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Author Topic: Railroad  (Read 671 times)
K0KNX
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Posts: 7




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« on: June 09, 2007, 06:47:01 AM »

Sorry this has nothing to do with Amateur radio but I figured someone might be able to help as I'm unable to find any knowledgeable sources. I'm thinking of going to work for a railroad in Kanssa City as a conductor but I just can't get a clear picture of the work involved, hours, etc. From searching on the internet, I get the impression the railroad is nasty work, no life but good money. Anyone familiar with the railroad ? Help is appreciated. Steve
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2007, 08:50:34 AM »


Contact the railroads and ask THEM the questions. They can also tell you (1) if they are hiring (2) if you meet the qualifications (3) and everything else you need to know.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland - soon to be Naugatuck, Connecticut
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
ONAIR
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Posts: 1738




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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2007, 05:25:51 PM »

   Are you planning on operating a ham radio on the train?  HTs might be OK, but I'm not sure about HF.
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N0IU
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2007, 03:21:16 AM »

Railroads... plural?

The last time I checked there was only one passenger line - Amtrak.

Here is a link to their current job postings: http://amtrak.teamrewards.net/TR_PublicWeb/index.jsp

Here is the job description for Assistant Passenger Conductor. There is a lot more to it than leaning out the door and shouting, "ALL ABOARD" and collecting tickets.

Scott N0IU

SUMMARY OF DUTIES:
Works a variety of hours within a 24/7 transportation environment. Assists the Conductor in the safe movement of trains by adhering to applicable operating rules/practices. Assists the Conductor in the oversight of all on-train employees in service delivery by adhering to the Corporations service standards. Ensures all revenue documents (cash, credit card receipts, proof of payment) are collected/verified in accordance with designated tariffs. Ensures safety of passengers and crew by adhering safety rules. Thinks and functions independently utilizing clear and effective verbal communication skills to interact with passengers, crew members, and others jointly responsible for safe and efficient train movements and customer service.


Works in either a passenger or non-passenger operation (including yard duty and work trains). Secures movement orders and ensures clear understanding by operating crew. Ensures pre-determined service requests are understood and carried out. Maintains understanding of operating characteristics and practices including physical characteristics, safety rules, air brake rules, electrical instructions, equipment trouble-shooting practices, and emergency procedures. Physically moves between and around train cars manipulating and lifting heavy air hoses and electrical cables. Safely rides the side of train equipment, getting on and off equipment, as required. Assists the Conductor in submission of various reports to record movement delays, unusual occurrences, passenger inconveniences, and mechanical defects. Assists in boarding and detraining of passengers, baggage, express shipments, and mail. Makes customer service announcements. Provide information about train service to include passenger connections. Makes special arrangements in case of service failure. Ensures each passenger ad proper fare. Ensures safe and orderly passenger conduct.


EDUCATION:
High school diploma or GED required. Some college or vocational training preferred.

WORK EXPERIENCE:
Some work experience exhibiting responsibility, initiative, and other leadership characteristics. Must demonstrate clear, effective verbal communication skills. Must have satisfactory attendance and safe work record. Prefer experience in a customer service role that includes cash handling, as well as a work history demonstrating the ability to adapt to variable work hours. Prefer some mechanical experience/knowledge. Prefer some leadership/supervisory experience.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
Applicants for the position of Assistant Passenger Conductor must be willing and able to:

Work in all types of weather conditions including extreme heat, cold, snow, and rain.
Perform duties in an environment requiring physical agility in order to easily get off/on train equipment, manipulate self between cars, bend, reach, stoop, easily and safely ride the side of trains, and lift a variety of equipment.
Report for work on short notice and work weekends and holidays.
Successfully complete a pre-employment medical examination and drug screening.
Submit to and pass periodic medical examinations as well as random drug and alcohol screenings.
Pass a pre-interview assessment to determine cash handling and customer service skills.


OTHER:
If selected, the incumbent will be required to successfully complete a eight-week training course including classroom instruction and fieldwork followed by extensive qualifying and on the job training associated with the associated with the assigned crew base.

RATE OF PAY:
Training rate: $15.00 per hour
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K0KNX
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2007, 06:56:35 AM »

Believe it or not, all the freight railroads use conductors. I was surprised at this too as I always think of a conductor as the guy with the goofy uniform saying "All Aboard". Anyway, thanks for the help and I know this was the wrong site to be posting such but I was just hoping maybe someone had some real experience they could offer. I doubt I'll do it. As far as I can tell, working with the railroad offers no work/life balance. On the other hand I'm not working at the moment so "a man has to do;what he has to do"....Steve
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K7KBN
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2007, 08:23:42 AM »

My dad worked freight for Union Pacific as a conductor and as a brakeman, depending on what they needed at the time, for 30+ years.  His dad was an engineer on passenger trains.  He brought the last scheduled coal-burning steam engine into Las Vegas when UP switched from steam to diesel.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
ONAIR
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Posts: 1738




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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2007, 10:11:16 PM »

    Is it true that railroad personel now start at $50K or $60K a year, plus full benefits?
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N0IU
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2007, 11:09:43 PM »

Did you read the very last line of my post??

Apparently not!

Assistant conductors start at $15.00 an hour. At 40 hours a week for 50 working weeks per year, that is a gross salary of $30,000 before taxes.

Scott N0IU
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K0KNX
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2007, 07:54:36 AM »

All of the conductor jobs are Union so I guess it depends but certainly more than $15 /hour.

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=Norfolk_Southern_Corp/Salary
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N0IU
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2007, 02:56:25 PM »

I didn't make up the $15 figure. It came directly from the Amtrak website.

Scott N0IU
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AA4PB
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2007, 04:21:23 PM »

$15 is the "training rate". It may go up considerably after the training is completed - or it might not :-)
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KI5BC
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2007, 09:19:49 PM »

Here in TX the conductors work almost 12 hours, then they are let off to rest for a couple hours, then almost 12 more hours and so on. It's a very grueling schedule.

There have been some serious wrecks here due to fatigue.  One involved a deadly chlorine release.

As I understand the law, if you work less than 12 hours, you don't have a set amount of time until the next shift.  So they work the guys really hard. Sometimes with only 4 to 6 hours off out of 24.  Not a good way to make a living.

"Dying ain't much of a way to make a living."

do your research!

de...Rynn
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