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WTS Sacramento Chapter Transportation You



Union Pacific Railroad Tour

On Friday, April 7th, the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) J.R. Davis Yard opened their doors to WTS Transportation YOU and our partnering Sylvan Middle School girls for an amazing tour of their rail facility. We were joined by Nicole Morris, Director of Terminal Operations, Elizabeth Lewis, Senior Recruitment Manager, and other UPPR staff for an eye-opening day at the rail yard. Nicole debriefed the group on the history and current operations of the state-of-the-art facility. The girls got to take a driving tour on a portion of the 915-acre yard that encompasses 50 miles of track that can house up to 6,500 rail cars. We viewed the repair facility and witnessed the workings of the hump yard - a lead track on a gentle slope where the single cars are detached from one another and roll by gravity on the tracks to be sorted.

The guided tour allowed the girls to view all realms of the railroad facility, including behind the scenes operations of the incoming and outgoing trains. One of the highlights of the day was the train simulator where locomotive engineers are trained and continuously tested to operate the locomotives. Each girl was given the opportunity to sit in the hot seat and take the throttle on a simulated run in various weather and loading conditions... stopping a heavy train can take great lengths of time and distance!

The enthusiasm of those involved in the tour was quite contagious for our Middle Schoolers. They were introduced to an abundance of job opportunities within the railroad field that could potentially take them across the nation in a career that they had never heard of before this tour. Quite a day in the books for these girls indeed. Thank you to all the J.R. Davis Yard staff for allowing our girls to tour the most modern western region railroad yard!














City of Citrus Heights Tour


On February 1st, Julie Passalacqua and Meggie Elledge were joined by 9 Sylvan Middle School ladies to take a closer look at their City of Citrus Heights surroundings. Sylvan Middle School relocated to a new campus this past school year and amongst all the positive outcomes that came with the move, unfortunately the current traffic conditions have posed new issues with congestion and safety for the students and the city. Leslie Blomquist, Mary Pool, and Freida Morales with the City of Citrus Heights thought it would be appropriate to familiarize the girls with the potential need of improvement and discuss the issues at hand. The girls were able to survey the site, provide insight on the problematic areas, and then verbalized solutions to help mitigate the traffic congestion. 

The girls then tested new waters by boarding a public bus to take them to the new Citrus Heights City Hall Building and Parking Facilities. There they were able to see and learn about the design benefits to having a green parking lot. The terms permeable surface, bioswale, and rain garden have now been added to their engineering vocabulary! 

Citrus Heights staff opened their doors and allowed the ladies to tour the state-of-the-art facility. Leslie Blomquist, the traffic signal & operations supervisor, gave a personal tour of her office and "wowed the crowd" by debuting the technological side of her job. She was able to navigate to specific intersections with her camera monitoring system and show the girls just how she manages the traffic signal system to ensure safe and efficient operations.

The day ended with the girls marking up aerial maps of their school site with the problem areas identified earlier and revisiting solutions for a smoother and safer traffic flow around the school campus. Lunch along with Q&A with the City staff was the finale to their day spent with WTS Transportation YOU

Huge thanks to the City of Citrus Heights and all their dedicated staff for their warm welcome and attention to Sylvan Middle School. 

Check out more of WTS Sacramento's previous Transportation YOU events here

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