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RailNation Chicago - November 2 - 5, 2017 - Chicago, IL

RailNation

Event

Registration

Discounted Group Rate
Hotel Reservations
Are Now Closed!

Regular Rate Rooms Are Available!

Thursday, November 2 through Sunday, November 5, 2017

In Chicago, IL - NARP's Birthplace In 1967

Host Hotel - Millennium Knickerbocker, 163 East Walton Place (One Block Off North Michigan Ave.), Chicago, IL


Confirmed RailNation Speakers/Presenters:


Don't Miss Out On Attending The Saturday Evening NARP 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner!

Enjoy a fabulous evening of great food and fellowship in celebration of NARP's Golden Anniversary.

The dinner program will include:

  • A Prominent Keynote Speaker
  • A Salute To NARP Founder Tony Haswell
  • A Look Back At The Past 50 Years And To Those Who Have Given Their Blood, Sweat & Tears To NARP's Cause
  • The Inaugural Presentation Of The Ross Capon Passenger Citizenship Award (Given To Individuals That Demonstrate Exceptional Leadership, Initiative Or Passion In Citizen Advocacy)

Each Attendee At The Celebration Dinner Will Receive A Special Commemorative Memento!


RailNation Chicago Host Hotel: Historic Millennium Knickerbocker, 163 East Walton Place (One Block Off North Michigan Ave.), Chicago, IL

Built in 1927, the 4-star Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago has a colorful history. Al Capone’s brother once ran a casino on the Penthouse Floor, and in the ’70s, it had a stint as the Playboy Towers. The hotel has hosted such luminaries as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and the Rolling Stones. A landmark in its own right, the hotel has 306 guest rooms and suites, and 18,500 Sq Ft of meeting space, including the iconic Crystal Ballroom, complete with illuminated dance floor and gold-gilded domed ceiling.

Event Agenda: (Revised to 10-13-17)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

12:00noon - 7:00pm Event Registration Lobby Foyer

Thursday, November 2, 2017

7:30am - 6:00pm Event Registration Lobby Foyer
8:00am - 8:30am Coffee Crystal Ballroom
8:30am - 9:45am Welcome Opening Session Crystal Ballroom

RailNation Chicago kicks-off with greetings by Peter LeCody, NARP Chair and Jim Mathews, NARP President/CEO, followed by the Event Opening Keynote Address presented by Étienne Tricaud, CEO & Co-Founder of AREP, a prominent Paris-based international multidisciplinary design firm that specializes in urban development and construction. Mr. Tricaud's address will be "Designing Transport is Designing Cities"

9:45am - 10:15am Refreshment Break Crystal Ballroom
10:15am - 11:05am Amtrak Culinary Demonstration Crystal Ballroom

RailNation attendees will get a culinary treat when Amtrak’s Corporate Executive Chef Daniel Malzhan provides an entertaining and informative view of what goes into bringing a new menu item from the initial concept phase all the way to being served to hundreds of hungry passengers in Amtrak’s dining cars every day. Chef Daniel will be preparing a dish from the new fall dining car menu which attendees will be able to sample. Vice-President of Customer Service Tom Hall also be available to answer questions.

11:35am - 12:30pm Richard Anderson - Amtrak President/CEO Crystal Ballroom

Richard Anderson was named President/CEO of Amtrak in June 2017 following a 25-year career in the aviation industry, including as Chief Executive Officer of both Delta and Northwest Airlines. "Amtrak is an iconic brand in America and it provides essential service to many communities,'' says Anderson. This sentiment is likely one of the many reasons that compelled this highly successful former major airline CEO to leave retirement behind for the new opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for him at Amtrak. Stakeholders at NARP’s RailNation Chicago will get to hear from Mr. Anderson about his vision for Amtrak, what lies ahead in the coming years for passenger rail and, perhaps, some insight into his own decision to climb aboard his newest venture at zero compensation. Mr. Anderson and Jim Mathews will conclude by joining forces to engage in a lively question and answer session.

12:30pm - 2:15pm Lunch Break - Lunch On Own
2:15pm - 3:45pm General Session Crystal Ballroom
‘How Technology Will Shape Railroads Today And Beyond’

From the roll-out of advanced PTC (and the complications which has come with it) to the increasing use of drones, rapidly changing technology is transforming how railroads function. The panelists will look at how we have gotten to the current day and what's likely ahead.

