Rail 101 with Ian Jefferies
Ian Jefferies and Joe Lynch discuss Rail 101. Ian is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) which is the world’s leading railroad policy, research, standard setting, and technology organization that focuses on the safety and productivity of the U.S. freight rail industry.
About Ian Jefferies
Ian Jefferies is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Railroads. (AAR). Jefferies advocates for and works with member railroads to ensure the continued viability of America’s railroad industry. Before joining the AAR, Jefferies cultivated more than a decade of experience working within government. From 2009 to 2013, Jefferies served as a senior policy advisor to the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. In this role, Jefferies provided policy guidance on a host of transportation issues, including railroad economic regulation, rail safety and passenger rail. Jefferies also led the successful development, negotiation and reauthorization of major infrastructure legislation and managed the successful conference of Committee legislation relating to the 2012 surface transportation reauthorization law, MAP 21. Jefferies began his career in government serving as a Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, before transitioning to the federal government. Prior to serving in the United States Senate, he worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. In these roles, Jefferies led program reviews on a variety of issues including infrastructure development, international trade, major weapon systems acquisition and federal contracting. Education. Jefferies received his Master of Science in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and his Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY.
About Association of American Railroads
America’s freight railroads operate the safest, most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally sound freight transportation system in the world — and at the Association of American Railroads (AAR) we are committed to keeping it that way. Operating over a private, 140,000 mile network stretching across the far reaches of North America, AAR members include the major freight railroads in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. Working with elected officials and leaders in Washington, D.C. on critical transportation and related issues, AAR ensures that the freight rail industry will continue to meet America’s transportation needs today and tomorrow. As the standard setting organization for North America’s railroads, AAR is also focused on improving the safety and productivity of rail transportation. AAR helps advance these goals through its two subsidiaries, the Transportation Technology Center Inc.(TTCI) and the Railinc Corp. TTCI is the world’s leading research, development and testing facility, and develops next-generation advancements in safety and operation efficiency. Railinc serves as the rail industry’s leading resource for rail data, information technology and information services, and uses one of the world’s largest data networks to track customer shipments. AAR also supports the Railroad Research Foundation (RRF), a world-class policy research organization dedicated to sustaining a safe, secure and technologically advanced rail network.
Key Takeaways: Rail 101
- Ian Jefferies is the President and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) which is the world’s leading railroad policy, research, standard setting, and technology organization that focuses on the safety and productivity of the U.S. freight rail industry.
- In the podcast interview, Ian provides an overview of the railroad industry for people not familiar with the rail business – Rail 101.
- Investing in Tomorrow
- America’s freight railroads are the most productive and cost-effective in the world — and they are getting even better through strategic investments. Railroads are evolving, providing customers a competitive edge in the global economy of the future.
- America’s freight railroads are almost entirely privately owned and operated. Unlike trucks and barges, freight railroads operate overwhelmingly on infrastructure that they own, build, maintain and pay for themselves.
- Approximately 630 freight railroads operate across the nearly 140,000-mile U.S. freight rail network. The seven “Class I” railroads — railroads with 2019 revenue of at least $505 million — account for around 68% of freight rail mileage, 88% of employees, and 94% of revenue.
- Each Class I railroad operates in multiple states over thousands of miles of track. Non-Class I railroads (also known as short line and regional railroads) range in size from tiny operations handling a few carloads a month to multi-state operations close to Class I size.
- AAR represents the entirety of the rail industry – Class Is, short lines, suppliers and passenger railroads. AAR focuses primarily on freight rail.
- AAR ultimately serves their members and works to be their unified voice – particularly in Washington