At the end of last month, Wi-Tronix brought together railroaders from around the world for our annual User Conference in Chicago.

While all of us have a deep vested interest and passion for the industry, any onlooker might have begged the question…all of this for rail?

I’ll admit, it may not be the sexiest industry. But, that certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t an important one.

Railroads have helped build nations and shape societies for over 200 years.

They are the arteries of commerce, connecting goods to people, bringing people together, promoting economic development and mitigating extreme global poverty. In North America alone, over 13 million people use rail transit on a daily basis, adding up to five billion trips annually. Well over 250,000 car loads of goods traverse the freight rail network, moving everything from iron ore and coal, to dishwashers, cars and trucks.

That all said, in the rail industry we can’t remain complacent. Transportation continues to evolve and advance.

Think about it. Our ability to communicate with a train crew in the middle of nowhere would seem impossible to people in the 1860’s. They would think it was magic.

This technology never would have emerged had the industry failed to keep challenging the status quo. That is why our annual User Conference is so important. It is about so much more than showcasing our products or promoting our company.

The User Conference is an opportunity to commit three days to the future of rail as a whole. This year we were at Convene in downtown Chicago, a beautiful space that promoted collaboration and discussion beyond our keynote presentations.

Our team was able to connect with our Wi-Tronix customers, but also connect them with each other. In order to continue to succeed, we need to work together. The more relationships we are able to foster within our industry, the better equipped we’ll be to handle whatever comes our way.  As a rail industry, we have common goals of safety, efficiency and reliability for our operations, and for the success of our customers.

Technology continues to progress at a rapid speed, and it’s not slowing down. The way of the future is to think outside the box, fail fast, learn, and continue to push forward. We should constantly be considering the opportunities ahead of us and preparing to take advantage of them. The rail industry should remain the disruptors—not the disrupted.

It’s our turn to create magic. We are the stewards of the future of rail.

Stay tuned for more highlights, insights, and clips from this year’s User Conference. We hope to see you next year!

Published on June 19, 2019 – by Larry B. Jordan