Moderator - Jim Mathews
Panelists - Steven Ditmeyer (Principal - Transportation Technology and Economics); Ian Jeffries (Senior Vice-President Government Affairs - Association of American Railroads); Tim Keith (President - Texas Central Partners)

3:45pm - 4:15pm Refreshment Break Tower Foyer
4:15pm - 5:30pm Session #1 - 'How To Take The Train' Tower East

The prospect of taking an intercity train trip can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. How do I board? What are the seats like? Can I get up and move around? Is there a place to get a snack or meal? What if I’m on the train overnight? This session will answer these and many questions about taking Amtrak to your next destination. Jim Loomis' book ‘All Aboard: The Complete North American Train Travel Guide’ will be available for purchase and signing.

Facilitator - James Zumwalt (NARP)
Presenter - Jim Loomis (Author - ‘All Aboard: The Complete North American Train Travel Guide’)

Or
4:15pm - 5:30pm Session #2 - 'Preparing For The (Job) Fair' Tower West

Amtrak offers many great career opportunities and this session will provide a real-world look at what it takes to be an On Board Service employee with Amtrak and the rewards of being one. You’ll hear from directly employees about their jobs and from members of Amtrak’s management tam on what they look for in prospective employees.

This session is excellent preparation for the Amtrak Job Fair being held at Chicago Union Station on Friday, November 3 between 11:00am and 2:00pm.

Facilitator: Carolyn Cokley
Participants: Joy Smith (Amtrak); Donald Boyd (Secretary/Treasurer - Unite Here Local 43)

5:45pm - 7:45pm Welcome Networking Reception Prince Of Wales Room &
(Separate Ticket Required - Available At The Door) Continental Ballroom

Friday, November 3, 2017

8:00am - 5:00pm Event Registration Lobby Foyer
8:30am - 9:00am Coffee Crystal Ballroom
9:00am - 10:20am General Session Crystal Ballroom

‘How Advocates Can Envision The Future’ – Building Community Support Through NARP’s ‘A Connected America’ Vision

Engaging and mobilizing concerned citizens is at the core of NARP’s purpose. This session will focus on how to advance our goal of ‘A Connected American’ in your local areas.

Lead by Jim Mathews, the esteemed panelists will provide their perspectives how citizens can make positive impacts in the highly complex world of governmental planning.

Moderator: Jim Mathews
Panelists: Joseph Szabo (Executive Director-Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning); Daniel Elliott III (Past Surface Transportation Board Member)

10:20am - 10:40am Refreshment Break Tower Foyer
10:40am - 12:10pm

Session #1 - Utilizing A Phased-Network Approach
For Advancing High Speed Rail In The US

Tower East

The Phased Network Approach has been used throughout the world, but has never been proposed in North America. Outdated safety regulations, combined with splintered planning jurisdictions, have made it infeasible in the USA. This is about to change. New regulations will allow high-speed trains to travel at very high-speeds on dedicated track and operate at slower speeds on freight track. The new regulations will also make all new trains safer, more cost-effective and more attractive to passengers.

We will discuss how the phased approach could be applied to the Midwest to unite rural and urban leaders with train riders and state officials to gain federal funds.

Moderator - Rick Harnish (Midwest High Speed Rail Association)
Panelists - To Be Announced

Or
10:40am - 12:10pm Session #2 - Is Privatization An Answer? Tower West

We hear from many fronts that privatization can be an answer to our future ground transportation needs, but is this realistic in the US? Should we follow Britain’s lead with public rail infrastructure ownership and private train operators? This session will examine the potential challenges and opportunities such plans present.

Moderator - Jim Mathews
Panelists - Henry Posner III (Rail Development Corp.); Bob Johnston (Trains Magazine); Karen Hedlund (WSP)

11:00am - 2:00pm Amtrak Job Fair

Chicago Union Station
Burlington Room

12:10pm - 1:45pm Lunch Break - Lunch On Own
1:45pm - 3:00pm Session #1 - Sneak Peek At The Future Crystal Ballroom

What will the future of passenger rail look like in the U.S.? Two privately-funded projects now underway can give you good view.

