Scroll down to see more field trips we have taken
- CN Geometry Car – December 16, 2017
AREMA Student Chapter members braved the cold on Saturday, December 19, 2017 to tour CN's Geometry Car as it passed through Champaign, IL.
Nao Nishio points out the various sensors and measuring systems on the outside of the geometry car and how they relay information to the software in the inside.
A CN employee points out how the data management system is displayed on the large screens inside the geometry car.
A CN employee demonstrates to students how the geometry car inspects several parameters of the track without obstructing normal railroad operations.
- AREMA Committee 30(TIES) Technical Tour – October 31 and November 1, 2017
The RailTEC Infrastructure Group participated in the AREMA Committee 30(TIES) technical tour of Cajon Pass on November 1, 2017.
RailTEC students at Mission Tower on their technical tour of LA Metrolink on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.
Cajon Pass is a mountain pass between the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California in the United States. It was created by the movements of the San Andreas Fault.
Metrolink trains operate on seven routes across a six-county, 538 route-mile network, which includes a portion of northern San Diego County.
- Field trip to Monticello Railway Museum - October and November 2017
Group photo from October 7, 2017
Group photo from November 11, 2017
Approximately 50 civil engineering students and faculty from the CEE 408 and 409 classes participated in two "work days" at the Monticello Railway Museum (MRM) in Monticello, Illinois.
Students gaining hands on track work experience. Thanks to MRM for the opportunity to provide a working field trip experience for RailTEC students.
- Norfolk Southern Job Site – May 24, 2017
On May 24, 2017 a group of 10 RailTEC students and faculty went to an Norfolk Southern (NS) job site to inspect crosstie issues at a local rail crossing.
The group received a safety briefing with NS and watched construction activities for about an hour before returning to campus.
- Field trip to Monticello Railway Museum - October 2016
Twenty five faculty and students from RailTEC classes on a working field trip to the Monticello Railroad Museum (MRM) on September 24, 2016.
Group photo on October 22, 2016 of faculty and students from RailTEC classes on the second day of a working field trip to the MRM.
Students gaining hands on track work experience.
Thanks to the Monticello Railway Museum for the opportunity for the students to practice their skills.
- CEE410 Field Trip – April 2016
On Saturday, April 30 the CEE410 class (Railway Signaling and Control) visited the Norfolk Southern RR Illinois Division HQ and train dispatching center.
Students had the opportunity to meet train dispatchers and observe the dispatching hardware and software Norfolk Southern uses to control train movements safely and efficiently through much of the Midwest.
The group of 20 students enjoyed lunch at Krekel’s Diary Maid in Decatur before heading back.
Students also witnessed various rail and train interactions.
- UP Railyard in Villa Grove – April 16, 2016
Union Pacific Railroad hosted a railroad engineering field day on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at the UP Railyard in Villa Grove, IL. Students from UIUC and Purdue attended.
The theme was "Big machines. Bigger projects. Unlimited opportunity.”
RailTEC students learned about career opportunities in railway engineering and met the people and machines that keep the rail network running.
Ken Sito, Senior Assistant Vice President of Maintenance & Renewal in UP's Engineering Department, interacts with students.
- CEE411 Field Trip – April 2016
On Saturday 9 April, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s CEE 411 class (titled Railroad Project Planning and Design) traveled to Chicago to visit CSX’s Bedford Park facility. This class focuses on the planning, design, and construction management of large capital projects.
As a part of the field visit they toured Bedford Park to see what a large capital project looks like once it is constructed and operational. This provided a firsthand close up loop at an operational project and allowed the students to ask questions that were fielded by Matt Hiller of CSX Intermodal.
- CN Railway TEST Tour – February 2016
On Sunday, February 14th, a dozen RailTEC faculty and students toured the new CN Railway Track Evaluation System Train (TEST) while it was in Champaign, IL.
The new test train measures track geometry and gage restraint while capturing video images of the track structure. RailTEC alum Kevin Day, CN Assistant Chief Engineer, Technology, Testing and Standards was instrumental in development of the new TEST train.
In addition to looking at all the equipment, the students were glad to be out of the cold.
- CEE411 Field Trip - April 2015
Students listen to a presentation before touring the CSX's Bedford Park Intermodal Facility.
The students help demonstrate the size of the equipment.
Students from CEE 411 pose at the CREATE GS15a capital project at 130th and Torrence Ave.
The CSX intermodal facility is located in Chicago and is among the largest in the United States.
- Field Trip to Monticello Railway Museum October 2014
Group photo from October 11, 2014
- Field Trip to RAIL.ONE April 2014
The RailTEC Crosstie and Fastening System Research Team visited the new RAIL.ONE facility in Clinton, IA on April 25, 2014.
