BUTTE - Welding students at Montana Tech University, Highlands College Campus are building smokers in the shape of a train this academic year.

The idea was inspired by a barbecue television show and professor Dennis Noel's love for steam engines.

"I love seeing them (students) work on these and see them being creative and having new ideas," Noel said. "Some of the ideas they've come up with I've actually used on my own smoker train."

The smokers will operate just like any other smoker, but will be built entirely by students. Each smoker will include thermometers and all equipment necessary to operate.

Students have the entire year to finish the project for the course. Once their projects are complete, they are able to take home their train smokers.

"Even if they (other students) didn't come into the program wanting to do this initially, I think it gives them a bigger opening to what they want to do and shows them they can be more creative," Haley Frey, Senior Montana Tech student said. "It shows the artistic side of what welding really is."

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