OTC Announces July 1 Is Relocation Date for Engine 3066
College partners with rail companies for real-world training equipment.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, a huge train engine will travel down Carswell Avenue in Waycross on July 1 as part of its journey to Okefenokee Technical College (OTC). “We received word from City officials just last night that we could move forward with the relocation plan,” stated Cindy Tanner, public relations director with OTC and executive director of the Foundation. Although it’s not the first time a locomotive has traveled down the streets of Waycross, the July 1 event will prove to be a “rare enough” happening to warrant pulling up a yard chair.
Engine 3066 stands 16 feet high, 68 feet 10 inches long, and 10 feet 4 inches wide, weighing in at 390,000 lbs. With the panel rail, the total height comes to 17 feet 6 inches. “Needless to say, it won’t be your standard vehicle rolling down Carswell Avenue,” stated Tanner.
The locomotive, an Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) SD40, six-axle, fully operational engine, is bright red and proudly displays the Progress Rail Services logo, along with the logo of CSX and Utilco. The three rail companies teamed up to support OTC rail programs and get Engine 3066 relocated.
“Due to the generosity and support of CSX, Utilco, and the City of Waycross,” stated Tanner, “the OTC Foundation was able to accept Progress Rail’s unique and extremely generous gift. Everyone will benefit, especially students. The project began when Billy Thompson appealed to Progress Rail Services, a Caterpillar Company, on our behalf after he and Andy Crosby, also of Progress Rail, had discussions with an OTC instructor, Thomas Wesley, about ways to enhance student learning. Then after a short lull, when the project almost died for lack of funds, CSX Transportation stepped up and put the project in fast forward. We can’t thank our rail partners enough.”
The locomotive was restored to operational state by Progress Rail employees at the Patterson manufacturing site. EMD locomotives routinely last 40 years or more, and can be rebuilt reusing 80% of the core components to extend locomotive life.
“All would have been in vain,” said Tanner, “if CSX and Utilco had not agreed to fund the relocation. The cost to move the engine for the Foundation could have reached $30,000, depending on the route and mode of transportation. We are grateful that we don’t have to miss out on this exceptional opportunity initiated by Progress Rail.”
Brannen, whose major objective is to facilitate economic growth through employee training programs, is quick to share the impact the locomotive could have on Waycross through customized training programs. “The addition of this locomotive,” states Brannen, “will enable OTC to offer unique customized training solutions to rail industry partners throughout the region and beyond.”
Okefenokee Technical College (OTC), Progress Rail Services, CSX Transportation, Utilco Railroad Services, Waycross City officials, Mediastream, and Georgia Power Company created a relocation team in December 2012. At the December meeting, Mike Hale, CSX mechanical terminal superintendent; Utilco CEO Buddy Bryan, and Thompson proposed a relocation strategy to move the massive donation from Progress Rail in Patterson to the OTC Waycross Campus.
Preparations for the move have been ongoing since. “Mr. Buddy Bryan will head up the project,” said Brannen. “He’s knowledgeable, experienced, and respected.” His company, Utilco Railroad Services, provides services to over twenty different railroads in sixteen states.”
Utilco will use four 85-ton cranes or pipelayers to lift the locomotive and swing it into position before placing it on the track on Carswell Avenue. “It’s that .6 mile trip down Carswell Avenue that’s of interest to most people,” explained Brannen. “The relocation team is confident that the day will run smoothly.”
“The distribution of weight is such that a loaded concrete truck would have more weight per square inch than the locomotive,” Bryan explained to those expressing anxiety.
“Georgia Power, Mediastream, and AT&T are also involved in the project,” said OTC President Glenn Deibert. “We appreciate their support, as well. The Waycross Police Department will be with us throughout the day, in the mix, ensuring everyone’s safety, as will Mediastream. Safety will be a priority.”
“No one really knows exactly how long it will take to move a locomotive .6 miles down a highway, but everyone involved is aware of the inconveniences the project may cause. Therefore, a lot of time has been spent on the details,” said Deibert.
Access to an engine as a training module will put OTC in a position to offer courses that are unique to the region and Georgia. According to Dr. Melanie Thornton, vice president for academic affairs, two rail programs are scheduled to begin fall semester, provided the locomotive has been relocated to campus in time to attract and admit students. “The programs will benefit the community with additional career opportunities and potential for economic growth,” stated Thornton. Additional rail programs are in the works.
Once again, OTC officials would like to thank everyone involved for their contributions and support. Dr. Deibert, Foundation trustees, and OTC Board directors invite the public to join them at OTC on July 1 to witness the event.
For additional information about rail programs at OTC, contact Thomas Wesley at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about customized training for current employees, contact Andy Brannen, email@example.com.
Engine 3066 is sure to get plenty of attention June 24 as she rolls down Carswell Avenue in Waycross, Georgia. The EMD SD40 is being donated to the OTC Foundation by Progress Rail Services in Patterson, Georgia, to serve as a training aid for OTC rail programs.
Andy Crosby (left), Progress Rail production manager, and Billy Thompson (right), Progress Rail facility manager, gave Thomas Wesley (2nd from left) of OTC and Matt Carter with the Pierce County Industrial Development Authority a sneak preview of the refurbished locomotive that will be donated to the OTC Foundation. Employees of Progress Rail, many of whom are OTC graduates, helped restore the engine to operational state.
Employees of Progress Rail Services (PRS), several of whom are OTC graduates, helped restore the engine to operational state. OTC graduates employed at the PRS Patterson manufacturing site include Ryan Brantley (L to R), Hewitt James, James Beverly, Tyler Todd, Chase Peacock, Dylan Lanier, Daniel Thompson, Josh Tyson, David Aultman, Shane Clemens, and Cody Metts (on steps). In addition to mechanical repairs, Progress Rail employees painted the locomotive and operated it on site for analysis.
Representatives from several area rail companies, the City of Waycross, Georgia Power, Mediastream, and Okefenokee Technical College met at Utilco Railroad Services in Waycross recently to finalize plans to move a 390,000 pound locomotive from the CSX track on Carswell Avenue to Okefenokee Technical College. Those attending gathered for a photo in front of one of the cranes that will be used to lift Engine 3066 as part of the relocation project. The relocation team includes Buddy Bryan, Utilco CEO; (L to R); Brad Hooks, Georgia Power engineer; Deron King, city manager; Thomas Wesley, OTC electronics instructor; Andy Crosby, Progress Rail production manager; Marvin Judah, headend engineer; Billy Thompson, Progress Rail facility manager; David Eddins, fire chief; Tony Tanner, police chief; Joe Sutton, Utilco; Jessica Deal, City engineer; Phil Logan, CSX terminal superintendent; Gene Thomas, city engineering superintendent; Billy Haynes, CSX roadmaster; Van Grady, Utilco assistant derailment supervisor; Chad Boyett, OTC facilities director; Rick Carlson (standing), Utilco; Mike Hale, CSX mechanical terminal superintendent; Dr. Glenn Deibert, OTC president; and Andy Brannen, OTC vice president for economic development. (Not shown – Cindy Tanner, OTC public relations director & Foundation exec. director)