How To Become A Freight Train Driver

How To Become A Freight Train Driver

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How To Become A Freight Train Driver

Train conductors are responsible for keeping the train, freight, passengers and crew together. You will work with the driver or engineer to get the train from station to station safely and quickly. Be prepared to travel for days on end and work long hours – often nights and weekends. Be prepared to check tickets, interact with passengers and ensure that the journey is safe and comfortable for everyone on board. You can earn $80,000 a year working as a train conductor (the average industry salary as of May 2011 was $56,570 a year), and train companies offer excellent benefits and retirement packages.

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A “wiki”, like Wikipedia, means that many of our articles are co-authored by multiple authors. To create this article, 17 people, some anonymous, worked to revise and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 87,098 times.

To become a train conductor, try riding the train and talking to the conductor so you can get a first-hand experience of what the job is like. You can also check online forums about the rail industry to learn more about the job. If this sounds like a good fit for you, try applying for a job in the transport industry, such as a bus driver or ferry pilot, so you can gain some experience. Also, work on your interpersonal skills as train conductors have to communicate regularly with passengers and crew. To find out how to apply as a train conductor, scroll down! Role: Train conductors are responsible for the safe coordination and operation of locomotives. They keep track of schedules and shipping records, as well as assist in coupling and uncoupling train cars. There are four types of train conductors and their daily responsibilities vary.

Road switcher conductors are responsible for picking up train cars from clients in the surrounding areas and delivering them to their home terminal so that they can reach their final destination.

“These employees also interface with customers,” said Canadian National Railway Co director of communications and public affairs Mark Hallman. “The customer indicates what type of cars they want to slot or pick up at a particular location. There’s a lot of customer relationship aspect to road swapping.”

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Yard conductors spend their day in the train yard picking up the goods delivered by the road switchers and attaching them to the appropriate outbound train.

Road conductors conduct inspections and see loads to their final destinations. They usually take some time to rest at their final destination before returning to their home terminal on another train, occasionally stopping to pick up more cars en route.

Traffic co-ordinators supervise operations from the terminal office. They track freight in and out of the yard and ensure that the railway company fulfills its commitments to its customers.

Education: There are no formal education requirements for train conductors. However, each is put through a rigorous training program provided by their employer. For example, CN offers a seven-week training program at its new training center in Winnipeg.

How Much Does A Train Driver Make A Year?

According to David Radford, CN’s director of operations training and development, training programs offered by CN and other railway companies are regulated by Transport Canada. Students must pass the Canadian Railway Operating Rules exam as well as the Comprehensive Railway Signals exam to qualify under federal railway operating standards. Train conductors are also subject to re-certification every three years.

After completing the training program, students spend four to six months in field training before becoming a qualified conductor.

“They also have to pass a medical test before being hired in the railways,” said Mr. Radford said, students must meet CN’s medical requirements for fitness.

Salary: Compensation for train conductors is generally determined by a union contract and includes perks such as medical benefits, family assistance programs, pensions, and disability insurance coverage.

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Freight railway conductors employed by large companies such as CN and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. earn a starting salary between $75,000 and $78,000 per year. Over the course of their career, that salary can increase to $84,000 to $92,000 per year, and there are many opportunities to increase that salary in related fields.

“After two years, they have the opportunity to move to the position of locomotive engineer,” said Mr. Radford says the job requires a deep understanding of mechanical operations, such as train speed. “The position is responsible for safely operating a train on a territory or route, and the average salary for that position is over $110,000 per year.”

Job Opportunities: An aging workforce has resulted in a major need for train conductors across Canada. Mr. According to Radford, CN has hired 14,000 workers over the past five years, 4,000 of them train conductors. “We’re constantly hiring across the country,” he said.

Challenges: Among the biggest challenges for train conductors are erratic work hours and the harsh working environment of Canada’s unforgiving winters.

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“It’s an outdoor environment working in all kinds of weather, day and night,” Mr Radford said. “Railways operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so it can be a challenging environment.”

Furthermore, while safety is a top priority for railway companies like CN, the job certainly presents a risk factor that those working behind a desk lack.

“You’re dealing with moving very large, heavy equipment, and because of that, safety has to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” says Mr. Radford, adding that every assignment begins with a safety briefing.

Why they do it: Train conductors enjoy working independently, outdoors, and in non-traditional work environments. The job offers many opportunities to advance beyond entry-level positions and offers a competitive, stable salary as well as union benefits from day one.

I Want To Be A Train Conductor. What Will My Salary Be?

Myths: As one of the oldest forms of mass transportation still in operation today, people often think of the railway industry as very old fashioned.

“It’s one of the most high-tech industries in the country right now,” said the spokesman, Mr. Hallman. “We use technology extensively in terms of our operations.”

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Many children and adults alike are fascinated by trains, and becoming a train driver can be a lucrative, long-term career option. Training and certification are required, and jobs are usually found on passenger and cargo trains. The team at Cover Letters and Resumes explains that some skills a train driver needs to possess include the ability to react quickly and proactively in adverse situations and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Other desirable qualities include excellent hand-eye coordination, good hearing and vision, and a good understanding of mechanics.

Start Your Journey To Success

Train drivers are also referred to as locomotive drivers or railroad engineers. They operate passenger and freight trains with manual and computer controls as they run back and forth between stations. According to the authors at BetterTeam, monitoring train equipment to learn about speed, air pressure and battery usage has additional responsibilities. Standard 40-hour weeks are not common in this industry because holidays and days are irregular – nights, weekends and holidays are common days in this sector.

These engineers are also required to alert passengers in case of any delay. Other important responsibilities include checking trains before and after driving, performing basic maintenance and being in constant communication with traffic control. They may be required to detect, diagnose and repair any minor breakdowns or faults that may occur in their rides from time to time.

Prospective train operators do not require formal education, but most employers require high school diplomas or GEDs. Experts at Traindriver.org post that in the U.S., train drivers must be 21 years of age or older with a high school education. Applicants must pass medical examinations and complete required training courses. To get started as a train engineer, prospects can apply for entry-level positions at private railroad businesses or railroad agencies. These include becoming a brake operator or switch operator.

Major railroad companies offer federally-approved training programs for new hires, but it’s also possible to sign up for a community college or university training program. Students should complete the classroom

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