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Spoon River College in Canton, Ill., and Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Ill., recently partnered with BNSF Railway Co. to offer a new Rail Transportation and Power System Technology certificate course, according to the United Transportation Union.Students enrolled in the course will study circuits, hydraulics, welding, diesel tractor technology, engine systems, workplace safety and other topics at both colleges. Carl Sandburg College will provide students access to a BNSF yard to gain hands-on experience, while Spoon River College and BNSF will donate equipment for the course.Because many engine technicians are preparing to retire and BNSF's business is booming, the parties decided to develop the certificate program. Since the colleges are 46 miles apart, a typical 18-week session that's standard for other degrees has been condensed into one eight-week session.Classes are scheduled to start in fall. Spoon River College is accepting applications for the program.
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