AAR Inspections: All You Need to Know


AAR inspections are an important part of our safe and efficient freight rail transportation network. This is an industry-specific certification based on the M-1003 specification of the Association of American Railroads. It includes clauses on the proper testing, document control, inspection, production, and management of all railcar repair facilities.

This certification ensures that the program of quality assurance for railroad contractors is uniform and applicable across the landscape of the industry. It also refers to all the parts of the process, including storing, packaging, stocking, identification, procurement, and manufacturing of all necessary materials.

All Pennsylvania’s railroad repair shops fulfill the stringent requirements of this association. That is why they have to undergo stringent inspections procedures.

What is an AAR inspection?

The Association of American Railroads, (AAR) is an organization focused on maintaining the fast and efficient operations across all freight railroads in the United States. However, safety is also a top concern for this group, which led them to create a set of precise standards and guidelines for freight car manufacturers and operators.

These guidelines are all gathered under the inspection procedure of the AAR. Their inspection serves as the vital process designed for ensuring that railcars, different components, and manufacturing facilities fulfill the requirements of supplying the North American Railroads, including the countries of Canada, USA, and Mexico.

Essentially, the AAR inspection ensures that both the railroad equipment and the facilities it’s manufactured in abide by the necessary rules and regulations. This way, The Association of American Railroads does its part in making sure the railroads keep operating not only efficiently, but with a high degree of safety as well.

What does an AAR inspection consist of?

In order to maintain and improve its safety and efficiency, the AAR has implemented a detailed inspection system that ensures cars and manufacturers meet the necessary standards.

Pennsylvania railroad repair shop

In order to successfully pass the inspection process, the AAR Committee Manager has to establish the following:

  • The facility meets all the requirements of the AAR.
  • The company has obtained and reviewed the current AAR Publications and is capable of supplying the adequate documentation.
  • The party has submitted a complete application. The review process takes approximately 4 to 10 weeks.
  • The testing of all major components is successful due to compliance with AAR standards.
  • The comprehensive Quality Assurance Inspection is carried out and the facility receives approval from the AAR Quality Assurance Committee Manager. This is the M-1003 certification and the process for it includes:
    • Completing an application
    • Sending a copy of the QA manual to the AAR-Accredited Auditor.
    • Undergoing a complete facility audit by the Auditor and paying the audit fees.
    • Successfully responding to potential noncompliance as pointed out by the Auditor.
    • Passing the QA Committee’s process for approval after the Auditor supplies them with all the necessary audit documentation.

Maintaining the M-1003 certification requires the facility to undergo yearly evaluations.

  • Once the facility obtains QA Approval and all other necessary documentation, the AAR inspection is successfully completed.

Which Pennsylvania’s AAR-certified railroad repair shop should I partner with?

What does an AAR inspection consist ofIf you’re looking for an AAR-certified railcar repair facility to repair your defective railcars, you need Curry Rail Services. We are adept at railcar repair, tank car repair, as well as manufacturing new and custom railcars. We possess AAR M-1002 and M-1003 certification for railcar and tank car repairs, as well as the AAR S-2034 certification for new-car production.

What’s more, we manufacture and engineer cab weldments, fuel tanks, snow plows, underframes, engine hoods, as other parts, equipment and accessories. We serve our customers nationwide from our repair and manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania, near Horseshoe Curve. Our employees are skilled and experienced, and we use cutting-edge equipment. Reach out to us today to discuss your railcar repair needs!

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