committees, organized in six functional groups. The committees, whose members come from the railroad industry, meet on a regular basis and use their expertise to come up with the best methods to maintain a railroad.
**Building & Support Facilities
**Timber Structures
**Concrete Structures & Foundations
**Seismic Design for Railway Structures
**Structures, Maintenance & Construction
**Steel Structures
*Passenger & Transit
**Commuter & Intercity Rail Systems
**Rail Transit
**High Speed Rail Systems
**Electric Energy Utilization

**Roadway & Ballast
**Maintenance of Way Work Equipment
*Engineering Services
**Track Measuring Systems
**Yards & Terminals
**Economics of Railway Engineering & Operations
**Light Density & Short Line Railways
**Education & Training

*Communications & Signals
**Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning Systems
**Signal Systems
**Information, Defect Detection & Energy Systems

**Engineering Safety Steering Team
**Track Maintenance Steering Team

Recommended practices

AREMA publishes recommended practices in two separate documents.

Manual of Railway Engineering

The AREMA "Manual for Railway Engineering" contains principles, data, specifications, plans and economics pertaining to the engineering, design and construction of the fixed plant of railways (except signals and communications), and allied services and facilities. [ [ Technical Information Center Reference Library Catalog] ]

20 chapters are contained in four volumes, updated annually by the technical committees.

Consultants use the Manual's recommendations as a basis for design. Many railroads use the Manual as a basis for their track standards and may add to it to describe their specific needs.cite web
last = Keller
first = Richard
title = Railway Track and Structures, What is the value of AREMA? (October 2002)
accessdate = 2007-12-15

Communications & Signals Manual of Recommended Practices

The AREMA "Communications & Signals Manual of Recommended Practices" contains recommended practices for railway communications and signaling. 22 sections are contained in five volumes, written and updated by the AREMA committees. [ [ AREMA Communications & Signals Manual of Recommended Practices - Table of Contents] ]

#Administrative & General
#Railroad Signal Systems
#Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning Systems
#Yard Systems
#Defect Detection Systems
#Track Circuits
#Power Supply
#Wire & Cable
#Circuit Protection
#Electrical Devices, Foundations, Hardware Materials
#Vital Circuit & Software Design
#Quality Principles
#Inside Plant
#Electrical Protection
#Inductive Interference
#Data Transmission
These practices are required for railroads in the United States by the Federal Railroad Administration and in Canada by Transport Canada.


External links

* [ AREMA website]

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