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Michigan State University sets dates for first-ever railway operations course

Michigan State University (MSU) has set the dates for the Certificate Course in Railway Operations Program to be launched next year.

Comprising four one-week sessions conducted within a six-month period, the course will be held Jan. 13-18 at MSU; March 2-7 in the Pueblo/Colorado Springs, Colo., area; April 13-18 in the greater Chicago area; and June 15-20 at MSU.

The first week will provide students an introduction to railway and transportation issues; the second week will focus on infrastructure, rolling stock, and communications and signals; the third week will hone in on working with customers and financial stakeholders; and the fourth week will address ways to read and understand reports.

MSU's Railway Management Program developed the course based on an industry-wide needs assessment conducted earlier this year. Targeted at mid-career railroad managers seeking to become executives, the course will include classroom lessons, field exercises, assignments, and computer-based case studies and work sessions. Participants will work in teams on projects designed to reinforce management principles and hone decision-making skills.

Earlier this year, FCM Rail Ltd.'s Dennis Gilstad donated $1 million to MSU to establish the Edward A. Burkhardt Chair in Railway Management. Founder, president and controlling owner of the rail equipment and financial services firm, Gilstad helped bringing together rail industry leaders and MSU officials to develop the certificate program.

Course developers named the chair in honor of Edward A. Burkhardt, founder, president and chief executive officer of Rail World Inc. and Rail World Holdings L.L.C., who ran the former Wisconsin Central Ltd. The Burkhardt Chair will serve as the certificate program's foundation.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/29/2007