The AREMA Student Chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receives limited 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 you for your support through the years, as without it we cannot host some of our fun and knowledgable on-campus events and field trips.

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.


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

CN is a leader in the North American rail industry. Following its acquisition of Illinois Central in 1999, WC in 2001 and GLT in 2004, as well as its partnership agreement with BC Rail in 2004, CN provides shippers with more options and greater reach in the rapidly expanding market for north-south trade. CN is the only railroad which crosses the continent east-west and north-south, serving ports on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts while linking customers to all three NAFTA nations.

CEE Department

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).

Gateway Railway Services

Gateway Rail Services, Inc. (GRS) is owned and operated by railcar owners, who began repairing and restoring railcars in 2003. Clients include government agencies, class one railway companies, regional and short-line railways, museums and tourist railroads, as well as private railcar owners. From minor updates to collision repairs and complete rebuilds – mechanical, electrical, air conditioning, interiors, exteriors – our full-service shop provides it all. Gateway Rail Services is a trade member of the Railroad Passenger Car Alliance (RPCA) and the American Association of Private Railcar Owners (AAPRCO). Both groups promote the history and technologies involved in the craft of car building and rehabilitation.


Hanson specializes in engineering, architecture, planning and a range of allied services. Headquartered in Springfield, Illinois, we’re a nationally-recognized, award-winning consulting firm with offices across the United States. Since 1954, our clients have known us as a trusted partner, committed to their success and capable of handling challenging projects. From planning and design to construction and completion, we’ll take a hands-on approach to your project with a clear focus on your goals, budget and timeline.


For nearly a century, HNTB Corporation has helped create infrastructure that best meets the unique demands of its environment. With client relationships spanning decades, we understand infrastructure life cycles and have the perspective to solve technical challenges with clarity and imagination. We see and help address far-reaching issues of financing, legislation, design, construction, community outreach and ongoing operations. As employee owners committed to the highest levels of performance, we enable clients to achieve their goals and visions.

JR Central


The Nordco family of companies help the railroad industry keep its trains running safely, efficiently and on time. For more than 80 years, Nordco has earned the reputation for providing exceptional customer service while delivering innovative and reliable products. Nordco companies offer an extensive selection of products and services, including new and rebuilt railroad Maintenance-of-Way Machinery; in-house and on-site machinery inspection and repair; reconditioned machinery rental; Rail Car Movers; Ultrasonic Testing equipment and services for railroads and other industries; and machine replacement parts.

Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern Corporation is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.


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.


The Student Organization Resource Fee (SORF) at Illinois was established in 1978 to support programs and activities of Registered Organizations.  The SORF Board is responsible for allocating monetary resources, generated by the Student Organization Resource Fee, to RSO’s in support of their programs and activities.

Union Pacific

Union Pacific Corporation is one of America’s leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, is North America’s premier railroad franchise, covering 23 states across the western two-thirds of the United States.