Joint Rail Conference

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

April 4 - 7, 2017


Program - Grand Challenge Competition


This year the JRC will host a Grand Challenge Competition open to all conference attendees.  We invite registered participants to propose an idea to the below Grand Challenge Question and present that idea to a panel of industry experts using a 3-minute "shark tank pitch". The goal of this competition is to spark new ideas, innovations, and approaches to solving a relevant issue affecting the railroad industry.  

The 2017 JRC Grand Challenge question:

After many years of decline, the annual train accident rate for FRA reportable train accidents in the US has appeared to reach a plateau (Figure 1). How can the industry push through this plateau to achieve new levels of safety and further reduce train accidents in the US?

Figure 1. Train Accident Rate per Million Train Miles for All Class I Railroads (Including Amtrak), from 2006-2015 (Source FRA Office of Safety - safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/)

Rules of the Competition:

This competition is open to all registered participants of the 2017 Joint Rail Conference. *Participants must register for the conference in order to be admitted to the competition.

Participants may enter the competition between December 1, 2016 and March 21, 2017.  To enter, please use the following link to the Google Docs entry form.

During the competition, contestants will be allowed no more than three (3) minutes to present their idea using a single PowerPoint slide with no animations. Contestants may present as individuals or as a team of two or three people at most. Presentations promoting a commercial product or service will not be allowed.

The winner of the competition will receive a prize of $500 (check to be mailed by ASME after the conclusion of the Joint Rail Conference). Competition winner will also be recognized at the conference banquet dinner on Thursday, April 6th.

*After submitting an online entry form, contestants will be contacted by a member of the JRC Organizing Committee within 1-2 weeks. *Entry is open to individuals or teams of 2-3 people. For team entries, please designate only one person to complete the entry form.  Additional details will be provided after entries are received.

*NOTE: CORRECTED from original rules. Team entries are now allowed.