Moderator - Bruce Becker (NARP)
Participants - Travis Kelly (Texas Central); Brightline (TBA)

Or
1:45pm - 3:00pm

Session #2 - 'Ways Forward' - Where Will $300 Billion
In Necessary Capital Investment Come From?

Tower East

Everyone agrees that there must be significant capital investment in our transportation infrastructure in the years to come. But where will it come from? This session will focus on possible win-win alternatives that could create jobs and generate a broad-based revitalization of the country's transportation network and boast the overall economy.

Moderator - Jim Mathews
Panelists - Professor Anthony Perl (Simon Fraser University); Others To Be Announced

Or
1:45pm - 3:00pm Session #3 - A View From The Rail Industry Press Tower West

What does the future look like from view of the rail industry press? Find out when this session's presenters offer their perspectives.

Moderator - Peter LeCody
Panelists - Jim Wrinn (Trains Magazine); Others To Be Announced

3:00pm - 3:20pm Refreshment Break Crystal Ballroom
3:20pm - 4:30pm Concluding General Session Crystal Ballroom

The Honorable John Robert Smith, the former Mayor of Meridian, MS and the current Board Chair of Transportation for America, will close out the RailNation program with a sure-to-be rousing address on the need for action.

Facilitator - Jim Mathews
Presenter - Hon. John Robert Smith (Board Chair - Transportation for America)

4:30pm - 4:45pm Break
4:45pm - 5:30pm NARP Council Business Meeting Crystal Ballroom
Evening Free To Explore Chicago

Saturday, November 4, 2017

7:00am - 11:00am Event Registration/Ticket Pick-Up/Off-Site Tour Assistance Lobby Foyer
Depart 7:30am

'Morning Hiawatha' Round Trip To Milwaukee

Depart From
Hotel Lobby

Enjoy the view from your dome seat on the Milwaukee Road Superdome #53 with commentary & updates by Amtrak and WisDOT representatives. Opportunity in Milwaukee to view the recently completed station improvements and the ongoing Milwaukee light rail project.

Depart Chicago Union Station at 8:25am on Hiawatha #331

  • 1’ 06” layover in Milwaukee - Tour of station improvements
Return to Chicago Union Station arriving at 12:29pm on Hiawatha #334

Includes:

  • Round Trip Dome Car Seat
  • Coffee, Juice & Pastries
  • Commentary by Amtrak & WisDOT Officials
  • Tour of Milwaukee Station Improvements
  • View Milwaukee Light Rail Project Construction near station
  • Tours at Chicago Union Station will be available upon return

$149.00 per Registered RailNation Attendee - Purchase Tickets HERE

$169.00 per person General Public (Available starting October 13th) - Purchase Tickets HERE

Advance Reservations and Payment Required!

Depart 10:00am Self-Guided Tour To Pullman Historic District Depart From
Hotel Lobby

Pullman is a unique community on Chicago's far, south side that blends the history from many different disciplines in a fascinating touring experience. Visiting this area today brings you into that history and also into a new sense of place, seeing the community as it is today.​

The model industrial town of Pullman, Illinois had its beginning on May 26, 1880, in the open prairie. This town was the physical expression of an idea born and nurtured in the mind of George M. Pullman, President of Pullman's Palace Car Company. He decided to develop a model community, a total environment, superior to that available to the working class elsewhere. By so doing, he hoped to avoid strikes, attract the most skilled workers and attain greater productivity as a result of the better health, environment and spirit of his employees.

This self-guided tour will utilize the nearby CTA Bus #151 to reach Metra's Millennium Station were you will board an Electric Line train departing at 11:00am. Upon reaching the 111th Street-Pullman Station at 11:32am, it is a short two block walk to the Historic Pullman Visitor Center. After a 15 minute orientation film, you'll be free to enjoy a walking tour of the district by picking up a copy of the walking tour brochure. There is NO entrance fee.

Returning downtown, Electric Line trains leave the 111th Street - Pullman station at 1:23pm & 2:13pm. The Metra train tickets are $10.50 round trip per person and may be purchased when you arrive at Millennium Station. The CTA bus fare is $2.25 per person per trip. Full information will be provided to those who sign up in advance for this tour.

