October 16, 2018
North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) Vice President of Engineering Named President of Engineering Association
Jim Kessler receives the president's gavel from AREMA Past President Dwight W. Clark

North Carolina Railroad Company Vice President of Engineering, James “Jim” Kessler, P.E., has been named 2018 – 2019 President of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA).  Kessler was officially installed as president of AREMA on September 16 during the Annual AREMA Presidents Dinner.

“I’m honored to serve as president of an organization that I’ve been a part of for more than 37 years,” says Kessler. “AREMA provides both new and long-time engineers opportunities to learn and grow in their profession, as well as cultivating a pipeline of future railroad engineering professionals.  As president, I plan to encourage members to become more involved in the organization and take full advantage of the opportunities it offers.”

“Jim is a great asset to our Company,” says Scott Saylor, North Carolina Railroad Company President. “Since joining the North Carolina Railroad in 2013, he has led many important projects to completion including double tracking, new rail sidings in Johnston and Lenoir Counties, and the rehabilitation of the Trent River railroad bridge in New Bern.  As Vice President of Engineering at NCRR, he partners with engineering staff at Norfolk Southern and North Carolina’s Department of Transportation and also supports our economic development team as NCRR makes strategic investments in rail-served economic development projects.”

“I have had the pleasure of working with Jim for several years and his focus has been on moving the Association forward.  I look forward to supporting Jim in his role as President, as I am sure he will perform an exemplary job,” said AREMA Executive Director and CEO Elizabeth S. Caruso.

Immediate AREMA Past President Dwight W. Clark stated recently at the AREMA 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition, “I am confident that I will be leaving the association in good hands with Jim Kessler.  Jim gained great experience leading the AREMA Functional Group Board of Directors as Senior Vice President and serving as the Program Chair for this AREMA 2018 Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.  Jim has done an excellent job keeping the technical portion of the association moving forward.  If everyone provides the same level of support that I received this year, it will be a great year for Jim.  I want to wish him the best of luck this year”.

Kessler is a Licensed Professional engineer with more than 45 years of experience in railroad engineering.  He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering degree from North Carolina State University and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (Fellow).



AREMA boasts a membership of more than 6,000 engineering professionals and publishes best practices, plans and specifications for the railway industry.  AREMA also provides educational opportunities to help fulfill its mission – the development and advancement of both technical and practical knowledge and recommended practices pertaining to the design, construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure.

About the North Carolina Railroad Company

The North Carolina Railroad Company is a private corporation whose stock is owned by the State of North Carolina.  The Company manages the use of 317 miles of track stretching from Charlotte to the Port of Morehead City and leases the tracks to Norfolk Southern Corporation, a Class I freight rail company.  The Company’s mission is to put the North Carolina Railroad Company to work for the good of the people of North Carolina and improve our state by expanding freight rail opportunities to grow business, enabling rail to move people and investing in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Railroad: Collaborating with Communities and Spurring Economic Growth

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