Tracks to the Future: Railroad Transportation and Engineering

For rising 10th – 12th graders
July 11 – July 15, 2022 (Hybrid–Half Online / Half Residential)

The Summer 2022 program has ended. To receive updates for the Summer 2023 program, sign up for summer program notifications.

NOTE: This camp is organized by Michigan Technological University. For questions about this particular camp, contact or 906-487-2219.


FREE thanks to a grant from the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration. This includes all materials plus camp staffing, overnight accommodations in a campus residence hall, meals and insurance for the on-campus portion of the program. Campers are responsible for their own travel expenses to and from campus.

Railroads are the high-tech and environmentally sensitive transportation mode! Don’t believe us? Come and learn why railroads remain the most energy-efficient mode of transportation.  Engage with university faculty from the University of Illinois, Michigan Technological University and Pennsylvania State University as you uncover what forms modern railroad track, explore railway equipment from around the globe, and analyze the latest operations, communication and control systems might take. Learn how rail compares with other modes and leads the charge in reducing transportation greenhouse gas emissions! Find out how it all works through virtual sessions, hands-on activities, and field visits to railroad facilities. Find out more on the Michigan Tech site for Tracks to the Future.

Hybrid Schedule:

July 11-12: virtual programming at your home
July 14-15: in-person on-campus and field visit activities. (View Schedule)

Three host sites will be used this year: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI; and Penn State University in Altoona, PA. Each site will have 20 seats, each with full scholarship support.  You will be asked to rank your preference for the three sites during the registration process. Your preference and the number of students signing up for each site by the application deadline will be used to place you in a particular host site. Applications received after the deadline will be placed on a first-come-first-served basis.


rail road model with sand and gravel base

Camp Coordinator

Dr. Tyler Dick earned his PhD with a focus on railway engineering and transportation from the University of Illinois and directs the educational activities of the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at Illinois.  His research interests focus on applications of advanced train control, automation, and alternative energy to improve the performance, efficiency, safety, and reliability of railway operations.

NOTE: This application form is hosted by Michigan Technological University. For questions about this particular camp, contact or 906-487-2219.