Rail Innovation Day 2023: New Ideas and Advancements in the Rail Industry

March 3, 2023

DB E.C.O. North America hosted the “Rail Innovation Day” 2023 in Los Angeles to explore the future of rail for leaders in the industry.


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DB E.C.O. North America hosted a “Rail Innovation Day” 2023 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on March 2, 2023. This event brought together industry leaders, innovators, and experts to explore the transformative impact of new ideas and advancements on the future of the rail industry.

The “Rail Innovation Day” served as a platform for fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and showcasing new technologies to revolutionize the rail sector in the years ahead. Ulrich Leister, CEO of DB E.C.O. North America, welcomed guests from the United States, Canada, and Germany and expressed his appreciation for Stefan Schneider, Consul General/Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany. Consul Schneider stated that events like Rail Innovation Day are important because “We can share our experience in setting up such a great network of trains” with others and allow for critical knowledge exchange. Joachim Eichhorn, Transportation Attaché, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, D.C. also gave special remarks highlighting that events like the “Rail Innovation Day” “are not only about sharing ideas, [but] is about people and bringing people together.”

Attendees had the opportunity to engage in discussions, delve into the latest innovations in rail transportation, and gain insights into sustainable and efficient solutions that help drive the industry forward.

Key highlights from the event included:

The Regional Rail Revolution: Modernizing Commuter Rail: As the CARES Act funding expires and ridership recovery plateaus, commuter rail agencies face existential challenges. The “Regional Rail” model was explored as a potential solution as it has greater operational efficiency. Michael Cornfield, Principal at DB E.C.O. North America, discussed the transition to regional rail, implications on planning, and stakeholder communication strategies.

Operational Experience with Zero Emissions Rail Vehicles: In a panel discussion with Christoph Grimm, CEO, Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser, and Michael Cleveland, Director of Advanced Energy, Progress Rail, A Caterpillar Company, moderated by Chris Beringer, Manager, DB E.C.O. North America, discussed the opportunities and challenges of new zero emissions vehicles.

The (Near) Future of Rolling Stock Maintenance: Stefan Geisperger, Managing Director for International Markets and Consulting at DB Engineering & Consulting, discussed critical considerations for upgrading maintenance facilities, international trends in rolling stock maintenance, and advances in competence management.

Navigating High Capital Costs in Rail Projects: Paul Lewis, Principal at DB E.C.O. North America, addressed the disparities in rail project costs between the United States and Europe. Solutions for improved project governance, processes, and standards were proposed.

Finally, Ulrich Leister, CEO, expressed his enthusiasm for the event and DB E.C.O North America‘s commitment to driving innovation and sustainability in the rail sector “The strong push for more and better public transportation here in America is really exciting. Events like today are extremely important to start an industry conversation about new ideas, the most important innovations, and how to share knowledge across the Atlantic.” Rail Innovation Day represents a significant stride toward achieving these goals. As a company dedicated to pioneering solutions for a greener and more efficient future, DB E.C.O. North America eagerly anticipates continued collaborations with industry stakeholders and similar events to continue shaping the landscape of the rail industry.

Rail Innovation Day

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