The railroad is fascinating. It has a rich past and a bright future. One way to learn more about railroads and explore the idea of pursuing a career in the railroad industry is to attend activities and programs sponsored by the industry. There are summer programs in railroad available for students of all ages, including adults. Do a search on railroad summer programs or on learning about railroad careers to get more information.
To start off your research, here is some information about three of them.
Are you a student between 9th and 11th grade interested in learning more about the rail industry? Do you like to learn through hands-on activities and field trips? Then you’re in luck—the Rail Transportation Program at Michigan Tech offers an annual Summer Youth Program in Rail and Intermodal Transportation that would be perfect for students just like you.
Michigan Tech held their 6th annual program in July 2015. Students might enjoy the chance to visit the LS&I railroad, BNSF rail yards, and the Duluth Railroad Museum—among other intermodal locations throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
Watch the Michigan Tech website to find out when applications for the future are available; and to learn about other railroad events that are happening.
Railroad Reality Week
If you’re over the age of 18 and deeply curious about what it’s like to work on the railroad, you should check out Nevada Northern Railway’s Railroad Reality Week.
Railroad reality week is a week-long summer camp that puts people to work on a national historic landmark railroad. You’ll have to sit through a few safety and training sessions (and there is a test, so pay attention!) but after that you’ll be working in the shop and out on the track. You’ll help a train over a hill and back down again and you’ll work on maintaining locomotives and railcars. By the end of the week you’ll be rotating through positions like engineer, brakeman, and switchman; coupling and moving cars all along the tracks.
This is a perfect experience for anyone who is considering a career in the railroad industry and wants to experience first-hand what it takes to keep a railroad running.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Summer Camp
Students between the ages of 7 and 17 who are curious to learn more about railroads and the history of railroading should check out the Tennessee Valley Railroad Summer Camp. This camp is held annually in the summer for interested students, and is divided into two sections based on age group.
Students ages 7 through 17 years can learn more about railroading, riding trains, and participate in games and crafts related to the railroad. Students ages 13 through 17 years will get instruction on railroad terms, signals, how steam and diesel engines work, as well as the history of trains. They can also sit in on blacksmithing demonstrations, and will be allowed to go on field trips and listen to guest speakers.
Watch the Tennessee Railroad Valley website for information about the camp and to learn about other events.