Commonly Used Terms
Association of American Railroads
What is the Association Of American Railroads?
The Association of American Railroads, AAR, is an organization representing the major freight railroads of North America and some other regional commuter railroads. When required, the AAR represents its members' interests to the public at large and to Congress and government regulators in particular. American freight railroads make sizable investments across the country that enable an efficient freight rail network in moving the goods that make modern life possible, and connecting American businesses to markets from coast to coast and beyond.
What do they do?
Some of their functions are:
- Policymaking: The AAR, along with the requisite authority, makes public policies in the interest of the industry to make it a more efficiently running system.
- Standard-setting: The AAR has the authority to establish safety, security, operating standards that provide seamless operations across the country.
- Industry Data, Reports, and Publications: AAR prepares weekly, quarterly, and annual statistical reports to provide comprehensive insight into the operations of North America's freight railroads.
- Research and Technology Initiatives: The AAR has two subsidiaries, The Transportation Technology Centre, Inc. (TTCI), and Railinc. These subsidiaries research and development projects to increase the safety, security, and efficiency of the railroad industry. Railinc provides the rail industry's leading resource for rail data, information technology, and information services, and uses one of the world's largest data networks to track customer shipments.
The AAR ensures that standards are maintained throughout the railroad network. They constantly update these standards in alliance with elected officials and leaders. These are a comprehensive set of guidelines that are followed in order to maintain an efficiently running system throughout the country. The AAR also plays a significant role in contributing to the economy by lowering transportation costs that might, if freight trains did not exist, be a costly affair.