Welcome to the UIUC AREMA Student Chapter Website!

The AREMA Student Chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was founded in the fall of 2008. The goal of this chapter is to expose students to railroad engineering education and the railway industry in order to foster the development of leaders in railroad engineering in North America and throughout the world.

upcoming events

AREMA Conference / Railway Interchange 2019

Minneapolis Minnesota
September 21st, 2019 – September 25th, 2019

  • The AREMA Student Chapter is organizing a trip to the 2019 AREMA Annual Conference being held in Minneapolis, MN as part of Railway Interchange. Railway Interchange is the largest railway exhibition in North America, with over 9,000 attendees representing every part of the rail industry, along with numerous technical presentations and networking events. For more information, please see the conference website here. The schedule of student-focused events is here.
  • The AREMA Student Chapter will drive to Minneapolis on September 21st and return on the 25th. Attendees will miss 3 days of classes. If there is enough interest, it may be possible for some people to return on September 24th instead.
  • The out-of-pocket cost for this event is $40, which covers 4 nights of hotel accommodations, and roundtrip travel between Champaign and Minneapolis. Registration is free for students. Additionally, all attendees must be up to date on their chapter dues ($10 annually). Please pay these fees to an AREMA officer at the next general meeting, or during the pre-conference orientation.
  • There are limited spots on this trip, so please sign up soon if you are interested. The deadline to sign up is Friday, September 6th.
  • Registration is a 3-step process:
    1. Fill out this form.
    2. Register for the conference as a student here and forward your registration confirmation to aremauiuc@gmail.com. Fill out the info as best you can. If you are not an AREMA HQ student member, you will have to attach a copy of your course schedule. You should not have to directly pay anything for student registration.
    3. Pay $40 conference fee and $10 chapter dues in cash to an AREMA officer at the next general meeting, or during the pre-conference orientation. This step can be completed after September 6.
current job opportunities

BNSF Railway

BNSF Railway is accepting applications for full time positions and summer 2020 internships! Interested parties should visit their website to learn more.




9/12/19 – General Meeting with BNSF Railway

Our first general meeting of the year will feature speakers from BNSF Railway’s Engineering Department! Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway is the largest Class 1 freight railroad in North America with 42,000 employees and over 32,000 miles of track in 28 states. Attendance at the event will count for points for participants of …

4/13/19 – Monticello Work Day with the Illini Railroad Club

On April 13th AREMA UIUC and the Illini Railroad Club will be having a joint work day at the Monticello Railroad Museum! Come experience real railroad maintenance work, only 30 minutes away! Make sure to bring your PPE and steel-toe boots! What: Joint work day with Illini Railroad Club and Monticello RR Museum Where: Monticello …

Student Membership

Want to get more involved? Become a student member!

Benefits for Student Members:

  • Exposure to rail industry practices
  • Employment opportunities
  • Opportunities for hands-on education
  • Technical seminars
  • Field trips
  • Travel to the annual AREMA national conference
  • Social activities on campus


  1. Membership is open to all students who have taken or are currently taking UIUC courses.
  2. There is a $10 fee for membership only or a $15 fee for membership and a student chapter polo.
  3. While general meetings are open to all, only paying members may attend field trips and the national conference or run and vote for board positions.

Sign up for membership:

Fill out this form to receive updates on AREMA Student Chapter activities or to sign up for membership.
There is a $10 per year fee. For more information on benefits see the membership page under "About Us". If you select yes, we will contact you regarding membership.


The AREMA Student Chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receives funding from RailTEC, the school’s student organization board, and from professional societies, Class 1 railroads, and leading private companies in the rail industry. We thank our sponsors for their generous financial support through the years, as without it we cannot host some of our fun and knowledgable on-campus events and field trips.

If you are interested in providing financial support, speaking at a student chapter event, or hosting a field visit, please contact Adrian Diaz de Rivera at adriand2@illinois.edu.

The following is a list of organizations who have provided financial support to the chapter over the last two years. Click on any of the sponsor headers to be directed to their website.


