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overkill650
July 11th, 2011, 08:43 PM
Hey hows it going. So I now have chosen my career as to become a locomotive engineer. I'm 19, and currently studying at a community college towards a liberal arts degree. I will graduate fall 2012.

I've looked heavily into the field of locomotive engineering and love it. I've heard stories both good and bad about railroads, but nothing will change my mind about my desire.:D

My question is that what are the requirements for becoming a locomotive engineer. I looked at a bunch of schools, and some have schoolroom-only type classes, and one called MODOC railroad academy was a schoolroom and hands-on type class.

Now of course I'll be going to MODOC, because theres nothing better than hands on training. what i dont get is does the MODOC railroad academy give a degree in locomotive engineering or just a liscense?

All input and advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

JCitron
July 11th, 2011, 09:10 PM
Hey hows it going. So I now have chosen my career as to become a locomotive engineer. I'm 19, and currently studying at a community college towards a liberal arts degree. I will graduate fall 2012.

I've looked heavily into the field of locomotive engineering and love it. I've heard stories both good and bad about railroads, but nothing will change my mind about my desire.:D

My question is that what are the requirements for becoming a locomotive engineer. I looked at a bunch of schools, and some have schoolroom-only type classes, and one called MODOC railroad academy was a schoolroom and hands-on type class.

Now of course I'll be going to MODOC, because there's nothing better than hands on training. what i don't get is does the MODOC railroad academy give a degree in locomotive engineering or just a license?

All input and advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

I'm not sure how many other people will answer your questions, but I do know there are a few that have, or still work in the industry here. I actually applied for a freight conductor's position at CSX just before the big downturn. I was accepted and ready for interview, but all the jobs were pulled.

Anyway, your best bet, if you want to get into the industry, is to go to one of the Class 1s such as CSX, NS, UP, KCS, CP, or even BNSF. They will bring you in as a conductor first then you're usually required, as in mandatory, to move up and certify for the engineer's position.

The other thing to keep in mind is these companies will certify you at their expense. MODC, may or may not be worth your money, and as much as they say it, there's no guarantee that you'll get a job after graduating from there. You have a better chance if you go through REDI with CSX or the equivalent with NS or some other big company. They'll make the vested interest in you as an employee, and usually you'll learn things their way rather than how it's done in the book, which is totally different or not as close. This is what I was told by others in the industry, and if you're looking for more information on this, check you the railroad employment general discussion over at the forms on Railroad.net www.railroad.net.com (http://www.railroad.net.com)

Good luck. This is a good time to join the railroad industry with all the growth that's happening right now. Keep in mind though the hours are long, and sometimes sporadic initially. Meaning you have to work up the job boards, and except the grungy jobs because you're on the low-end of the seniority scale.

The work is also quite difficult physically, not like a technical job where you sit in front of computers. As a freight conductor, and later an engineer, you'll be subjected to dangerous work conditions in all kinds of weather on all kinds of uneven terrain, and at various times during the day. Think about this carefully. Suppose you're assigned a northern route in the winter and a coupler breaks 80 cars back in the long freight.

As a conductor you'll have to walk back and carry the replacement coupler, which is no featherweight either at 85 lbs, with you the length of the train, then replace the broken coupler. This can happen any time, and even during a snowstorm, so keep in mind that you're carrying this coupler in 2 feet of snow up to your knees along rough ballast in the cold, dead, winter with wind howling in your face at 50 mph and snow drifting all over the place.

There are many advantages too, and if you like working with your hands, outdoors, seeing different areas of the country, and being away from home a lot, well this is for you. I'm not trying to deter you from this, and being young, you'll have a better chance at this than I would today.

Anyway, here are the websites for NS and CSX.

www.csx.com (http://www.csx.com)
www.nscorp.com (http://www.nscorp.com)

Both companies have an employee/job search so if you're interested anyway, sign up here and get on the list. I was told to keep applying even when there are no positions open. Eventually you'll get in, even it it's not for the job you want right now, you can always move up the ladder if you want later on.

John

overkill650
July 11th, 2011, 09:43 PM
Thanks for all the input, John. It really helps. And I realize what conditions you have to work in. But I'm a guy thats totally into working on cars, bikes, quads, engines, etc. like i can rebuild an entire small block v8 in less than a week. I'm just good with tools. and I love it. and as far back as i can remember every winter i was outside evry chance i got. I live in long island, NY, out in the suburbs, so I'm used to nasty winters.

like i've had to push a stalled atv through 1-2 feet for snow 2 miles. took a long time but yeah its crazy but im pretty used to it. thank you for the tips and heads up.

ill check out those sites you mentioned now, and i'll keep you posted

thanks again.

