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    Workin’ on the Railroad: CSX Careers | Fast Forward
    Articles, Blog

    Workin’ on the Railroad: CSX Careers | Fast Forward

    August 8, 2019

    On Fast Forward, we’ve met environmental
    engineers, process engineers, acoustic engineers, mechanical engineers,
    electrical engineers, structural design engineers, technical development
    engineers, flight control systems engineers, agricultural engineers, civil
    engineers, and industrial engineers… Just to name a few. But we just found one kind of engineer we haven’t met yet. Today’s the day! Today, Fast Forward is visiting CSX, a company that combines cutting edge technology with one of the nation’s most
    established modes of transportation. CSX is the biggest railroad east of the
    Mississippi, with more than 3000 people across the state of Georgia working on
    the railroad. So I’ll let them tell you a little more about the place. CSX hauls freight anywhere from grain, ethanol, propane, gasoline, plastics… Just about anything that you would come in contact with on a daily basis was hauled by a train across the United States. We mainly deliver for the east coast. We run as far south as Florida, all the way up to Canada. Everything you see within this room, within in your classrooms, where you’re at at one time or one form is probably riding on one of our trains. And it’s how I make my living Nice! So how big is this operation? CSX operates 36,000 miles of track throughout its 23 state network. 36,000 miles?! That’s a lot of track to–well keep track of. And CSX employees actually weld
    all those rails together. A little help?? That’s Cullen’s expertise there. Then he’s the perfect person to tell us about the different types of welding. The electrical welding is what everybody thinks of when we when we talk about
    welding. That’s where they’re striking the arc and you see the guys wearing a
    welding hoods and what not. Thermite welding is pretty railroad specific. Thermite welding? It’s actually a chemical reaction. What we do is in order to make the rail bond, we have to heat the rail ends up 800 degrees and that gets the metal consistency where we need to let the molten steel bond to it. But the actual thermite itself is a powder. It’s aluminum oxide and iron ore powder. And we use a magnesium starter and that ignites it. And once it ignites, the chemical
    reaction actually produces so much heat that it melts the steel. The pure iron will drop down into the mold in between the two rails, fuse them
    together and it makes our rail the clickety-clack. And the joints, they’re out there we get rid all that. We make it a smooth transition. It’s no more speed bumps for the trains. Now if only you could do something
    about those speed traps. So tell me about the trains. The lightest rail car that we have is over 15 tons. And that is one car. So a standard freight train could haul
    over a hundred cars, could be tens of thousands of tons. CSX trains, depending on the track,
    passenger trains from travel up to 79 miles an hour. The larger locomotives are rated for up
    to 4,000 horsepower. Your smaller locomotives can range anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 horsepower. That’s a lot of horsepower. And speaking of that… time for a teachable moment. Horsepower is simply a way of measuring power. And to understand exactly what power is, you need to start with force, which is the push or pull exerted on an object
    measured in Newtons. When you measure that force over a distance, such as the energy it takes to move a 50,000 ton train a thousand miles, you get the work measured in joules. And when you measure that work over a period of time, you get the power. Or in this case, horsepower. That’s a cow. Better! Anyhow… Inventor James Watt first coined the term
    “horsepower” back in the 18th century while looking for a way to measure the
    power of his steam engine. Because there was no accepted unit of measurement at
    the time, he used horses as a benchmark for comparison. Therefore one unit of horsepower
    equals the average effort generated by a single draft horse. Later, a different unit of measure was developed that could be used in
    conjunction with the metric system. This new unit was named the watt, after James Watt. And 761 watts are about equal to one unit of horsepower. Sorry, guys. so what kinds of jobs do you have here at CSX? The railroad has jobs available for
    all aspects of talent. We look for people that are high school graduates all the way up to college graduates. We can start off with conductors, yard masters. You have train masters,
    you have terminal superintendents division managers and you even have other departments such as safety, health and environment. We even have personnel here that do personal training for us. So a lot of opportunity. And CSX is also a great place to work if
    your future includes military service. Military has become a very important part of CSX And the people that come from the military have a discipline that is needed to work
    in the railroad industry. In fact one out of every five CSX employees
    has a military background. Anyone? I am actually in the Army Reserves. The US Army National Guard. I went in the military. I got the GI Bill.
    And now I’m utilizing it. I’m working here for CSX and getting my
    college paid for by the GI Bill. So after high school, whether you’re heading to the military or college or getting straight to work, CSX could work for you. I really enjoy watching the young
    people come through here. We have men, as well as women, that are very well trained and good at their job. You know the biggest benefit of working for CSX is that you know that you’re working for a company that’s making a contribution. A company that is that is really
    helping to drive our economy. As the railroad goes, so does our American economy and so does the Georgia economy. I think the opportunities here
    are beyond the limits. Limits never pay too much attention, which is probably why Fast Forward and
    CSX are such a great match. Right now, I’ve got a train to catch. But I’ll see you on another episode of Fast Forward.