2018's edition of the Rail & Intermodal Transportation Summer youth Program was held July 8-14, featuring another great year of explorations for High School Students throughout the Lake Superior Region!
We had great weather all week long, and 16 students took part from across the country. Our field trip list provided excellent experiences, with visits to six different industry locations:
LS&I Railroad – tours of the car and locomotive shops, the maintenance of way equipment, and the Tilden Mine ore pellet load out facility provided a great introduction on Monday afternoon. Our students loved the opportunity to climb up in a locomotive cab!
BNSF Superior, WI railyards – a visit to the dispatch tower provided an overview of the yard, and a visit to the car shop provided detailed information on how cars are maintained. We had a great photo opportunity in front of a locomotive in Sante Fe railroad colors!
At BNSF's Superior Yards, students got to see what goes on in railroad terminals, indcluding the Yardmaster's Office and Carshops
CN’s Duluth Cargo Connect Intermodal Facility – this visit provided an opportunity to explore the rail/truck/ship interface in detail! Cranes, docks, rail lines, warehousing, and trucks … this facility has it all! The facility opened in 2017 provides a vital connection between sea-born cargo vessels and the Midwest rail system.
Halvor Lines Trucking Terminal – It’s impossible to talk about rail transportation without discussing the trucking interface for the “last mile” moves. Halvor is a full service trucking company, providing both long distance, over the road movements and connections to rail. The chance to check out the truck training simulator is a perennial favorite of our students.
At Halvor Lines, everybody got to check out one of their big rigs!
Lake Superior Railroad Museum and North Shore Scenic Railroad – This stop provides students a chance to explore the history of railroading. A ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad is another favorite activity for our students.
Lake Linden and Torch Lake Railroad – Although a much smaller venue than the one in Duluth, this stop provides a great way for students to relax on the last day of the week. They have the opportunity to explore the property and testing their mettle against a rail track switch gives many an opportunity to show off. The site is filled with rail memorabilia from the Copper Country, including an extensive model railroad layout.
At the Lake Linden & Torch Lake Railroad, students attempted to throw the switch to the shop - not an easy task!
Along with the field visits students also got some hands on classroom activities: building a model track section, using a computer based locomotive simulator, constructing mag-lev rail cars, and visiting an active railroad-highway grade crossing all added to the week long experience.
As always, we owe a big thanks to our partners at University of Wisconsin/Superior, and to all the industry companies that make the field trips possible!