BNSF_Color_Logo Spoon River College (SRC) of Canton, Ill., Carl Sandburg College (CSC) of Galesburg, Ill. and BNSF has partnered together to offer a new Rail Transportation & Power System Technology Certificate.

Students enrolled in the program will study circuits, hydraulics, welding, diesel tractor technology, engine systems, safety in the workplace and much more. Students will have classes at both SRC and CSC. CSC offers access to a BNSF switchyard where students will get hands-on experience. SRC and BNSF have donated equipment for students to use.

BNSF and SRC realized a while ago that current engine technicians (baby boomers) are getting ready to retire. BNSF’s business is booming and so they decided to take steps now to be ready for when the large number of employees retire.

Because of the distance (46 miles or about one hour) between SRC and CSC, the usual 18-week session that is standard for other degrees of this type at the college, has been condensed down into one eight-week session.

Students coming out of the one-year program (31 credit hours) will have obtained a certificate and the experience and training required to get a job with BNSF. Classes are set to start in the fall. SRC is accepting applications for the program now. 

The Railroad Retirement Board will mail to railroad workers in June their annual Certificate of Service Months and Compensation (Form BA-6), showing creditable railroad service and compensation for 2010.

If you do not receive this Form BA-6 by July 1, or if you find the information to be incorrect or incomplete, contact your nearest Railroad Retirement Board field office by calling the RRB’s toll-free hotline at (877) 772-5772.

In checking the 2010 compensation total, be aware that only annual earnings up to $106,800 were creditable for Railroad Retirement purposes in that year. That is the annual maximum on which Railroad Retirement Tier I taxes are paid and for which income is credited for Railroad Retirement benefits calculations.

Form BA-6 also shows the number of months of verified military service creditable as service under the Railroad Retirement Act.