The Educational Railroading Conference Leader Since 1994


Heavy Haul Sessions Speaker:


Joe Smak

Joe Smak

Biography: Recently retired, Joseph A. Smak has over 38 years of experience in railroad engineering. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Joe’s curriculum included an Extended Elective program in Railroad Engineering.

After 10 years with Amtrak, Joe retired in 2018 as the Director of Engineering in the System Track Department. Previous to Amtrak, he held various positions in the Engineering Departments’ with CSX Transportation for over 9 years, and with Conrail for the prior 19 years. Joe is currently the Treasurer and on the Board of Governors of AREMA. He is a Past President of AREMA and served as Senior Vice President, Vice President, and Director. Joe was the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary of AREMA Committee 4 Rail, and is an active member of AREMA Committee 5 Track. He also served as the Chair of the Transportation Research Board Committee on Railroad Track Maintenance. Joe was a member of numerous AAR committees, and served on various FRA committees as well.

Joe is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Penn State Altoona’s Rail Transportation Engineering Program, and occasionally does some railroad engineering consulting.