By Chatrice Barnes, University Relations Intern

There’s nothing like going to a UTC pep rally or sporting event and seeing the iconic Mocs Express Train filled with giveaways, music and fun. The train has been in the UTC family for three years, and it needed a little special attention.  A group of UTC engineering students came to the rescue!

UTC engineering students with the Mocs Express. Photo by Chatrice Barnes

“Dynamic Solutions”— upper level engineering undergraduate students enrolled in Introduction to Engineering Design, gave the train a much-needed facelift.  Patrick Godfrey, Jesse West, Thomas Anderson, Wesley Ford and Saama Davies made repairs and adjustments for safety as well as aesthetic enhancements.

“The fact that we could incorporate an academic discipline like engineering into a project to enhance the Mocs Express Train is great. Because it marries the student activities side and the academic side, I think these students got a new appreciation for Mocs spirit,” said Chuck Cantrell, Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing.  “At the same time, these students were getting valuable academic and work experience by making these safety and aesthetic enhancements for the train.”

The group had a budget of $2,500 and 63 days to complete the assignment. They had three areas of the train they wanted to focus on: the hood, the smoke stack and the PA system.

“The smoke stack was held down by bungee cords, which were not only terrible to look at they were really difficult to put on. Once we removed it, we realized the stack was held together by fiberglass, which is not durable. We’ve changed all that. We also put in LED fog lights to replace the lights that were originally held up by duct tape,” Anderson explained.

Since the students came in well under budget, they decided to do a few additional fix-ups:  traction tape on the steps for safety; an outdoor power strip; a new bell pull cord; blue neon underbody lights; and some fun new sounds in the PA system.

“This project was so much fun. We created new school spirit. And it’ll look great on a resume,” Godfrey said.

Local Mocs fans will get a chance to see all the improvements done to the train in the downtown Holiday Starlight Parade.

Thanks to their dedication, time and effort, five UTC students made sure Scrappy could continue to ride the rails, or in this case the streets of Chattanooga to rally Mocs fans everywhere!

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