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However, conductors on passenger trains sometimes must respond to upset or unruly passengers when a train is delayed.
How To Get a Job on the Railroad
Rail yard engineers and conductors and yardmasters have higher rates of work-related injuries than most occupations. Rail yard workers must move heavy equipment around and climb up and down equipment, which can be dangerous.
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Trains are scheduled to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, meaning that many railroad workers sometimes work nights, weekends, and holidays. Most rail employees work full time. Federal regulations require a minimum number of rest hours for train operators. Locomotive engineers and conductors whose trains travel long routes can be away from home for long periods of time. Those who work on passenger trains with short routes generally have a more predictable schedule.
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Workers on some freight trains have irregular schedules. For engineers, seniority the number of years on the job usually dictates who receives the most desired shifts. Some engineers, called ""extra board,"" are hired on a temporary basis and get an assignment only when a railroad needs an extra or substitute worker on a certain route.
Workers in railroad occupations generally need a high school diploma and several months of on-the-job training. Some rail companies require a high school diploma or equivalent, especially for locomotive engineers and conductors. Other positions may not have any formal education requirements. Locomotive engineers generally receive 2 to 3 months of on-the-job training before they can operate a train on their own. Typically, this training involves riding with an experienced engineer who teaches them the nuances of that particular train route.
During training, an engineer learns the track length, where the switches are, and any unusual features of the track. An experienced engineer who switches to a new route also has to spend a few months in training to learn the route with an engineer who is familiar with it.
In addition, railroad companies provide continuing education so that engineers can maintain their skills.
Most railroad companies have 1 to 3 months of on-the-job training for conductors and yardmasters. Amtrak the passenger train company and some of the larger freight railroad companies operate their own training programs. Smaller and regional railroads may send conductors to a central training facility or a community college. Yardmasters may be sent to training programs or may be trained by an experienced yardmaster.
They learn how to operate remote locomotive technology and how to manage railcars in the yard. Conductors and yardmasters working for freight railroads also learn the proper procedures for loading and unloading different types of cargo.
Conductors on passenger trains learn ticketing procedures and how to handle passengers. Rail yard engineers and signal and switch operators also receive on-the-job training, generally through a company training program. This program may last a few weeks to a few months, depending on the company and the complexity of the job.
The program may include some time in a classroom and some hands-on experience under the direction of an experienced employee.
The certification, conducted by the railroad that employs them, involves a written knowledge test, a skills test, and a supervisor determining that the engineer understands all physical cts of the particular route on which he or she will be operating. An experienced engineer who changes routes must be recertified for the new route. Even engineers who do not switch routes must be recertified every few years. Recent legislation will soon require conductors who operate on national, regional, or commuter railroads to become certified.
New conductors will have to pass a test that has been designed and administered by the railroad and approved by the FRA. Existing conductors will be granted automatic certification. Rail yard engineers, switch operators, and signal operators can advance to become conductors or yardmasters. Some conductors or yardmasters advance to become locomotive engineers. In addition, locomotive operators must be at least 21 years of age and pass a background test. They must also pass random drug and alcohol screenings over the course of their employment.
Workers in railroad occupations typically have an interest in the Building, Persuading and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Building interest area indicates a focus on working with tools and machines, and making or fixing practical things.
The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems. If you are not sure whether you have a Building or Persuading or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as a railroad worker, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Communication skills. All rail employees have to be able to communicate effectively with each other to avoid accidents and keep the trains on schedule. They must be courteous and patient. They may have to deal with unruly or upset passengers.
Decision-making skills. When operating a locomotive, engineers must be able to make fast decisions to avoid accidents. Hand-eye coordination. Locomotive engineers have to operate various controls while staying aware of their surroundings. Hearing ability.
To show that they can hear warning signals and communicate with other employees, locomotive engineers have to pass a hearing test conducted by their rail company. Passenger trains transport millions of passengers and commuters to destinations around the country.
These railroad workers are essential to keeping freight and passenger trains running properly. All workers in railroad occupations work together closely.
Locomotive engineers travel with conductors and sometimes brake operators. Locomotive engineers and conductors are in constant contact and keep each other informed of any changes in the condition of the train. Signal and switch operators communicate with both locomotive and rail yard engineers to make sure that trains end up at the correct destination.
All occupations are in contact with dispatchers who give them directions on where to go and what to do. Locomotive engineers drive freight or passenger trains between stations.