- CEE411 Field Trip - April 2014
Students in CEE411 toured CN's new facilities at Kirk Yard in Gary, Indiana on Saturday 12 April 2014. This trip was a good overview of classification yards, railroad operations, capital expansion projects, and, on a higher level, railroad culture (specifically safety).
CEE411 students touring CN's new yard control tower at Kirk Yard
Students in CEE411 tour CN's renovated hump. One graduate student noted "Visiting CN Kirk’s Yard in Gary, IL was a remarkable experience. This major facility allowed me to admire CN’s professional yet collegial work environment. I’m thankful for the knowledge gained on working practices in a hump yard."
- Field Trip to Monticello Railway Museum September 2013
Faculty and students from RailTEC classes on a working field trip to the Monticello Railroad Museum on September 14, 2013.
Students installed new railroad ties as well as hardware.
- CEE411 Field Trip - April 2013
Students from CEE411, Railroad Project Design and Construction, took a field trip to Chicago to visit the Norfolk Southern/Metra Englewood Flyover Project construction site and the CSX Bedford Park Intermodal Terminal.
- Field Trip to Monticello Railroad Museum October 2012
Faculty and students from RailTEC classes on a working field trip to the Monticello Railroad Museum on October 13, 2012
- Field Trip to Monticello Railroad Museum September 2011
Faculty and students from RailTEC classes on a working field trip to the Monticello Railroad Museum on September 19, 2011.
Volunteers working along the section of track to be maintained this year.
A student working hard to get the track aligned in exactly the right spot.
Students use a rail alignment tool and a track liner to get the rail into the right place.
- Harso TRT Trip July 2011
- Field Trip to Monticello Railroad Museum September 2010
RailTEC faculty and students from CEE408 and CEE409 on a working field trip to the Monticello Railroad Museum on September 11, 2010.
Two student shovel ballast to take to today's working area.
Hauling a new railroad tie into place with a pair of tie tongs.
Student tamping around the newly replaced ties.
- Field Trip on BNSF Geometry Car - July 2009
BNSF Track Geometry Car 85, waiting near the Amtrak Station in Galesburg, Illinois
Matt Toussaint, after riding in the cab of BNSF locomotive 4022
Aboard Geometry Car 85, watching the display panels as we run over track on the BNSF Beardstown Subdivision
Railroad Engineering Program students Matt Toussaint and John Zeman enjoying the ride on Geometry Car 85
Matt Toussaint and fellow student Tristan Rickett
while leaving the geometry car
- Field Trip to Monticello Railroad Museum - April 2009
- 498RD Field Trip to Memphis, TN - April 2009
Photographs courtesy of J. Riley Edwards
J. Riley Edwardsmade a presentation reviewing the status of railroad academic programs as part of the TRB session "Revitalizing the Link Between Railways and Academia: A Vital Challenge" Mark Dinglergiving his presentation"Impact of Operating Heterogeneity on Railway Capacity" Bryan Schlakegiving his presention"Automated Inspection of Railcar Underbody Structural Components Using Machine Vision Technology" Athaphon Kawprasertgiving his presention"Communication and Interpretation of Results of
Railroad Hazardous Materials Transportation Route Risk Analyses"
Recent graduateDan Peltier(BNSF) presenting his poster"Characterizing and Inspecting for Progressive Epoxy Debonding in Bonded Insulated Rail Joints" Steven Sawadisaviexplaining his poster"Machine-Vision Inspection of Railroad Track" G. Avery Grimes(Omni TRAX) a graduate of the UIUC railroad engineering program, made a presentation on "Cost-Based Rail Regulation and Capital Investment" Chris Barkan was a member of a joint academia-industry panel discussion as part of the TRB session "Revitalizing the Link Between Railways and Academia: A Vital Challenge" (From L to R)Xiang Liu, Ti Zhang (Rutgers University) and Zheng Wan (University of California, Davis) presenting their poster"Chinese Railway Transportation: Opportunity and Challenge" Yung-Cheng Lai, is now an assistant professor at National Taiwan University, and gave a presentation entitled"An Enhanced Parametric Railway Capacity Evaluation Tool (RCET)"based on his railroad engineering dissertation research at UIUC. Illini railroad engineering students, past and present, gathered for a group photo during the Railroad Caucus, held every year at the TRB Annual Meeting (L to R):J. Riley Edwards,Mark Dingler,Steven Sawadisavi, John M. Hart, Mike Wnek,Bryan Schlake,Rapik Saat,John Zeman,Yung-Cheng Lai,Dan Peltier (BNSF Railway), Chris Barkan, Brennan Caughron, Lou Cerny (consultant) and David Bilow (consultant).
