My Summer: Interning at BNSF Railway

Desiree James Civil and Environmental, Desiree, Internship 0 Comments

Hey there! Summer is already halfway over and time is really flying by. After spending a few weeks at home in little ol’ Fort Worth, Texas, I headed out to Kansas City, Kansas (not to be mistaken with Kansas City, Missouri- trust me, there’s a difference) to spend the rest of my summer interning at BNSF Railway!

If you didn’t already know, BNSF Railway is one of the largest freight transportation companies in North America with facilities in 28 states and 3 Canadian Provinces, and 32,500 miles of rail. I was stationed at their largest train yard facility known as ‘Argentine Yard’, and honestly it was a little overwhelming. I spent my first few weeks learning about the operations side of running trains across the country and learning about “railroad culture”. When I tell you that they have their own language…I’m serious,they gave me a terminology handbook and everything. After that, I hopped on a train and went to Illinois and Nebraska to see some of the structural projects my supervisor was in charge of, and then I was headed back to work on my own project for the summer!

 

Once I started my project, my sleeping schedule went up in flames. Since running trains is a 24/7 operation, people were always working and things were always happening. That being said, some days I would need to spend a day with a person in the mechanical department who worked from 5am-5pm, and then turn around and meet one of the managers at 8am at the train yard. Whenever I get the chance, I’ll spend a day with one of the crews just riding on the train and listening to them tell stories and share their experiences of being on the railroad for 20+, 30+, and sometimes even 40+ years.

When I’m not at work, after catching up on some much needed and dearly missed sleep, I explore the city and eat waaaay too much BBQ. I think my first week out here I ate BBQ a total of five times, and each time the food was amazing. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to jot down my top 3 places to share with you guys later this summer! Other than eat my bodyweight in BBQ, i’ve gotten to visit some pretty cool places with the other interns stationed in Kansas City. So far we’ve visited the Nelson- Atkins Museum, the Kansas City Zoo, and Kansas City’s equivalent of L.A. Live nown as the Power and Light District. We also hit a few balls at Top Golf (they didn’t go very far) and broke out of an escape room in under an hour!

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Desiree James

Desiree James

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