Tracks to the Future

Tracks to the Future is a Summer Youth Program on rail and intermodal transportation.

The 2024 deadline is March 15, or until filled. Contact for more questions.

Need based travel support may be available.


Tracks to the Future 2024 Session I

June 10–14, 2024

  • Penn State-Altoona
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

Tracks to the Future 2024 Session II

June 24–28, 2024

  • Michigan Tech, Houghton
  • University of District of Columbia
  • University of Illinois-Champaign
  • University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • California State University, Fresno
  • University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis
  • North Dakota State University, Fargo

Penn State Altoona

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Michigan Technological University

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

University of South Carolina

California State University-Fresno

University of New Mexico

Oregon State University

North Dakota State University

University of the District of Columbia

Platinum Supporters

Via Rail Engineering




bnsf logo

Diamond and Gold Supporters

Union Pacific


SW Bridge Engineers LLC

Genesee and Wyoming

Open to High School Students

This summer event is open to high school students.

Hybrid activities include virtual classrooms, travel to host Universities, and engaging in activities like field visits at the host University.

Students learn that railroads are the high-tech and environmentally sensitive transportation mode. Railroads remain the most energy-efficient mode of transportation. Participants engage with faculty at Universities from across the country to uncover what forms modern railroad track, explore equipment from around the globe, and analyze communication and control systems.

Tracks to the Future is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration.

Map illustration of the US with colored states described in the caption.
Students from many states in the Great Lakes, New England, South, West Coast, and Texas regions participated in 2023.

US Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration

Past Programs

Railroad Transportation and Engineering, Railroad and Intermodal Transportation

Large group outside visiting Norfolk Southern engine.
Large group attending California State University Fresno summer program.
Group of males outside near an older engine.
Small group of students in high visibility gear outside in a rail yard.