American Railway Development Association


April 2015
Environmental Feature 

Crude by Rail: How are the States Reacting?

By Peter T. Masson, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates (CRA)
Secretary, ARDA Environmental Committee

With the development of the Bakken and other producing oil fields in North America, increasing numbers of tank cars have been rolling along tracks across the United States (U.S.). Then came the incident in Lac-Mégantic, located in the Eastern Townships of the Canadian province of Quebec, when at approximately 1:15 EDT on July 6, 2013, a train carrying 72-cars of Bakken crude derailed and caught fire.  That incident and others following have changed the way citizens in the U.S. view crude-by-rail transport forever.  As the views of the citizens change, so do the views of those who govern the states. 


Federal Response to Lac-Mégantic in the United States


In less than a month after the Lac-Mégantic incident, on August 2, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued Emergency Order 28 establishing stricter protocols and enforcement for securing trains carrying loads of potentially hazardous materials.  However, the FRA noted in that order, "Generally, the transportation of hazardous materials by rail is extremely safe."  While the total quantity of rail incidents involving hazardous materials is not great, Lac-Mégantic demonstrated the potential impact even one incident could have.



A "Rising Star" in ARDA
Congratulations to Alanna Strohecker who has been named as one of Progressive Railroading's 2015 Rising Stars! In addition to being a Project Manager at AECOM, Alanna also serves as the Chair of the ARDA Economic Development Committee.

Finalists for this award were chosen based on their contributions to railroading, career achievements, education, demonstrated leadership, professional association activity and/or community involvement. The 2015 Rising Stars will be honored at a dinner on July 19, 2015 in Baltimore, MD.
2015 Annual Meeting - Register Now!
Registration for the 2015 ARDA Annual Meeting (July 12-15 in Denver, CO) is now open via ARDA's website

The theme of the event will be "The Changing Face of Business." The conference program will include sessions on the following topics:
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Policy and Compliance, with Project Examples
  • Mineral Rights Issues
  • Updates on a National and International Railroad Economic Development Issues
  • Imagery and Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • Railroad Abandonment Challenges

The Westin Denver Downtown will host our 2015 Annual Meeting alongside Denver's 16th Street Mall. ARDA has secured a special room rate for Annual Meeting attendees. For details on how to book a room at this rate, as well as other information on the ARDA 2015 Annual Meeting, please visit:

Membership Renewals

ARDA members, to renew your membership, please visit the new ARDA website at and log-in at the top right corner of the page. 

Your renewed membership allows ARDA to continue fostering the industrial, real estate, natural resources, market development activities and environmental concerns of the North American railroads through the advancement of ideas and education of its members. 

If you are not an ARDA member and would like to join, please visit our registration page.

ARDA Sponsorship Opportunities

For over 100 years, the American Railway Development Association has helped foster economic development, real estate, law, technology and environmental activities of North American railroads. ARDA's seminars and workshops provide railroad professionals with quality information and industry discussion of the current issues facing railroad development. A balance of programs and interests has been the norm covering environmental, industrial development, business development, real estate, technology and law issues. ARDA would not have survived this long without our friends and sponsors supporting the organization's efforts.


ARDA offers sponsorship opportunities either on an annual basis or at one of our events. To sponsor ARDA please complete this form, or visit our sponsorship page for more information.  

For more information, visit the ARDA website or contact: 

ARDA staff at 
The American Railway Development Association (ARDA) is a not-for-profit educational trade association founded in 1906 to promote Economic Development, Real Estate Development, Technology, and Environmental Activities of the North American Railroads. 
The objectives of the Association are to foster the industrial, real estate, natural resources, market development activities and environmental concerns of the North American railroads; and through the advancement of ideas and education of its members, further promote the effectiveness of railway development and related work.
Environmental Feature
ARDA Rising Star
2015 Annual Meeting
Membership Renewals
Industry News

Thank You ARDA 2014 - 2015 Sponsors

Kansas City Southern





Florida East Coast Railway
Green Group Holdings
Herzog Contracting Corp.
LJA Engineering, Inc. 
ProSource Technologies

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New Members in 2015
Paul Dial
Envionmental Works, Inc.

Steve Ficker

James Fountain

Dhirendra Gupta, P.E.
 DKI Engineering & Consulting USA, P.C.

Alan Hegi
Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

Nathan Henderson
R.J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC

Jarred Howard
BNSF Railway

Michael Kinder

Jonahan Murer
GEI Consultants, Inc.

Dennis Newjahr

Erich Schmitz

Robert Winegrad
Consolidated Rail Corporation
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