Hi; If you are a CSX direct hire, you shouldn't have to pay anything. They will cover your expenses, or at least reimburse you for some things. Take money along for food and incidentals; you will get $20.00 a day for meals in training. Unless it has changed recently, you should be staying at the Holiday Inn just down the street from Turner Field in Atlanta. Since this training is on the companies nickle, you will be under a microscope. Drinking, fighting, insubordination, and a really bad attitude will get you terminated on the spot. I saw one guy let go two hours before graduation because he lied about his address. You will also be let go if you cannot hang on the side of a rail car for four minutes. 85 is passing, 84.9 and below will not cut it. I'm sure others who have been through the REDI center can add to reasons for termination.
You will have weekends off, but a flight back home before graduation is on you. If you can't get back, you better have a good explanation as they are very serious about attendance and punctuality.
I went through AMDG and spent five weeks absorbing rules and basic railroad knowledge. REDI was something of a rehash of AMDG. The REDI center is in a disreputable part of Atlanta. But they bus you in every day from the hotel. Other things that make REDI somewhat unrealistic is: newer rail, clean ballast, and railcars that aren't covered with grafitti or are rusted out. A lot of yards out there are your grandfathers railroad; they haven't updated anything since the 1920's. With the two weeks we had there, they didn't really tell us to be snitches (but they spent all this time on a 6 step correction procedure - which is not practiced out in the real world.) Stories have floated around that REDI is trying to teach the "direct" new hires to become rats. Trust me, this will blow up on you if you pursue that route. While you are in your post-REDI training phase, you pretty quickly decide those practices that you wish to copy and those you don't. Some people work safe and others you avoid like the plague. Make your mistakes in school, not out here.
I had to pay for AMDG, which was pretty much a case of buying the job. You pretty much had a job, so long as you didn't make a total JACK A$$ of yourself in school or with the interviewer. CSX paid for the flight and hotel while we were in Atlanta.
Good luck with training