BLE a hit at AFL-CIO Union Industries Trade Show

The BLE Education & Training Department booth at the AFL-CIO Union Industries Show in Pittsburgh, Pa., offered show attendees an opportunity to experience the thrill of operating a locomotive.

Baultar's newly completed train simulator, installed in a 26-foot travel trailer, attracted the attention of young and old at the May 2-5 show, and was featured in an article published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The simulator is a replica of the CN FD70 MAC comfort cab, complete with all the controls, an ergonomically-correct, adjustable Baultar 3500 series reclining seat, and a computer screen where a videotape of an actual run is displayed. Next to the "trainee" seat in the cab is a seat for the instructor to observe and critique while the simulator is in operation. Dozens of show goers entered the trailer to sit in the simulated cab and operate the controls during the four-day show.

This year's show attracted more than 200,000 visitors to the newly constructed, 330,000 square-foot David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. All the latest in union-made automobiles, motorcycles, appliances, hardware, work clothes, sporting goods, baked goods, and groceries were on display, as well as services and skills performed by America's union members.

The show, produced by the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department, is held each year in a different part of the country. "The American Dream - Union Made" was the theme for the Pittsburgh show.

Education and Training Coordinator Ken Kroeger planned and organized the BLE's exhibit. Len Woolgar of Baultar Manufacturing towed the travel trailer from Windsor, Quebec, to Pittsburgh, and maneuvered it into the convention center. Kroeger, Woolgar, and Sereena Hogan of the GIA staffed the booth from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Engineer Will Amaya, of Seattle, Wash., and Pennsylvania State Legislative Board Secretary-Treasurer Dave Caniff of Pittsburgh also volunteered their time to interact with show attendees and to work as instructors on the simulator.

General Secretary-Treasurer Bill Walpert was on hand when the show opened. Several hundred Pittsburgh-area junior high and high school students attending the show.

"The Union Industries Trade Show is a great opportunity for these students to get a first-hand look at the wide range of good union jobs available to those who prepare for them," GST Walpert said. "Many potential future hogheads took away our handout titled 'Becoming a Locomotive Engineer.'"

Next year's show will be in St. Louis, Mo.


© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers