Georgia Tech Students Help CSX Create the Future of Freight Rail

Jan 6, 2017 8:00 AM ET
Multimedia with summary

An essential piece of rail safety – elastic fasteners, or “e-clips,” which secure rails to metal plates – have been installed by sledgehammer since the 1930s.

To upgrade and modernize this decades-old installation process, CSX turned to seniors at Georgia Tech enrolled in The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering’s Capstone Design Course. The students work in small groups to design, build and test prototypes in response to challenges proposed by industry.

For the last three years, CSX has participated in the Capstone Design Course by providing project challenges, financial support, and access to employees and railroad facilities. In 2016, the company challenged students to design a tool that would replace the sledgehammer and make setting and applying e-Clips more efficient. The students visited CSX’s Railroad Education and Development Institute in Atlanta to interview subject matter experts, observe work practices and test innovative design solutions – and their enthusiasm was evident.

Watch the video to meet the team, see the working prototype they developed, and find out how they did it. Or visit the full article on the Mother Nature Network.

To learn more about CSX’s commitment to its communities, visit