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This high school program, a collaboration by Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program and the Transportation and Logistics Management Program at University of Wisconsin–Superior, investigates rail and intermodal transportation.

About the 2017 Program

Once again the Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program hosted an outstanding group of students for a weeklong exploration of the rail industry and its role in the greater transportation system.   

Fourteen students from five states traveled to Tech, and engaged in a program of field trips and hands-on classroom activities … with a few lecture sessions mixed in for good measure.  

Partnering with the University of Wisconsin-Superior, the program included an overnight trip to the Duluth-Superior area for a number of field trips, which complemented trips throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Hands on work included building a scale model track section, working with maglev vehicles, and working with a computer train simulator.  We also introduced “rail-opoly” - a new game that engaged students in the thought process of running a railroad system.

One student noted their favorite activity was, “Going to the BNSF railyard because I have never gotten a behind the scenes look before.”  A common response to the question: “Five years from now what will you remember about SYP?” was some version of “the Friends I made”. One student noted: “Quite a lot, the locations, the lessons, and the people I’ve met”.

SYP 2017 Schedule of activities

Monday – Introductions and trip to Ishpeming to visit the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad and the Tilden Mine.

Tuesday – Build model track and work with computer train simulation. Travel to Superior, WI

Wednesday – Visit the Superior, WI BNSF railyard. Tour the Superior Midwest Energy Coal transloading facility.

Thursday – Visit Halvor Lines trucking company - including time on the always popular truck simulator! Visit to the Lake Superior Railroad  Museum and a ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad.  Return to Houghton.

Friday – Wrap up day, maglev trains and trip to the Lake Linden and Torch Lake Railroad.  Students had an opportunity to drive the small gas-hydraulic switch engine!  Throwing the curve switch was also a popular activity.



Above: Students listen to and ask questions of their tour guide at the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal, in Superior, WI

Above and below: Students toured the BNSF railyard at Superior, including a look at the Yard Office and Locomotive Maintenance Facilities

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Jul 9, 2017 12:00pm to Jul 15, 2017 12:00pm


Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Dr
Houghton, MI 49931