Railroad Worker Salaries [About this section] [More salary/earnings info] The median annual wage for railroad workers is $61, in. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43, and the highest 10 percent earned more than. Railroad Worker jobs available on kokusai-usa.com Apply to Crew Member, Roadway Worker in Charge - Cn - Jackson, Ms, Railroad Track Worker and more! Railroad's best FREE dating site. Meeting nice single men in Railroad can seem hopeless at times - but it doesn't have to be! Mingle2's Railroad personals are full of single guys in Railroad looking for girlfriends and dates. Meet Railroad single men today - sign up for Mingle2's FREE online Railroad dating site!
They drive long-distance trains and commuter trains, but not subway trains. Most locomotive engineers drive diesel-electric engines, although some drive locomotives powered by battery or electricity.
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Engineers must be aware of the goods their train is carrying because different types of freight require different types of driving, based on the conditions of the rails. For example, a train carrying hazardous material through a snowstorm is driven differently than a train carrying coal through a mountain region.
Conductors travel on both freight and passenger trains.
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They coordinate activities of the train crew. On passenger trains, they ensure safety and comfort and make announcements to keep passengers informed. On freight trains they are responsible for overseeing the loading and unloading of cargo. Yardmasters do work similar to that of conductors, except that they do not travel on trains.
They oversee and coordinate the activities of workers in the rail yard. They tell yard engineers where to move cars to fit the planned configuration or to load freight. Yardmasters ensure that trains are carrying the correct material before leaving the yard. Not all rail yards use yardmasters. In rail yards that do not have yardmasters, a conductor performs the duties of a yardmaster.
Rail yard engineers operate train engines within the rail yard.
They move locomotives between tracks to keep the trains organized and on schedule. Some operate small locomotives called dinkeys. Sometimes, rail yard engineers are called hostlers and drive locomotives to and from maintenance shops or prepare them for the locomotive engineer.
Some use remote locomotive technology to move freight cars within the rail yards. Railroad brake, signal, or switch operators control equipment that keeps the trains running safely. Brake operators help couple and uncouple train cars.
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Some travel with the train as part of the crew. Signal operators install and maintain the signals along tracks and in the rail yard.
Signals are important in preventing accidents because they allow increased communication between trains and dispatchers. Switch operators control the track switches in rail yards. These switches allow trains to move between tracks and ensure trains are heading in the right direction.
Locomotive firers are sometimes part of a train crew and typically monitor tracks and train instruments. They look for equipment that is dragging, obstacles on the tracks, and other potential safety problems.
Few trains still use firers, because their work has been automated or is now done by a locomotive engineer or conductor. Railroad workers hold about 91, jobs. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up railroad workers is distributed as follows:. Rail yard engineers and brake, signal, and switch operators spend most of their time working outside, regardless of weather conditions.
Conductors on passenger trains generally work in cleaner, more comfortable conditions than conductors on freight trains. However, conductors on passenger trains sometimes must respond to upset or unruly passengers when a train is delayed. Because trains are scheduled to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, many railroad workers sometimes work nights, weekends, and holidays. Most rail employees work full time.
Federal regulations require a minimum number of rest hours for train operators. Locomotive engineers and conductors whose trains travel long routes can be away from home for long periods of time.
Those who work on passenger trains with short routes generally have more predictable schedules. Workers on some freight trains have irregular schedules.
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For engineers and conductors, seniority the number of years on the job usually dictates who receives the most desired shifts. Some engineers and conductors, called extra board, are hired on a temporary basis and get an assignment only when a railroad needs an extra or substitute worker on a certain route.
Get the education you need: Find schools for Railroad Workers near you! Workers in railroad occupations generally need a high school diploma or equivalent and several months of on-the-job training. Rail companies typically require a high school diploma or equivalent, especially for locomotive engineers and conductors. Locomotive engineers generally receive 2 to 3 months of on-the-job training before they can operate a train on their own. Typically, this training involves riding with an experienced engineer who teaches them the characteristics of that particular train route.
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This role plays a key part in enabling our railroad operations to function safely and efficiently. Our railroad maintains a drug-free workplace and performs pre. Watco Companies 3. Talks to crew or other yard workers via radio to give or receive switching information.
Observes radio and hand signals in yard or in cab and operates. ECI 3. Prior railroad experience is a major benefit but we are willing to train the right person. A valid Vermont Drivers license is required. May assist workers to throw switches or perform other activities involved when performing switching operations.
Reads switching orders from designated person.
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