Grant lays track for the future of railroad

Thanks to a grant from the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRCMA), Penn State Altoona will be able to advance its state-of-the-art Rail Transportation Engineering program through the use of 360 degree virtual experiences from actual railroad environments. The purchase of this virtual reality equipment, along with the recent acquisition of a virtual welder, will lay the groundwork for the launch of the first-ever University-based Virtual Education Lab in the railway industry.

The RTE program was awarded a $15,000 education grant from NRCMA to positively impact the future of the railroad and railroad construction and maintenance industry by supporting an institution’s students, education, and research efforts.

“We are extremely grateful to the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association for awarding this grant to the Penn State Altoona RTE program,” states Bryan Schlake, lecturer in rail transportation engineering. “The core of our program will always be hands-on education where students actually put on their steel-toed boots and get out on the track. But this equipment will provide exciting new opportunities to expand the breadth of railway education by taking our students all over the world to see track projects and railway operations that would otherwise be impossible to experience.”

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