KCS’ new Transportation Engineering and Mechanical (TEaM) Training Center in Shreveport, La. will soon have three box cars, three tank cars and five couplers in a stationary display adjacent to the Center. The new interactive displays, constructed in the Shreveport car shop by carmen Larry Kirby and Duane Smith, are expected to be set on track panels very soon.
Superintendent of cars Kyle Salter explained that the two men were given only pictures of similar displays from another training facility. From these pictures, they were able to recreate the displays in Shreveport. Kirby and Smith each devoted approximately 60 hours to the project, splitting their time between the project and their regular heavy car repair duties.
“These guys put a lot of time and attention to detail into making sure they got the displays just right,” said Salter. “We are very proud of their work.”
Until now, new conductors received hands-on training at the yard in Bossier City, La. The next new class of conductors can walk from the TEaM Training Center to the adjacent tracks where multiple trainees can simultaneously get a hands-on experience with the cars.
Instead of resting on rails, the stationary displays will be bolted to the ties on 40 ft. track panels. The displays simulate the A and B end of the car and all aspects of the coupler, allowing trainees to climb on the cars, cross the walkways, maintain three-point contact, set handbrakes, couple hoses, apply air, place an end of train device, perform a leakage test, climb on the ladder with a lantern to give signals and engage all safety appliances.
“Any new employee who will be around rail cars can benefit from training on this display. For example, new carmen must practice inspecting safety appliances,” added Salter. “The possibilities for using the new displays are endless.”