In March 1958, a small group of transportation researchers held a farewell luncheon for colleague Sir Alan A. Walters, a native of England who had been on an assignment for the United Nations in New York. More than 100 people turned out to hear Sir Alan speak on “Why Transportation Researchers Need a Forum to Discuss Their Work.” The success prompted railroad economist Herbert O. Whitten to ask if there was interest in future meetings to allow others to speak on transportation topics. Thus was born the Transportation Research Forum of New York, with Whitten serving as its first president. At that time, most of the major railroads were headquartered in New York City and their economists were frustrated by the narrow focus of professional associations which virtually ignored the unique nature of railroad costing and economics.

In December 1960, the first organized meeting of the American Transportation Research Forum was held in St. Louis, MO, sponsored by TRF-NY, which became the founding chapter. Other chapters followed in Washington, DC, Cleveland (Lake Erie), and Chicago. Additional chapters were organized in Philadelphia, New England, Northern California, and the Pacific Northwest. With the expansion of the organization into Canada, the name was shortened to the Transportation Research Forum.

NY Chapter luncheon meetings are still regularly held. These feature speakers from government, industry, and academia, discussing projects, policies and issues related to freight and passenger transportation.

Next Meeting…

Date: November 4, 2016
Topic: “Contested at the Curb”
Speakers: Max Miller, CHS Consulting Group
View Meeting Info.
Date: December 2, 2016
Speaker: Alyssa Pichardo & Jackson Whitmore