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.

Belt Railway of Chicago

The Belt Railway is the largest intermediate switching terminal railroad in the United States, employing approximately 450 people. The Belt has 28 miles of mainline route with more than 300 miles of switching tracks, allowing it to interchange with every railroad serving the Chicago rail hub. The Belt’s Clearing Yards span a 5.5 mile distance among 786 acres, supporting more than 250 miles of track.

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.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign enjoys an outstanding reputation for excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, and for research that improves the quality of life in our nation and around the world. CEE at Illinois consistently ranks among the most elite programs in the U.S. and worldwide for both undergraduate and graduate studies. The widely cited U.S. News & World Report rankings annually place Illinois very highly for our civil engineering undergraduate, civil engineering graduate and undergraduate environmental and graduate environmental programs.

Engineering Council

Engineering Council is a union of engineering societies and committees dedicated to enriching the student collegiate experience through a distinctive array of programs and services. We aim to encourage academic, professional, and personal growth by offering leadership opportunities and fostering interdisciplinary relationships within the College of Engineering. Engineering Council also sponsors a number of programs that show off the skills of U of I engineering students to the campus, local community, and general public. Examples of these events include: a major career fair (EXPO), a large science fair (EOH), and a program that gives high school students a glimpse of engineering at the University level (SITE).


HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure solutions firm serving public and private owners and contractors. With more than a century of service, HNTB understands the life cycle of infrastructure and addresses clients’ most complex technical, financial and operational challenges. Professionals deliver a full range of infrastructure-related services, including award-winning planning, design, program and construction management.

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.