Hit the books, attend class and crawl around a few rail cars. That soon will be the schedule for railway conductor students at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's (SAIT) Centre for Rail Training and Technology in Calgary, Alberta. This week, Canadian Pacific Railway will finish building a 300-foot track on campus designed to help instructors train students on placing cars without having to travel to a rail yard.
"Our students will be able to practice mechanical inspections, brake tests, applying and releasing hand brakes, and moving on and between rail cars," said Brian Moukperian, dean of SAIT's transportation department, in a prepared statement.
CPR donated the 300 feet of salvaged track, as well as about 200 ties, 200 tons of ballast and other building materials.
"The safety of our employees is paramount for CPR, which is why the SAIT program is such a key training ground for those wanting to make the railway a career," said CPR Vice President of Engineering Vern Graham, adding that SAIT offers one of three rail transportation programs in Canada.
In November 1999, SAIT opened the center, which provides students training on track and signal maintenance, locomotive car repair and maintenance, train operations and controllers, front line management and customer service.