The UK Student Chapter of AREMA

Past Events

Guest Speaker – Mr. Jess Gearhart, April 16, 2014

Mr. Gearhart has been with Norfolk Southern for 36 years and is currently the Chief Engineer of Line Maintenance for the Western Region. Mr. Gearhart gave a presentation to the RailCats and CE 533 class about the purpose and operations of Norfolk Southern’s Maintenance-of-Way Department.

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Guest Speaker – Mr. Howard Swanson, April 11, 2014

Mr. Swanson is a structures engineer for Norfolk Southern’s Northern Region. He has been with NS for 27 years, primarily evaluating and designing structures in the Bridges and Structures Department. Mr. Swanson gave a presentation to the RailCats and CE 533 class about railway bridge engineering.



Joint Meeting with ASCE – Guest Speaker, Mr. Ed Sparks, April 9, 2014

Mr. Sparks is a UK Civil Engineering graduate with 20 years of railroad experience. He is the Assistant Chief Engineer of Structures for CSX. Mr. Sparks gave a presentation to the RailCats and ASCE about railway structures and careers with CSX.

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E-Day, February 22, 2014

The RailCats hosted an exhibit at the University of Kentucky Engineers Day. This is an open house event for the college of engineering. Children of all ages come to view exhibits and participate in contests put on by engineering student organizations and other groups in order to learn about engineering. The RailCats exhibit featured a locomotive simulator, train horn demonstrations, a “guess the speed of the train” contest, model railroad displays, and an Operation Lifesaver booth. The RailCats exhibit was one of the most popular at E-Day among children and parents.

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Monthly Meeting, January 28th, 2014

RailCats had their first meeting of 2014 on Tuesday the 28th. Wayne Gentry spoke about the Operation Lifesaver Youth Initiative.  Items of business discussed included upcoming speakers, Engineers Day, and upcoming Steam Excursion Trips. The meal was catered by Panda Express and the meeting was held in Room 112 of the Oliver H. Raymond building.


CSX Intermodal Yard, November 15, 2013

The CE 433 class, along with several RailCats, visited one of CSX’x intermodal facilities on the 15th of November.  The intermodal yard is located just next to CSX’s Osbourne Yard in Louisville, KY.  Students had the opportunity to hear presentations about the Louisville yard and other intermodal yards in CSX’s network.  Students then had the chance to tour the old part of the yard and the new expansion.  During the tour, daily operations were observed.  Employees worked to load containers onto a train while the group was touring.  Overall, the trip was a great success, with a lot of positive feedback from students.817e73 817e92 817ea2 817eb2


Monthly Meeting. November 13, 2013

The UK RailCats had a business meeting on Wednesday, November 13 at 5:00 PM. Pizza and soft drinks were provided by the RailCats before the meeting.  Matthew Moreman gave an interesting presentation about his own model railroad hobbies as well as his garden railroad. He described how he got interested, the building process, the annual maintenance, and how to get started if interested. He answered several audience questions following the presentation. After the Q&A, members discussed potential E-Day activities and took suggestions for guest speakers.  There were 38 members, interested students, advisors, and guests present at the meeting. It was the best turnout to date.  RailCats would like to thank everyone who came out and we hope to see you again.



Sevier Yard. November 8, 2013 

The CE 433 Class and several AREMA RailCats toured NS’s John Sevier Yard/Terminal in Knoxville on Friday, November 8.  The tour was arranged by Skip Stigall, Terminal Superintendent, a 42-year employee of NS. Students had the opportunity to watch a video about Communication and Signaling, hear about the history and operations of Sevier Yard, and finally tour the yard.  The tour included a drive around the perimeter, a tour of the dispatch office and a chance to ask questions to one of the dispatchers, and a tour of the central tower to watch the humping and sorting process.

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2013 Annual AREMA Conference

September 29 – October 1, 2013

RailCats took 10 students to Indianapolis, IN for 3 days to attend the annual conference.

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Guest Speaker

Butch Adkins

University of Kentucky Information Technology Department

Tuesday, November 27th, 5:00pm Room 112 OHR Building


Operation Life Saver Trip

Several UK students and RailCats members participated in the Operation Life Saver trip presented by NS. The group caught the train in Cincinnati, OH and traveled to Danville, KY on a line in NS’s Central Division. Students were able to watch a live video feed from the front of the locomotive as the train approached crossings. Speakers on the train stressed the value of safety to drivers at grade crossings.



Guest Speaker

Raymond J. Rumsey

Assistant Vice President of Communications and Signals for Norfolk Southern Railroad

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, 6:00pm Room 112 OHR Building

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012, 9:00am Room 112 OHR Building (CE 433 Class)

Raymond Rumsey, Guest Speaker Event Flyer


Guest Speaker

Ken Johnson

Chief Engineer for Union Pacific Railroad

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Ken Johnson, Guest Speaker Event Flyer


Field Trip

Heavenly Hilltop Scale Train Ride

Scale Railway Running with ride-size locomotives and cars

Saturday, September 29th, 2012  

Check out this track tour video of the 1.5″ Scale Steam Engine ride.



2012 AREMA Conference

Saturday September 15th – Tuesday September 18th, 2012

Chicago, Illinois

RailCats took seven members, one visiting international student, and one sponsor to this annual national conference.


Off-Campus Presentation

Bluegrass Railroad Club Monthly Meeting

Prof. Rose gave a presentation entitled “Recent Advances in Railway Engineering and Operations”

Friday, September 14th, 2012  


Joint Meeting with UK ASCE

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Ed Boyle, Chief Engineer Line Maintenance, Eastern Region

Norfolk Southern Railway

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

OHR Room 112

BBQ dinner at 6:00

Mr. Boyle’s presentation following


Field Trip To CSX Louisville Terminal

Friday, April 6, 2012


Field Trip To R.J. Corman Rail Yard in Lexington

Friday, March 30, 2012


Dr. Antonio Pratelli of the University of Pisa

on Italian Railways

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


FRA Safety Training at the Bluegrass Railroad Museum

Saturday, March 10th – or – Saturday March 17th

Bluegrass Railroad Museum – Versailles, KY

Provided trainmen certification.  Training included some classroom exercises as well as hands on training in the yard.


Engineer’s Day (E-Day)

Saturday, February 25th

Engineering Quad – All day

RailCats were setup in the Raymond Building, Rm 054.  Displayed were multiple model trains, for the kids to guess how fast they were traveling.  Also, a Train simulator was setup, the contest was a time trial situation where the kids had to operate a locomotive to reorder cars within a railroad yard.


Official RailCats Inauguration Ceremony

Tuesday, February 21st

Raymond Building, Rm 112

Dinner at 6:00

James N. Carter, Jr., PE was our guest speaker.  At the time he was the incoming AREMA President and Chairman of the Boards, as well as Chief Engineer of Bridges and Structures for Norfolk Southern.