The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) was formed on October 1, 1997, as the result of a merger of three engineering support associations, namely the American Railway Bridge and Building Association, the American Railway Engineering Association and the Roadmaster’s and Maintenance of Way Association, along with functions of the Communications and Signals Division of the Association of American Railroads.  Each of the four groups that came together to form AREMA have, in their own way, built an excellent foundation upon which to base the new Association, whose mission is the development and advancement of both technical and practical knowledge and recommended practices pertaining to the design, construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure.

BNSF Railway

Today’s BNSF Railway is the product of nearly 400 different railroad lines that merged or were acquired over the course of 160 years. While many different railroads combined to form BNSF, the people who worked at those railroads shared many traits. The people who built BNSF were — and continue to be — a unique breed, blending the forward-thinking of dreamers with the pragmatism of results-oriented business leaders. This heritage played a central role in settling and growing the American West, and today, BNSF continues to have a significant impact in meeting the needs of shippers and serving the economy.

Canadian National Railway (CN)

CN is a true backbone of the economy whose team of approximately 24,000 railroaders transports more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America.

Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central)

Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central, also known as JR Tokai) commenced operations in April 1987 upon the privatization and breakup of the Japanese National Railways (JNR). The core of JR Central’s operations is the Tokaido Shinkansen, the main transportation artery linking Japan’s principal metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, and a network of conventional lines centered on the Nagoya and Shizuoka areas. JR Central and its consolidated subsidiaries also develop affiliated businesses that are expected to generate synergic effects with the railway business. JR Central is steadily moving forward with efforts aimed at the early completion of the Chuo Shinkansen using the Superconducting Maglev system.

Holland LP

Holland is a dedicated engineering-driven company that excels at developing partnerships with its customers to deliver comprehensive and progressive transportation solutions for the railroad and related industries. Our core values of family, respect, partnership, integrity and improvement provide the foundation for everything we do. For our partners, this means we deliver our commitments to safety: striving towards zero injuries and accidents; quality: providing quality products and services and continually looking for ways to improve; and leadership: developing industry leading technology and employees.


Kiewit is one of North America’s largest and most respected construction and engineering organizations. With its roots dating back to 1884, the employee-owned organization operates through a network of subsidiaries in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Kiewit offers construction and engineering services in a variety of markets including transportation; oil, gas and chemical; power; building; water/wastewater; industrial; and mining. Kiewit had 2017 revenues of $8.7 billion and employs 22,000 staff and craft employees.

Quandel Consultants

Quandel Consultants provides program management, engineering, planning, operations analysis, and construction management services to the railroad and rail transit industries. Quandel Consultants is a member of the Quandel Enterprises family of companies with offices in Chicago, IL; Ann Arbor, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; St. Paul, MN; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Baltimore, MD; Harrisburg, PA; Minersville, PA and Scranton, PA. The organization traces its roots to a small construction company started in Minersville, PA in 1882.

Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC)

For over a century the University of Illinois has been a leader in railway engineering research and education.  We inspire and sustain students’ and faculty interest in rail engineering and transport offering a curriculum in rail engineering and transportation.  Our research understands, develops, and communicates the critical issues in rail engineering to the rail community.  The U of I has a distinguished record of accomplishment and remains highly respected by today’s railroad engineering community.

Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation. One of America’s most recognized companies, Union Pacific Railroad connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing a critical link in the global supply chain. In the last 10 years, 2008-2017, Union Pacific invested approximately $34 billion in its network and operations to support America’s transportation infrastructure. The railroad’s diversified business mix is classified into its Agricultural Products, Energy, and Industrial and Premium business groups. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers, operates from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways. Union Pacific provides value to its roughly 10,000 customers by delivering products in a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible manner.


WSP is one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consulting firms. We are dedicated to our local communities and propelled by international brainpower. We are technical experts and strategic advisors including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. We design lasting solutions in the Property & Buildings, Transportation & Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors as well as project delivery and strategic consulting services. With 43,000 talented people in more than 550 offices across 40 countries, we engineer projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come.