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RailServe.com Forum * General Railroading * Trying to get a job at a railroad company. < Previous Next >

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Username: Henry918

Registered: N/A
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 11:41 am:   

I would recommend checking out the railroad employment section. Thousands of job postings over there as well as links to employer websites and training resources.


Ron Davison
Username: Rondav_cp

Registered: N/A
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 02:44 pm:   

Working for the railroad is not that great of a job to go thru hoops to get hired. I hired out on the UP and the process was pretty simple. I filled out an application on their web site,(UP.com), was invited to a hiring session, passed their written exam, phyical exam, interviewed, and was hired, (had to wait about 3 months for hiring session after applying), and started their class. Was paid something like 850 a week while in training. 3 weeks of classroom, about 7 weeks of ojt as conductor, 2 more weeks of class, another 2 weeks of ojt, and I was marked up. Started Sep. 7 and was marked up as a conductor on Dec. 12. Pretty simple.

joe jordan
Posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2006 - 01:28 pm:   

as a person who has traveled all over "gods creation" in search of the shining rail dream let me inform you all i finally got hired by wisconsin central/CN,i was hired as a conductor for stevens point wi only to be forced to neenah then on to fond du lac,i went thru there school and their ojt and marked up only to be let go at the end of my probation period due to the fact that cn could not verifie that i completed high school which was in 1987 and as for the utu that you pay your dues to and say they will "work and help" you just give us $$$$$$ well that is a crock even if you bust your balls to get the info they want, i still want to work for the rr but am very leery now due to what my family was put thru as myself any one one have any suggestions

Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 04:13 pm:   

I don't know if this thread is still active, but here it goes. My story sounds a lot like yours, I've applied with NS 12 times now at those god for saken hiring sessions. Been interviewed a few times, never got the job. I think they practice hiring a lot of minorities and women to balance out their workforce. If your a white male with no military backround, i think your pretty much screwed. I've been at it since june of 2004. I've been all over the system, drove 10 or 12 hours to a hiring session a few times, just to be tossed out in the first round. I've got about a dozen letters of recomendation from past employers, a spotless safety record, I don't get it. I also went to CSX, and they picked me right up (me paying 5,000 for school ofcourse) and said i'd be working out of cleveland (close to home) but my 2nd day of school they pulled me out and said i was going to new york city (which they reserve the right to do) I told them to go to hell, i wasn't going to NYC. So back to trying with NS. If anyone reads this and has had similar problems, PLEASE drop me a line at rb6679@hotmail.com

Username: Signal

Registered: N/A
Posted on Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 02:43 pm:   

im a signal maintainer and does that 4 weeks of training make me nervous, very! but the training now is more into rules. they can't get field smart till their in the field. keep ur head up:-)

Username: Watash

Registered: 09-2000
Posted on Friday, September 30, 2005 - 02:05 pm:   

I asked an active engineer, "What happened to our having to serve apprentice, brakeman, fireman, THEN maybe we could make Locomotive Engineer?" (Since steam engines died out) he now pushes the stick on a diesel engine, but here is what he said:
"Hate to tell ya this, old Firebox, but NS's LET (Loco. Eng. Training) is only 4 weeks of formal classroom and simulator training followed by 6 months of On-the-Job-Training with regular engineers. You don't get to fire for years to learn the ropes anymore so they really push you hard to get you out and running. They spend most of the time at Choo Choo U. beating the rules into you and then let the local engineers teach you engine and train handling. It's pretty intense and a fair percentage can't get through it (which is automatic termination of your employment, by the way).

The engine school in Pittsburgh I went thru with Conrail was 7 weeks (6 weeks of class then a week of testing) and was much more comprehensive IMHO. We spent a lot of time on air brake and diesel theory, trouble-shooting, signal rules, inspections etc. but surprisingly little on actual train handling. I guess they figured you'd learn that from the old heads once you got out in the real world but at least you had a good background in what was happening. That was followed by (supposedly) 6-8 months of OJT but hardly anybody got more than 6. I got rammed through it in 5 months because they were desperate I guess but the training does seem to get shorter and shorter. I did hear that NS was thinking of upping the time to 5 weeks of classroom but I can't verify that yet.

Also, even though somebody's trained as an engineer, seniority still dictates if and when they can hold as an engineer. Coming off the street and jumping in the seat right out of the gate is pretty unlikely unless other RRs do it differently than we do. We've got a bunch of guys around right now that have been to school and have their licenses but because of their relatively young RR 'age', they can't hold as engineers yet. They're 'set back' to conductors and only get to engineer when all the 'promoted' men are used up".