REGISTER HERE

Depart On Own Self Guided Tour To The Chicago Museum of Science & Industry Depart From
Hotel Lobby

The Chicago Museum Of Science & Industry is world famous! It's amazing exhibits includes the original 1934 Pioneer Zephyr; the original New York Central 4-4-0 Speedster #999 (a 112mph record in 1893!) and a gigantic HO-scale layout with more than 1,400 of track. Expect your visit to take several hours in order to enjoy all of the displays and rooms!

This self-guided tour will utilize the nearby CTA Bus #10 to take you directly to and from the Museum. Discounted Museum tickets are $16.00 for adults and $13.00 for seniors. The CTA bus fare is $2.25 per person per trip. Advance registration and full payment will be required by October 20! Complete information will be provided to those who register in advance for this tour.

Advance Reservations and Payment Required! PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

11:00am - 3:00pm

Chicago Union Station Tours -
No Charge or Advance Registration Required

Meet In Union Station
Great Hall

11:00am - 3:00pm

Passenger Equipment Display -
No Charge or Advance Registration Required

Union Station
Track Number TBA

Depart 1:05pm

'Afternoon Hiawatha' Round Trip To Milwaukee

Depart From
Union Station

Enjoy an afternoon riding the Milwaukee Road Superdome #53 on its home road through the beautiful Illinois and Wisconsin countryside.

Depart Chicago Union Station @ 1:05pm on #335

  • Passengers stay on train at Milwaukee

Return to Chicago Union Station arriving at 4:39pm on #338

Includes:

  • Round Trip Dome Car Seat
  • Commentary by Noted Passenger Rail Historian
  • Lite Lunch (assorted sandwiches, chips & cookies) & Soft Drinks
  • 2 beers and/or wines
  • Additional beer/wine available for cash purchase
  • Tours at Chicago Union Station will be available before departure

$149.00 per Registered RailNation Attendee - Purchase Tickets HERE

$169.00 per person General Public (Available starting October 13th) - Purchase Tickets HERE

Advance Reservations and Payment Required!

Depart 5:08pm

'Pioneer Limited' Round Trip To Milwaukee

Depart From
Union Station

It’s a full moon this evening! Relive leaving Chicago Union Station for the west from your dome seat on the Milwaukee Road Superdome #53. The lights will be dimmed for great viewing. A lite dinner will be served along with a selection of beverages.

Depart Chicago Union Station @ 5:08pm on #339

  • 50” layover in Milwaukee

Return to Chicago Union Station @ 9:04pm on #342

Includes:

  • Round Trip Dome Car Seat
  • Lite Dinner (assorted sandwiches, salads, chips & cookies) & Soft Drinks
  • 2 beers and/or wines
  • Additional beer/wine available for cash purchase
  • Tours at Chicago Union Station will be available earlier in the day from 11:00am to 3:00pm

$149.00 per Registered RailNation Attendee - Purchase Tickets HERE

$169.00 per person General Public (Available starting October 13th) - Purchase Tickets HERE

Advance Reservations and Payment Required!

7:00pm 50th Anniversary Celebration Dinner & Program Crystal Ballroom
(Separate Advance Purchase Ticket Required)

Enjoy a fabulous evening of great food and fellowship in celebration of NARP's Golden Anniversary.

The dinner program will include:

  • A Prominent Keynote Speaker
  • A Salute To NARP Founder Tony Haswell
  • A Look Back At The Past 50 Years And To Those Who Have Given Their Blood, Sweat & Tears To NARP's Cause
  • The Inaugural Presentation Of The Ross Capon Passenger Citizenship Award (Given To Individuals That Demonstrate Exceptional Leadership, Initiative Or Passion In Citizen Advocacy)
  • Each Attendee At The Celebration Dinner Will Receive A Special Commemorative Memento!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

8:00am - 6:00pm Luggage Storage

Heritage Room
(Second Floor)

A secure room is being provided at the hotel for the storage of your luggage on Sunday, so you may enjoy the sites of Chicago after checking-out and before departing from the 'Windy City' later in the day.
Depart On Own Self Guided Tour To The Chicago Museum of Science & Industry Depart From
Hotel Lobby

The Chicago Museum Of Science & Industry is world famous! It's amazing exhibits includes the original 1934 Pioneer Zephyr; the original New York Central 4-4-0 Speedster #999 (a 112mph record in 1893!) and a gigantic HO-scale layout with more than 1,400 of track. Expect your visit to take several hours in order to enjoy all of the displays and rooms!