Papers presented at the 2009 TRB Annual Meeting:
Dingler, M., Lai, Y.C., Barkan, C.P.L.Impact of Operating Heterogeneity on Railway Capacity. Proceedings of the TRB 88 th Annual Meeting, Washington , DC (January 2009).
Kawprasert, A., Barkan, C.P.L.Communication and Interpretation of Results of Railroad Hazardous Materials Transportation Route Risk Analyses. Proceedings of the TRB 88 th Annual Meeting, Washington , DC (January 2009).
Lai, Y.C., Barkan, C.P.L.An Enhanced Parametric Railway Capacity Evaluation Tool (RCET). Proceedings of the TRB 88 th Annual Meeting, Washington , DC (January 2009).
Peltier, D., Barkan, C.P.L.Characterizing and Inspecting for Progressive Epoxy Debonding in Bonded Insulated Rail Joints. Proceedings of the TRB 88 th Annual Meeting, Washington , DC (January 2009).
Sawadisavi, S., Edwards, J.M., Resendiz, E., Hart, J.M., Barkan, C.P.L., Ahuja, N.Machine-Vision Inspection of Railroad Track. Proceedings of the TRB 88 th Annual Meeting, Washington , DC (January 2009).
Schlake, B., Edwards, J.M., Hart, J.M., Barkan, C.P.L., Todorovic, S., Ahuja, N.Automated Inspection of Railcar Underbody Structural Components Using Machine Vision Technology. Proceedings of the TRB 88 th Annual Meeting, Washington , DC (January 2009).
- Field Trip to Monticello Railroad Museum - September 2008
Photographs courtesy of Chris Barkan
- Field Trip to Monticello Railroad Museum - April 2008
Photographs courtesy of Athaphon Kawprasert
- 498RD Field Trip to Memphis, TN - April 2008
Group photo of CEE 498 RD classTour of CN's Johnston Yard Mini-Hump ConstructionTour of CN's Intermodal Gateway Memphis FacilityTour of BNSF's Memphis Intermodal Expansion ProjectHanson-Wilson Surveying DemonstrationHanson-Wilson Surveying Instruction
Photographs courtesy of Athaphon Kawprasert
- University of Kentucky Students and Faculty Visit - March 2008
University of Kentuckystudents and faculty visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Railroad Engineering Program March 7-11, 2008. The scheduled events were presentations from professors of the UIUC students on their research, lectures from University of Illinois and University of Kentucky, a tour of Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory, a presentation from Chuck Gullakson - CSX Transportation, a presentation from David Becker - Norfolk Southern, and a field trip to the Norfolk Southern Railway's Decatur Yard and Dispatching Center in Decatur, IL. This visit provided an unique opportunity for both University of Kentucky and University of Illinois to collaborate with each other about railroad engineering and to learn more about possible research and career opportunities.
A group picture of the University of Kentucky and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and faculty before the field trip at the
Norfolk Southern Yard in Decatur, IL.
Students receiving safety briefing prior to the Norfolk Southern YardA Norfolk Southern employee explains how railcars are
repaired in the car shop.
Norfolk Southern employees demonstrate how track alignment was
corrected prior to mechanized track equipmentA Norfolk Southern tamper worker in conjunction with other equipment
in a surfacing gang demonstration for the students
Tim Crouch shows students one of the dispatching control consoles
at the Norfolk Southern dispatching centerDuring the classroom portion of the visit, David Becker of Norfolk Southern gave a presentation about the Norfolk Southern Heartland Corridor Project.
Chuck Gullakson of CSX gave a presentation to the students about
the CSX Southeast Corridor Capacity Project.
- Field Trip to Observe the CN Tie Renewal Gang near Champaign, IL - October 2007
Students observing tie renewal gang Group photo
- TRB AR040 Mid-year Meeting - August 2007
Click to view theWisconsin & Southern Railroad Newletterwith article about the trip
Photographs courtesy of Athaphon Kawprasert
- Field Trip to Norfolk Southern Yard Tower in Decatur, Illinois - April 2007
Photographs courtesy of Athaphon Kawprasert and Chris Barkan
- Field Trip to Monticello Railroad Museum - April 2007
Photographs courtesy of Athaphon Kawprasert
- Field Trip to Monticello Railroad Museum - April 2006
Drew Dalton working on the railroad at the Monticello Railroad Museum
Railroad students installing an Insulated JointJoe Drapa, Jon Roma, and Drew DaltonTravis Painter doing a thermite bond