Before diesels, you had to be at least 50 to even be illegible to be a Conductor, because he was the Boss of the train, like the Captain of a ship, now you can be demoted to conductor?

If a steam engineer ran the engine, and now a diesel engineer drives the prime mover, what would a conductor do? Lead the band? hee hee :-o

Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 06:34 pm:   

To ammend my previous post:

CSX has the schools posted, and NS does train you. You just show up at their interview session and hope for the best.

Username: Oldskool

Registered: N/A
Posted on Friday, September 16, 2005 - 06:21 pm:   

Not sure if this post is too late, but I've been researching employment with most of the major RR's. CSX, UP, and NS. In order for you to get on as a conductor, you have to go to school first, then apply. NS gives you a list of all the schools that teach the course. From what I gather, CSX pays the most, then UP, then NS. NS seems to take the longest to fully mark up. Something to consider.

Jimmy Edwards
Username: Mv700

Registered: 01-2000
Posted on Saturday, July 23, 2005 - 01:15 am:   

Hey I am 43 and when I was 20 that is what I wanted was the railroad because I always loved trains. When I was 36 I finally got the chance with Norfolk Southern, that would be your best bet because they will pay for your training or did, may have changed not sure. They will train you for conductor to start with and then probably engineer after a couple of years, just depends. There job posting is updated weekly on there website, they travel around the system usually in large cities taking applications. Just have to watch when they come close to you. I had to go to Atlanta about an hour and half drive. I did not stay with it though because they have cut down on the help so that it really makes it hard. My age was against me too, if I had got it when I was 20 I might have stayed with it. Working in all kinds of weather is rough if you are not used to it, if your are then you probably won't have a problem as young as you are. Try to find the trainmaster closest to where you live, he might be able to help you get your foot in the door. I went 5 or 6 times to those hiring sessions before I finally got an interview. You have to take a test along with the application, may take half of the day. If you get the job you will be on call 24/7 and until you get seniority you want know when you are going to work or getting off. May not even have a day off for a while depending on business. Good luck!

Username: Mattxr250r

Registered: N/A
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 09:11 pm:   

Also something I want to add. I was just doing more reading and found a place that was talking about the RailRoad jobs..it says most people start out in the railroad buisiness as yard laborers and work there way up to brake operator and then maybe onto "Conductor" which comes with Senority. Although Norfolk Southern's and CSX's websites act like you can jump right in..train to be a conductor and start out as one. Anyhelp on this would be very helpful as well.

Username: Mattxr250r

Registered: N/A
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2005 - 06:45 pm:   

Hey guys,New here. I am 20 years old and have loved Trains since I was very little. My dad used to take me out to the tracks sometimes when I was little..now I go whenever I want and watch trains. I live in Harrisburg,North Carolina with the tracks about 5 mins from my house when taking the car. Its Norfolk Southerns track but you see them operation quite a few Conrail engines..sometimes you will see a BNSF,UP and rare but sometimes a CSX. They also have 2 Amtrak's that run from charlotte and on up north. One goes from Charlotte to New Yorks Penn Station everyday leaking Charlotte at 7:50am and getting back usually around 10:45pm. The other leaves Charlotte at 5:30pm,goes to Raleigh,NC..sits there until 7:15am and heads back to Charlotte.

I have worked since I was 16. Starting off in a Grocery Store..then moving on to a machine shop,then worked at a Honda car dealership for about 8 months. Now I work at teh Charlotte Douglas International Airport dealing with airplanes all day..airplanes are alright but my love for trains is much greater.

I have looked a while back about getting a job for a railway company but never could find anything out. I talked to a guy at work last week that worked for CSX for about 7 years..started as a conductor and ended as an engineer. He gave me a number for a guy that runs the school you have to attend which is a 5 week school with a price of around $4,400. Since I have seen Norfolk Southerns all my life I would really like to work for them. I went on there website and while they give you some information I felt still kinda clueless on how to get started. They don't say anything on there site about having to pay to be trained. Any NS employees out there that could tell me how to get my foot in the door?

I am interested in starting out as a freight conductor. There site didn't show anything about hiring in Charlotte..closest they LISTED was Greenville,SC which is roughly 2 hours from here...I can't drive 4 hours everyday for work.

ANY HELP would be so greatly appreciated. This has been my life long dream and I want to know how to pursue it..Years ago when I looked into it I couldn't find anything and gave up..then I looked again later..and gave up..I don't want to give up anymore. Matt.

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