This self-guided tour will utilize the nearby CTA Bus #10 to take you directly to and from the Museum. Discounted Museum tickets are $16.00 for adults and $13.00 for seniors. The CTA bus fare is $2.25 per person per trip. Advance registration and full payment will be required by October 20! Complete information will be provided to those who register in advance for this tour.

Advance Reservations and Payment Required! Please PURCHASE TICKETS HERE For Sunday!

Depart at 9:45am

Self-Guided Round Trip On The South Shore Line
To Michigan City
'Ride America's Last Electric Interurban'

Depart From
Hotel Lobby

What would be a trip to Chicago without riding the South Shore Line; America's last Electric Interurban line!

This self-guided trip will start from the Hotel and utilize the nearby CTA Bus #151 to reach the Metra/South Shore Line's Millennium Station where you will board South Shore train #603 departing at 10:45am. Enjoy the ride down the former Illinois Central electric line to Kensington, where the South Shore diverges onto it's own trackage. Your ride will take you through Hammond & Gary before heading through the beautiful Lake Michigan south shore stops at Ogden Dunes and Beverly Shores. You'll parallel the Norfolk Southern Chicago Line and you could see both Amtrak and NS freights on this busy route. At Michigan City there is classic street running before your train's last stop at Carroll Avenue, where you will arrive at 12:30pm. There will be a brief 22 minute layover before westbound Train #506 arrives at 12:52pm to take you back to Millennium Station, where you will arrive at 2:39pm.

The round trip South Shore fare is $19.50 (cheap at any price for such an historic rail experience) and may be purchased when you arrive at Millennium Station. The CTA bus fare is $2.25 per person per trip. If there is significant advance registration for this trip, a reduced group fare will be obtained, lowering the price by approximately 10%. Full information and a comprehensive trip/route guide will be provided to those who sign up in advance for this tour.

Please REGISTER HERE For This Sunday Tour!

Mid-Morning
Time TBA

CTA Loop And Elevated Rail System Tour

Depart From
Hotel Lobby

There is only one 'Loop' in Chicago and this will be your opportunity to ride around it and on other notable segments of the historic Chicago Transit Authority elevated rail system. We'll have a knowledgeable guide with us to describe what we are experiencing and seeing!

We'll start out by walking to the Chicago Street stop on the underground Red Line, which we'll take to the Lake Street stop, where we'll transfer to the 'EL' at State & Lake. We'll ride segments of the Green, Brown, Orange and Pinks around the Loop and beyond. After our initial rides, those who want to continue on can do so (perhaps for a ride on the famous 'Skokie Swift' or out to Harlem on the Green Line). The guided tour portion of the system will be approximately 2 - 2 1/2 hours long.

The only cost for this trip will be the base CTA $2.25 fare (assuming we don't leave the system at some point). Full information will be provided to those who sign up in advance for this tour. Space will be limited to 20 participants.

Please REGISTER HERE For This Sunday Tour!


RailNation Chicago Sponsorship Opportunities Are Available!

Contact Brian Osika at Brian.Osika@worldtek.com for more information.


Suggested Chicago Restaurants and Attractions Complied By Steve Musen


Public Transportation From Chicago Union Station to the Millennium Knickerbocker:

Public Transportation From Midway Airport to the Millennium Knickerbocker:

  • Best OPTION - Orange Line in bound to Loop to Roosevelt Stop (on Elevated Loop); transfer to Red Line (Underground subway) north bound towards Howard; to Chicago Street Stop; Walk to Millennium Knickerbocker ~15 minutes

Public Transportation From O'Hare Airport to the Millennium Knickerbocker:

  • Best OPTION - Blue Line in bound to Loop to Washington Stop (Underground subway); follow passageway for transfer to Red Line at Lake Stop (Underground subway); Red Line north bound towards Howard; to Chicago Street Stop; Walk to Millennium Knickerbocker ~15 minutes

CTA Fare Information