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RailServe.com Forum * General Railroading * Should I quit my 10 year job for a conductors position with NS? < Previous Next >

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Matt Thompson
Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 10:38 pm:   

In response to your question Pjv888. I am sure it would be a little different with NS, (I work for BNSF) but life is a conductor is not bad. The pay is better than most of the other blue collar jobs, but you just have to get used to working long days 5-7 days a week, and realizing that you are going to have to work holidays, your anniversary, your kids' birthdays, etc, etc, etc, etc. The first few years are going to be tough. Everything with the BN is based on seniority, so you pretty much work when and wherever you can. Moving around a little bit will be a definate possibility. I took this job for two reasons: the money and benefits which are great. It's a great job that thousands of people want. Just be prepared for what comes with it. Good luck.

Username: Steam371

Registered: N/A
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 11:57 am:   

Go for it!, Mind you know what you're getting into. its not easy when its pouring, you're tired , but its great when, you are on a long haul on a nice sunny day. One thing thats really important, make sure that your family knows that it a lifestyle change! It is not easy on the family at times. Try looking into a shortline, maybe the pay is not as good, but bigger does'nt mean better

Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 01:18 am:   

Go for it! It ranks in the top 4% of one of the best blue collar jobs in america. The pay,benefits and status are very rare and hard to get for lots that apply for the position.I love my job as conductor for BNSF Railway. Working since 1999

Username: Ke4cpc

Registered: N/A
Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 12:25 am:   

Consider the lifestyle first. It's a good-paying job but it always comes at a cost! Imagine 12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, outside in the sun, the snow and the rain, hanging on to the side of a train (vertical ladder) at 5-30mph. That's the hardest part about the position as a freight conductor. The only other part is just getting up and down on equipment and the pesky rarely-lubed switchstand. Being it's a Class-1, you'll probably have less of those 12-hour days and more time to sit in the engine and work on papers. But you'll probably spend a lot of your off-time away from home in a hotel room.
On the flip-side, you get to see everything from the rails and they (Class-1's) don't usually keep you a Conductor very long (5 years at the most) before they train you to be an engineer, or something else. Condr is the entry-level position, so it's likely once you move out of that position, your job is guaranteed unless you quit or get fired for something. Layoffs usually take the first to get hired.

I left my job of 5 years (of which I needed the 2-year degree and certs) to work as a steam engine fireman for the tourist RR here. After the steamer broke, they outsourced the train crews to the freight RR and when they went bankrupt, the shortline hired us on as extra board and later as full-time crew. I have been shortlining it for a while now, but I eventually got tired of the hard weather conditions and the super-low pay (Shortlines are non-union) and went back to my other job, which has been tough considering all my certificates are expired... Bu I have the intentions of getting back into RRing before my engr's card expires. Of course, it's no good on a Class-1.
Any further questions? jason at mountainsidetech dot com.


Username: Pjv888

Registered: N/A
Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 09:45 pm:   

Norfolk Southern has offered me a position as a conductor out of Waynesburg, Pa does anyone know what Im in for.

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