Elkins Rotary Club members learned this week the new Railway Heritage Tourism component of the recreation management and tourism major at Davis & Elkins College is chugging along.
"The program offers four requirements, including railroad history, heritage marketing, heritage preservation and heritage tourism," Jim Porterfield, director of the center, said at Monday's club meeting. "Those interested in Railway Heritage Tourism also do an internship. Elective classes include a practicum, railroad in arts and literature and railroad in film."
Porterfield said the railroad in film class is upcoming, and will be open to the public as well as students pursuing a degree in Railway Heritage Tourism.
"There is nothing else like this in America," Porterfield said. "This will help in communities where older folks will be passing the reins to younger folks. The young folks will be the ones to carry on this tradition, and we are offering the education to allow those young folks to learn."
Porterfield said Elkins and D&E College are perfect for this type of educational opportunity.
The Railway Heritage Tourism program at D&E offers classroom and field experience to encourage and enable a career in railway heritage and tourism management, work experience, exposure to many forms of railway heritage and tourism, assistance in finding employment and access to a number of rail trails.