The AAR's Technical Services group of committees are responsible for the development, maintenance, and enforcement of North American railroad interchange rules, mechanical standards, and component specifications that promote an acceptable level of safety and efficiency. Users of these publications include North American Class I, shortline, and regional railroads, Federal Railroad Administration, Transport Canada Railway Safety Directorate, private railcar owners, shippers, and freight car, locomotive, and component suppliers.
Committees members include railroad and non-railroad experts in the areas shown in the accompanying organization chart. These technical experts provide direction on the development and maintenance of industry standards. Committee Managers are located either at the AAR offices in Washington, D.C., or at the Transportation Technology Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the AAR located in Pueblo, Colorado, 21 miles northeast of Pueblo Airport.
Technical Services staff members manage at least one committee and are responsible for:
- Management and coordination of the AAR Technical Committees and AAR Quality Assurance Committee including scheduling of meetings, preparation of agendas and minutes, handling of correspondence, and implementing actions taken by the committee.
- Handling inquiries related to the subject matter (engineering and administrative) under the purview of the specific AAR committee.
- Processing applications for approval of facilities and components under the appropriate area of responsibility, and maintaining records of such actions.
- Management of fulfillment of inspections, facility certifications, component approval tests, S-060 certifications
- Maintaining sections of the AAR Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices, including editing, development of technical content, and implementation.
- Interpreting technical specifications and serving as a liaison to railroad officials, railway supply representatives, other rail industry associations, and federal regulatory agencies.
- Support the AAR in the operation of the railroad industry's Early Warning and Maintenance Advisory system used to advise the industry through "Circular Letters" of potential safety hazards related to freight and locomotive equipment.
- Support the AAR in the notification of rules, standard, and specification revisions through "Circular Letters
- Supporting the Arbitration and Rules Committee for the interpretation of standards.
- Rule 88 Sample Car Inspection (verifies compliance with AAR rules/standards, ensuring that rebuilt cars entering the interchange system meet current safety standards and increasing values of existing car fleets).
- Rule 88 Structural Analysis (in conjunction with Rule 88 sample car inspection). This verifies structural integrity of rebuilt car series, ensuring that rebuilt cars entering the interchange system are structurally sound.