Excelsior Citizen

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Excelsior Springs Job Corps Unveils One-of-a-Kind Railcar Training Facility

Last Updated on November 27, 2022 by S Jason Cole

November 22, 2022 – The Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center in partnership with the Transportation Communications Union (TCU) and Union Pacific, celebrated new career opportunities for young adults in Missouri with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and rededication of its on-site railcar last Thursday. For years, the Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center has hosted the Transportation Communications Union advanced training program as the only Job Corps campus in the country that offers full-service, hands-on training of a railcar located on-site. The railcar was donated in August 2019 by Union Pacific to benefit Job Corps students. 

The donated Union Pacific railcar as it appeared in 2019 (photo Courtney Cole).

With the help of Excelsior Springs Job Corps’ construction training programs, TCU’s railcar has been revitalized. Carpentry students added a second lean-to for the shed next to the railcar, to house a new track cart that was recently fabricated. Cement students poured finishing around the railcar that serves as a level platform on which to move equipment, and painting students added a fresh coat of durable color to the railcar.

“The railcar project is now complete and we can do anything a mini repair track can do,” TCU Lead Field Education Instructor Lane Shelton said. Shelton said students can practice changing out wheelsets, and disassembling the truck set or the draft and coupler systems. They can also perform single-car airbrake testing and can replace and repair safety appliances. Having these options available to students covers just about every daily work chore that is done on railcars. 

The railcar project also adds and expands training for students to learn the duties of conductors. “It’s not just rail freight mechanics—we can train conductors and switchmen. We can actually take the rail ties out and can teach students to be track laborers. They can learn how to remove and replace those components. This project really allows us a lot of versatility,” said Shelton.

With the high demand for skilled laborers in technical fields Job Corps continues to provide valuable training to a future workforce. 

Job Corps is a federal career technical training and education program for young people who aspire to higher-paying careers and higher education. With 121 residential and nonresidential locations nationwide, training is available in the nation’s fastest-growing industries to eligible 16- through 24-year-olds. The program is free of charge for students. To learn more about Job Corps, call (800) 733-JOBS or visit jobcorps.gov.

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