Preliminary Program

The International Crosstie and Fastening System Symposium will be an in-person event on the campus of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign held on 4-5 June 2024. The Symposium will be held in conjunction with the AREMA Committee 30 (Ties) spring meeting on 6 June 2024.


Transit Keynote Address
CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization Phase One Project: Overcoming Challenging Constraints

Carrie Wagener
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
First Deputy Chief Engineer

Carrie Wagener, PE, is First Deputy Chief Engineer at the nation’s second largest public transit agency, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), where she oversees civil/track, structures, signal, and traction power design and construction within the Infrastructure Engineering department.  She additionally directs the owner’s multi-disciplinary engineering team for the $2.1B Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Phase One project, CTA’s largest-ever capital improvement project to renew heavy rail infrastructure along its busiest rail lines.  A 16-year CTA veteran, Carrie has worked in various departments including track maintenance, power & way maintenance, safety, and quality assurance. Carrie is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she earned both bachelors and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering.

Class I Railroad Keynote Address
Railroad Basics – Back to the Future

Brent Laing
CN Railway
Vice-President, Engineering

Brent is a professional engineer with extensive Class 1 heavy haul freight railway technical and management experience.
Brent is the Vice President Engineering at CN, being appointed to that position in June 2022.  He has the overall accountability of all engineering functions at CN including track maintenance, production, work equipment, signals & communications, bridges and structures, infrastructure design and construction.
Prior to coming to CN, Brent was President of a small engineering consulting firm, focused on working with select clients in the mining, light and heavy rail areas on railway related projects.
A career railroader, Brent also held various positions at Canadian Pacific Railway.  As well as Vice President Engineering, he also lead corporate environmental teams as Director Environmental Affairs, locomotive and freight car repair teams as General Manager Mechanical Operations.
He has been a long-time member of American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association and has been recently nominated to the AREMA Board of Governors.  Brent has been professional engineer for over 39 years.