TRACKS TO THE FUTURE, Railroad Transportation and Engineering

TRACKS TO THE FUTURE, Railroad Transportation and Engineering

After ten years of operating a successful summer program, Michigan Tech, in partnership with University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Penn State Altoona are expanding the opportunities to learn rail transportation and engineering. We offer both a week-long on campus program at the Michigan Tech campus and hybrid option that combines virtual programming at your home location with a two-day visit at one of the three participating universities.  Our 2022 program fees are covered through a generous grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). See below for more information on each program....registration will open up in early January, so get ready!!!

Program Overview

Railroads, the high tech and environmentally sensitive transportation mode!  Don’t believe us?  Come and learn why railroads remain the most energy-efficient transportation mode and what forms modern railroad track, equipment, and communications/control systems might take.  Learn how rail compares with other modes and leads the charge in reducing transportation greenhouse gas emissions!  Find out how it all works: classroom/virtual sessions, hands-on activities, and plenty of field visits to all sorts of railroad facilities!  See below for description of traditional (on-campus) and hybrid program options.

Traditional Program

The traditional program will take place at Michigan Tech campus on June 27th-July 1st. The program will combine classroom hands-on activities with field visits to rail industry sites. Grant funding will cover program materials, lodging and meals during the week, and transportation for the rail tours.  Participants will be responsible for travel to Houghton and back home again.   

Hybrid Program

Hybrid program will run between July 11-15. Students opting for hybrid this program will receive two days of virtual instruction on July 11-12.  This portion will feature hands on activities (we will send each participant a package of materials to use!), group virtual instruction and activities, and online activities.  Wednesday July 13 will be a travel day, and the session will continue on July 14-15 at one of our University locations: Michigan Tech, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or Penn State Altoona.  The university programs will feature hands-on activities and rail industry field trips. Lodging is provided on the campus of the selected university  This option is also covered by the FRA Grant, which covers all program materials, plus lodging and meals for the on-site portion.  Students will be responsible for travel to the assigned university location.  The application process will ask each participant to rank their preference for the three available sites.  Participant preference and home location will both be considered when assigning the on-site location.

Contact David Nelson at or by phone at 906-487-1734, if you have any questions of either program.  CLICK HERE for a short video that will give you an idea of what the program is about, or HERE for a recap of our SYP 2021 program. 


Lean more about how your organization can become a Sponsor!

Program Sponsor


Jun 27, 2022 8:00am to Jul 1, 2022 5:35pm


Michigan Tech
1400 Townsend Dr
Houghton, MI 49931
Rail Transportation Program
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI. 49931-1295
Phone: 1-906-487-3547
Fax: 1-906-487-2943
A special thank you to our sponsor and partners!

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.