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View Full Version : becoming a conductor...?


jerkass
09-26-2004, 04:38 PM
hey sorry that this has nothing to do with railfanning, but i was just wondering if someone whose been through or can give me information on the steps on becoming a conductor. and general minimum requirements.

E3429
09-26-2004, 09:13 PM
For a class 1 a requirement would be don't plan on having much free time if you want to keep your job. Some of the smaller outfits are more flexible, but the pay isn't that great. If you can get your foot in the door and aren't afraid of long hours and are willing to work, I'd say go for it. I like it, though. When I got started years ago, it was watch a few safety videos, read a few books, and the next day went out with the crew. Shadowed them for a while, then was turned loose on my own. Didn't take long from there to make it to operator.

In my opinion, it helps to be interested in what you do. I've seen too many who just look at it as a job to kill 8-12 hours a day and nothing more. Eventually that shows back up in the quality of their work. It's not rocket science, but it's not something to take lightly out there rolling round with a million tons of steel, either. Common sense goes a long way.

Other than that, HS diploma or GED and some basic knowledge of the job helps. Make some calls, find out who's hiring and what they're looking for. I'm sure they'll be able to tell you more.

jerkass
09-27-2004, 12:14 AM
thanks alot for the info. i'm definatly not looking for a job to kill time i've been interested in trains my whole life and the majority of the things i do is about trains. i just turned 17 and finished high school last year and im attending community college this winter. does anyone know of any classes that would look better on an application? i plan on sending out applications on my 18th birthday.

J
09-27-2004, 07:48 PM
Railroads are looking for 80,000 employees in the next 6 years or so. Many roads now have afiliations with community colleges and expect entry level transportation employees to go throug the one or two year program. As was said by another commenter, it is not an easy career - it's more of a lifestyle. If you don't mind putting in some hard time, you can build up your seniority and eventually work to a job where you've got some certainty in your schedule. I predict that the life will become more swtable, but for now, don't underestimate the challenge of this type of career. You can't tell someone you'll see them next Saturday because you don't know whether you'll be called or not.

Get some knowledge about the industry - a good book to order from publisher Simmons-Boardman in Omaha is John Armstrong's "The Railroad, What it is, What it does."

J
09-27-2004, 07:48 PM
Railroads are looking for 80,000 employees in the next 6 years or so. Many roads now have afiliations with community colleges and expect entry level transportation employees to go throug the one or two year program. As was said by another commenter, it is not an easy career - it's more of a lifestyle. If you don't mind putting in some hard time, you can build up your seniority and eventually work to a job where you've got some certainty in your schedule. I predict that the life will become more swtable, but for now, don't underestimate the challenge of this type of career. You can't tell someone you'll see them next Saturday because you don't know whether you'll be called or not.

Get some knowledge about the industry - a good book to order from publisher Simmons-Boardman in Omaha is John Armstrong's "The Railroad, What it is, What it does."