Railroad Engineering: Hands-On Experience

The project will enhance the learning experience of the students enrolled in CE 483 Railroad Engineering. In addition to the classic classroom content of the course the students will participate in a Hands-On Experience at a local railroad museum. The student will construct a section of track – transporting and placing ties, installing tie plates, transporting rail, spiking rail and bolting together rail sections. After completion of the exercise the track will be disassemble and stored for future use. Students will also be introduce and operate a variety of rail components - including rolling stock, turnout and switch operation, and signaling. Additionally, a program for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Outreach to elementary and junior high school/middle schools and youth groups will be developed to introduce railroad operations. A number of rail scenarios will be presented to the participants to develop and model viable solutions to the problem. Using wooden track sections and small cars the youth will construct track layouts to demonstrate their solution of the rail design challenge presented. Additionally a Locomotive Simulator and associated computer equipment will be acquired to allow the participants to operate a locomotive in one of many different geographic and operational scenarios.