Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Faculty Tour: Railways and the Economy

Written by Richard McCline, senior public service associate at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.  

Wow...another great experience for all of us on the New Faculty Tour! Today we visited the CSX terminal in Waycross. Waycross is aptly named due to the nearby intersection of highways I, 23, 82, 38, 15 and 121 - all important east, west, north and south routes.

Although it is tempting to think of railroads as remnants of the past, Georgia could no maintain its leading role as a producer of pine timber, pecans, peanuts or poultry without the rail system. CSX operates more than 2,700 miles of track, handles almost 2 million carloads of products and employees about 3,000 people. 

The view from the control tower at the freight yard is much like you imagine the view from an air traffic tower would be. With the help of some sophisticated IT support, you can see the entire rail yard and traffic. Furthermore, CSX is a community-conscious business; CSX has a large commitment to the United Way and does great work with a youth program started several years ago. 

The visit to CSX helped connect the dots between Kia, the poultry industry, agriculture, overall economic development in Georgia and UGA's key role in the state's economy.

All in all, it was another interesting and very informative stop along the New Faculty Tour.  

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