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Association of American Railroads WWII poster.

An Association of American Railroads WWII poster.

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Association of American Railroads
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is an industry trade group representing primarily the major freight railroads of North America (Canada, Mexico and the United States). Amtrak and some regional commuter railroads are also members. Smaller freight railroads are typically represented by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), although some smaller railroads and railroad holding companies are also members of the AAR. The AAR also has two associate member programs, and most associate members are suppliers to the railroad industry.

Creation
AAR was created October 12, 1934 by the merger of five industry-related groups:

The American Railway Association
The Association of Railway Executives
The Bureau of Railroad Economics
The Railway Accounting Officers Association
The Railway Treasury Officers Association

William George Besler was its first President.

Facilities and subsidiaries
The AAR is headquartered in Washington, D.C. not far from the Capitol. Its information technology subsidiary, Railinc, is based in Cary, North Carolina. Railinc IT systems and information services, including the Umler system, the Interline Settlement System and Embargoes system are an integral part of the North American rail infrastructure. Railinc delivers approximately nine million messages each day over its EDI network, including transportation waybills, advance train consists, blocking requests and responses and trip plans. Its applications support railroads, equipment owners and rail industry suppliers along every link of the supply chain. The company maintains the only industry-accepted version of the North American railroad industry's official code tables. Beginning as an information technology department within the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the company was established as a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of the AAR in 1999.

Another subsidiary, the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), operates and maintains the Transportation Technology Center, a 52-square-mile (130 km2) facility 21 miles (34 km) northeast of Pueblo, Colorado, that is owned by the United States Department of Transportation. The facility is under a care, custody and control contract with the Federal Railroad Administration. TTCI has an array of specialized testing facilities and tracks. The site enables testing of freight and passenger rolling stock, vehicle and track components, and safety devices.

Functions
Where appropriate, the AAR represents its members' interests to the public at large and to Congress and government regulators in particular. The AAR works to improve the efficiency, safety and service of the railroad industry, such as through its responsibility for the industry's interchange rules and equipment specifications, e.g. for locomotive multiple unit control.

One of the AAR's duties is to oversee the assignment of reporting marks โ€“ two to four letter codes that uniquely identify the owner of any piece of railroad rolling stock or intermodal freight transport equipment (trailers, semi-trailers, containers, etc.) that can be carried on a railroad.

Personnel
As of 2013 the president of AAR is Edward R. Hamberger. In addition to the President's Office and Administration & Finance Departments, the Washington office also has Communications, Law, Government Affairs, Policy & Economics, and Safety & Operations departments.

Reports
In November 2013 the AAR urged the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to press for improved tank car safety by requiring all tank cars used to transport flammable liquids to be retrofitted or phased out, and new cars be built to more stringent standards.

Members
AAR Full Members

Alaska Railroad
Railroads owned by Anacostia & Pacific Company, Inc.
BNSF Railway Company
Canadian National Railway: US operations
Canadian Pacific Railway: US operations
CSX Transportation
Florida East Coast Railway
Railroads owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc.
Indiana Rail Road
Iowa Interstate Railroad
Railroads owned by Iowa Pacific Holdings
Kansas City Southern Railway
Metra
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)
Norfolk Southern Railway
Pan Am Railways, Inc
Union Pacific Railroad
Vermont Railway
Railroads owned by WATCO Companies
Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway (1990)

AAR Special Members

Canadian Pacific Railway: Canadian operations
Ferrocarril del Istmo S.A. de C.V.
Ferrocarril del Sureste
Ferrocarril Mexicano
Ferrocarril Y Terminal del Valle de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.
Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.

Association of American Railroads Overview
Abbreviation: AAR
Formation: 1934
Type: Trade Association
Legal status: Active
Purpose: Advocate, public voice, educator, research, testing, safety & efficiency of railroads
Headquarters: 425 Third Street SW, Suite 1000, Location Washington, DC, United States
Region served: North America
Membership: Railroads and associates
Official language: English
President & Chief Executive Officer: Edward R. Hamberger
Affiliations: Railinc Corporation
Staff: 70 (DC office)
Official Website: https://www.aar.org/

See also:

Class I Railroads

Class II Railroads

Railroad Classes

Regional Railroads

Railroads of the U.S.A.

Shortlines

Classic Railroad Films

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