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MARS Winter Meeting Scheduled for January

“A New Age of Rail Operations” is the theme


“A New Age of Rail Operations” is the theme for the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) meeting, January 16–17, 2019 in Lombard, IL.

“As we enter 2019, the landscape of North American railroading continues to evolve as productivity and efficiencies are emphasized across the supply chain,” says MARS President Harry Zander. “Understanding how to move freight in this new age is paramount for shippers, and the MARS 2019 Winter Meeting is designed to provide insight and a forum for discussion for our members.”

The agenda for the Winter Meeting is still coming together, but scheduled speakers include:

  • Matt Rose, outgoing executive chairman and president, BNSF
  • John Hellmann, chairman, president, and CEO, Genessee & Wyoming
  • Mark Wallace, executive vice president of sales and marketing, CSX
  • Jeff Lytle, president, CIT Rail
  • Tommy Spaulding, president and founder, Spaulding Companies
  • Chuck Baker, partner, Chambers, Conlon and Hartwell
  • Tony Hatch, president, ABH Consulting
  • William Strauss, senior economist, Federal Reserve of Chicago

Rose and Hatch are scheduled to present in a special dialog session on the state of the rail industry and will close out with an open mic Q&A. There will also be presentations on blockchain and railroad customer information technology, plus legislative and equipment updates.

In addition to the programs and presentations, the Winter Meeting will offer a range of educational breakout seminars relevant to experienced transportation executives, as well as people new to the industry. Sessions will include: Railroading 101; Railroading 201; Intermodal 101; Railcar Fleet Management; and other rail freight-oriented topics. There is no charge for these seminars, and it is not necessary to attend the conference to attend a seminar. Anyone interested in these subjects is welcome to attend at no cost.

The conference schedule starts with a welcome reception on the evening of Tuesday, January 15, a full day on Wednesday, January 16, and a half-day on Thursday, January 17. MARS is also hosting a daylong rail goods and services vendor exhibition on January 16, concurrent with the formal meeting.

The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center is located at 70 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, Il. Registration cost is $275 before December 26 for members and for guests, and $300 after that date. Registration can be completed online at:

Hotel rooms can be reserved at the special MARS rate until December 26.

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