MxV Rail Hosts Successful 28th Annual AAR Research Review

Rail Industry Leaders and Researchers Share Knowledge at the Annual Event


July 17, 2023, Pueblo, CO – MxV Rail concluded the 28th Annual AAR Research Review after three days of high-energy technical expertise and industry-led research focused on the future of rail. The highly anticipated event brought together MxV Rail experts and more than 300 attendees including leaders from the Class I and short line railroads, university faculty and students, and suppliers from around the world.

In addition to the traditional technical sessions and sponsor showcase, MxV Rail welcomed attendees with a first ever in-person tour of its new multi-campus research facilities. A high point for all was a new train ride experience, letting participants experience the new High Speed Loop and have the opportunity to see construction progress on the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST®) Loop.

5 Highlights from the 28th Annual AAR Research Review

  1. John Cech, VP of Engineering at BNSF, provided the keynote at this one-of-a-kind rail industry event. Cech highlighted many examples of how BNSF is leveraging technology and data to proactively improve safety and reliability. He discussed BNSF partnerships with MxV Rail, industry suppliers, and academic institutions that help identify, test, and optimize critical functions including automated track inspections, use of machine vision to assess track and rolling stock health, as well as tie & ballast maintenance strategies.
  2. Students and early career railroaders met mentors and gained insights about the railroad industry. Participants learned about testing, research, communications & train control, data science, damage prevention & loading services, and heard testimonials about rewarding careers in railroad engineering.   Joshua Marschke, Director of Standards & Capital Planning at CSX, Brent Ballew, Research Engineer at Norfolk Southern, and Roshan Manibharathi, Manager of New Product Development at TTX were all invited speakers that shared their knowledge and expertise with workshop participants.
  3. AAR’s Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) program gave attendees behind-the-scenes access to the innovators who are driving the industry forward. Technical and plenary sessions featured over a dozen presentations that covered topics in railroad wireless communication, infrastructure, mechanical, automated inspection, and vehicle/track interaction testing and research conducted by MxV Rail’s engineering team.
  4. Tours of MxV Rail’s multi-campus operations included the laboratories located at 350 Keeler Parkway and the Operations and Training Center at PuebloPlex. Attendees were able to stretch their legs with a walking tour of each facility then escorted to the new Impact Wall, Heavy Duty Maintenance Facility progress, and the SERTC training facilities. Many enjoyed the final stop where they boarded passenger cars to ride around the High Speed Loop and see up-close progress on the new FAST® Loop, Curving Performance Track, and Suspension Resonance Track. These test tracks are on schedule for completion this fall.
  5. Sponsors enjoyed the dialogue with hundreds of attendees. Special thanks to the following for supporting this year’s Annual AAR Research Review: Gold Level – Amsted Rail and LORAM; Silver Level – Holland; Bronze Level – IAT, Inc., RJ Corman, LB Foster, Special Trackwork, Inc., Steel Dynamics, Inc., Stella-Jones; Emerging Tech – Ridgetop Group, FSC Railroad, AXO Track GmbH.

“AAR’s Research Review is always inspiring, and this year it was especially so,” said Scott Cummings, MxV Rail AVP of Research & Innovation, “Capping off the technical sessions with a ride on the High Speed Loop was new. Based on the positive response from everyone attending, we look forward to making it a new tradition and building out more immersive experiences in 2024.”

The 29th Annual AAR Research Review will be announced soon and will again be held at the Pueblo Convention Center and MxV Rail’s multi-campus. Follow MxV Rail for updates and 2024 date coming soon!


About MxV Rail: MxV Rail (formerly TTCI) is a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) established to provide vital support to the nation’s rail industry as its most trusted research and engineering partner. Through focused funding and strategic planning, MxV Rail is making key investments in its people and facilities to undertake new technological challenges in the rail industry and beyond. Building on its legacy of excellence, the team offers a full suite of advisory and research services including consulting, testing, research, maintaining standards and training. Learn more at


Contact:  Niki Toussaint, AVP Marketing,, 719-671-8676