Welcome to the University of Manitoba AREMA Student Chapter (UMASC) website! We are the first AREMA Student Chapter in Canada and enter the 2013-14 academic year following a very successful inaugural year. We grew to over 30 students members and hosted seven guest lectures from various members of industry and even were given a tour of the CN Symington Yards in Winnipeg. If you are a mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering student interested in the railway industry, you've come to the right place!

Here on our website you'll find an up-to-date calendar of all our events and activities, summaries of our past activities (along with photos!), useful information on the railway industry, and continuously updated resources that can help you learn more. We will also have surveys and forms posted from time-to-time to get feedback from our members that will help steer the Student Chapter towards achieving the educational goals of our members.

We are also interested in supporting the work and research interests of our current members. Take a look at part of a mapping project of one of our members:  Google Earth File showing the Canadian rail network!

AREMA Education Foundation Scholarship
AREMA offers various scholarships with various different requirements. The deadline for the current year is December 7, 2018. For more information, please click here.

AREMA 2017 Annual Conference

September 17-20, 2017


Jared Vanderwees, UMASC President

Jashandeep Bhullar, UMASC Seceretary

Richard Doucent, UMASC Member

The annual AREMA conference, held in conjunction with Railway Interchange, was held this year in Indianapolis, Indiana. Three UMASC members packed their suitcases and flew down to Indianapolis to attend the conference. The AREMA conference experience for students is comprised of three main areas: exploring the exhibition hall, participating in the student activities, and attending the technical sessions.

The exhibition hall at the Indiana Convention Center was home to over 630 different companies, including manufactures, suppliers, contractors, software companies and engineering firms. The multiple football field sized exhibition hall provided students with days full of exploring, learning, and networking opportunities with a vast array of companies.

The technical sessions held at this year’s conference covered current railway industry industry trends, issues, and technologies. The sessions included presentation topics that ranged from railway projects, rail maintenance, safety, communications, structures, transit, and freight. The general session featured Ken Schmidt, former Director of Communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company.  Ken discussed the importance of company and brand image and how that can relate to the railway.

The AREMA conference also includes a student program where undergraduate and graduate students can meet other students interested in the railway, engage with AREMA, network with professionals, compete against other schools, and learn about the industry. The events included a quiz bowl where schools compete against each other to see who has the best knowledge of rail transportation, the CN poster competition where students display and discuss their research to professionals and other students, a networking social, and two sessions named Meet The Next Generation where students got to hear from a panel of professionals with varying years of experience in different areas about working in the rail industry and then network with industry representatives from different companies who are looking to hire.

Outside the conference, the students ventured all over downtown, visiting the many war memorials, touring the Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Indianapolis Colts), and indulging in the many wonderful restaurants in the area.

Finally, UMASC would like to thank the Engineering Endowment Fund, UMES, and AREMA for their financial support that makes attending conferences like this possible. The 2017 AREMA Conference was an amazing experience and with this year’s conference in the books, the chapter looks forward to attending the next AREMA conference in Chicago in 2018!


Congratulations to Jared Vanderwees on being awarded the Committee 27 - Maintenance-of-Way Work Equipment Scholarship, Caleb Olfert on being awarded the Wayne Russell Memorial Scholarship, all presented by the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association.

A list of all of this years AREMA Scholarship winners can be found on the AREMA Website. Congratulations to all of this year's winner and we encourage everyone to apply next year!

Photo Competition with TRAINS Magazine
Hi all,
We are having a photography competition and TRAINS Magazine (www.trn.trains.com) is sponsoring it. The goal of this competition is to see who can capture the greatest, most epic, eternal, soul moving, bluesy, bring-a-tear-to-your-eye photograph of a train.
We have developed three distinct themes that each member can submit to (you are allowed to submit one photograph per theme). Photographs will be posted to our Google+ and Facebook page so everyone can see what they are up against. The themes are song names and the performers are provided, along with links to the songs for inspiration:

Boxcar Blues by Boxcar Willie - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D-g7pIn3i8

- Photos of boxcars, the more rustic and lonely the better! Take a photo that can make the judges shed a tear and I

         guarantee you'll win!


Downtown Train by Tom Waits - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja2evWhGWHA

- One of the UMASC President's favorite songs, so this is going to be a competitive category! Pictures have to show

          evidence of Winnipeg's downtown area, skyline or recognizable buildings/structures.


Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z9wd9bS1FM

- Category added by the VP of UMASC, so again, likely going to be competitive! These photographs have to be of

         passenger trains, ideally returning to Winnipeg (i.e., coming home!).


The competition will close at the end of February. The winner will get respect.... just kidding! The winner will get a $50 gift card to Boston Pizza and their photograph published in a print issue of TRAINS Magazine. The winners of each category will get a $15 gift card and their photograph posted on the chapter website and TRAINS Magazine website.


Please submit all photographs via e-mail to uofm.arema.sc@gmail.com and include details of the location and time of your photograph. If the picture has a story to it, I encourage you to share that as well.


Remember, it is illegal and very dangerous to trespass on railroad property, any photograph showing evidence, or suggesting, the photographer is on railroad property will be disqualified.


Have fun, and we're looking forward to seeing all the great pictures!!


Virtual Tour
If you have some free time, check out this virtual tour of BNSF: http://www.bnsf.com/tour/. The tour provides a good overview of the different cars, locomotives, what gets hauled, and some good information on track and signals. Enjoy!