The Idaho Transportation Department welcomed a record number of participants last month for the 2005 national meeting of the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) Standing Committee on Rail Transportation (SCORT).
About 130 participants and 35 guests from 33 state DOTs and the rail industry participated in the four-day meeting (Aug. 28-31) at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.
The agenda included discussions that ranged from developing and operating intercity passenger rail corridors to rail financing and making productive investments in freight rail projects. The meeting also included a train trip on the BNSF Railway from Spokane to Sandpoint and a dinner cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Lance Giles of Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s office joined Idaho Transportation Board member John McHugh in providing opening remarks at the conference, along with Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem, conference chair Ron Kerr of ITD and SCORT chairman Bob Flanagan (secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation) as major speakers.
Among the speakers were representatives from the Federal
Railroad Administration (FRA), Amtrak, short line and regional railroads,
Association of American Railroads (AAR), rail consultants, state DOTs
and a number of Class I railroad representatives including Norfolk Southern
Railroad, BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad.
The department was the first SCORT conference to create its own website outside the AASHTO website and the first to use online registration with an E-commerce credit card payment system.
The SCORT 2005 meeting also was the first meeting hosted by ITD to use the online registration system. The system was developed by the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor in conjunction with Access Idaho. Visit the SCORT 2005 website here: http://itd.idaho.gov/planning/scort/scort.html
“ITD could not have hosted such a successful conference without the splendid work and commitment of ITD staff,” Kerr said. “It was gratifying to have our guests compliment me on how smoothly everything went.”
ITD staff that helped stage the successful conference included: Pat Marler, Judy Rogers, Reggie Phipps, Pauline Davis, David Coladner, Carinjoy Condon, Jonathan Lenhart, Joe Peagler, Ken Stewart and Eric Copp.
District 1 assisted by providing a van and equipment.
“And it goes without saying the Coeur d’Alene Resort is an outstanding place to hold a conference. Not only is it a beautiful location, but the resort staff did an terrific job in working with us to make our conference a success,” Kerr added.