My first few weeks

By , July 24, 2010
Jeff Bachiochi

So now that I’ve gotten settled with this website, its time for me to finally start talking about my experience here in the first few weeks. I started back at the beginning of July, so I’ve actually already been here for 3 weeks now. And so far its been a lot of fun.

The first week took a lot of getting used to. I had to get used to living alone for the first time in my life. I had to get used to living outside of New England for the first time in my life. And I had to get used to building Millennium Flyer trains. As a civil engineer familiar with bridges, buildings, and highways, I had to make the difficult transition into a mechanical frame of mind in order to understand the complicated train drawings. For a while, everything seemed go be a different language. Even simple terms like ‘road wheel axle’ sounded Greek to me. But over time I adjusted and started to speak the language myself.

The next two weeks have been much more smooth, however, it seems that every time I finally get the hang of things, I’m introduced into something totally different that makes me feel stupid again. Its an endless learning process, but fortunately….I’m learning! :)

When I got to Great Coasters, the trains for China were already underway. All the chassis for both trains were in the shop, and some even had a full set of wheels on them. Fortunately for me, there were a handful of chassis that were completely naked, and I was able to build those up from the beginning. This way I got to learn how every mechanism gets installed…well so far. There is still a lot to be done.

Since I’ve started, we’ve a come a long way on a few cars. A couple cars have wheels, anti-rollback dogs, seat cushions, seat belts, lap bars, etc., while others are still mostly just a chassis. Its actually cool to see the variety of progress across the trains (I’ll be posting some pictures later in the week). The biggest reason why we can’t keep each car at the same stage is because of our temporary lack of materials. Unfortunately we’ve been at the mercy of our vendors as we wait for more things to come in. Until then there is only so much we can do. I actually don’t mind this. Since we don’t have everything we need, we aren’t pressed for time to get things done, and it has allowed me to take my time and thoroughly learn each step of the process. This way I’ll be able to do things at speed when it matters most.

And that time is approaching fast. China trains need to be shipped out in a few weeks, and though we are far along, there is still much to do. As our deadline approaches, things are going to get interesting..

One Response to “My first few weeks”

  1. Brandon Bushman says:

    Awesome! Glad they have another intern now that Eamon is done…I love reading updates on this site. I can only imagine it was a bit difficult at first going from the civil to mechanical mindset, but thankfully as engineers, we do seem to have that ability to cross-adapt often to other similar disciplines. Best of luck with your internship Jeff! Looking forward to reading more.

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