JCitron
July 11th, 2011, 09:48 PM
Thanks for all the input, John. It really helps. And I realize what conditions you have to work in. But I'm a guy thats totally into working on cars, bikes, quads, engines, etc. like i can rebuild an entire small block v8 in less than a week. I'm just good with tools. and I love it. and as far back as i can remember every winter i was outside evry chance i got. I live in long island, NY, out in the suburbs, so I'm used to nasty winters.

like i've had to push a stalled atv through 1-2 feet for snow 2 miles. took a long time but yeah its crazy but im pretty used to it. thank you for the tips and heads up.

ill check out those sites you mentioned now, and i'll keep you posted

thanks again.

Well I'm glad you feel you can do it. I noticed after I posted that you're from Long Island. What part? I have family in Plainview and Huntington. I used to spend my summers in Hampton Bays. I never knew what this was about when I as 12. Geez the summer in the Hamptons, fishing nearly every day then spending my afternoons on the beach!

Take care, and I sure look forward to an update.

John

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 12:01 AM
I'm in Dix Hills. Its exit 51 off the LIE. I'm near the intersection of I-495 (LIE) and Deer Park Ave (RT-231). I just got done applying to a Freight Conductor Job in southern new jersey. I'm now applying to other Freight Conductor Jobs in Upstate NY. These jobs are for CSX. says starting pay is $43,000 avg. which isnt great but its a start. i hear locomotive engineers can earn upto around $150,000. that would be nice. lol getting paid six figures to drive a train:D

the application process is rediculously long, but its worth it.

djt
July 12th, 2011, 02:09 AM
I just got done applying to a Freight Conductor Job in southern new jersey. I'm now applying to other Freight Conductor Jobs in Upstate NY. These jobs are for CSX. says starting pay is $43,000 avg. which isnt great but its a start. i hear locomotive engineers can earn upto around $150,000. that would be nice. lol getting paid six figures to drive a train



I would suggest that if you are looking at a career in the railroad industry you consider passenger service instead of freight. If you can land a job with LIRR (Metro North or Amtrak if you can deal with working out of Manhattan) youíll have much more scheduled work.

I spent most of twenties working an extra board in freight service and I can tell you that spending 12 hours a day in the cab of locomotive and living out of a grip and mostly away from your home terminal gets old very quickly.

In 2005-2006 I taught new hire CSXT train service employees operating, safety, air brake and train handling rules as well as conducting some of the hiring sessions for employment in Selkirk, Dewitt, Boston and North Jersey among other locations on the Albany division. I donít think that even 20-30% of the students that went through the classes stayed much past getting marked up. Once they get a taste of that extra board and getting called to go to work on weekends, holidays, bad weather or good, 1AM or 3PM, not many last very long.

If they are hiring in the Boston area (Framingham, Readville, as far as I know Beacon Park terminal in Boston is getting shut down) you might be better off working out of there. Regular jobs (local freight service) usually went pretty cheap (low seniority) in that area and you would have a better chance at escaping the extra board in those locations.

As far as that $150,000 per year figure goes, donít expect to see it any time soon. The only place on the Albany division that youíre going to see that kind of money is in the long pool between Selkirk and Buffalo (high mileage runs) and those jobs are all taken by some very high seniority men. The only time Iíd see Buffalo when I worked out of Selkirk was once and while in the summer months (when the vacations started) getting lucky off the extra board list.

AJ_Fox
July 12th, 2011, 02:40 AM
My suggestion would be to brush up on your mechanical and diesel engine technology. A good course in Physics would be most helpful. Driving or conducting a train that weighs a lot can be challenging without studying the Physics. As they say in California, "it ain't like driving a bus". :)

Cheers

AJ

djt
July 12th, 2011, 03:02 AM
My suggestion would be to brush up on your mechanical and diesel engine technology. A good course in Physics would be most helpful.


Thereís plenty of that in once you get to engineer school, which starts with a month of classroom training before you even get behind the throttle and your six month plus qualifying time.


Since you start as a trainmen (conductor) engine service is going to be a ways off (depending on your seniority and terminal needs). Understanding and passing the operating rules exam, complying with the safety rules, physically working around the equipment and getting qualified on the road are the first hurtles.

Euphod
July 12th, 2011, 03:15 AM
My question is that what are the requirements for becoming a locomotive engineer. (snip) All input and advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.


Perhaps it is like most Union jobs. Save up a grand or two, get a meeting with the old cigar chompers that head the Local. Sit down and tell them you'd like to sign on as a conductor. As they berate you for your audacity and start spitting about how long the list is, and how "you just can't walk in here and..." take out the cash and start fanning yourself with it, as if you are hot. You will notice their eyes and jowls and tiny little heads start to follow the money as you wave it, as if they were watching a tennis game. About the time the cigars start to slip out of their moist pie holes, someone will produce the paperwork, and reach to take the money. I mean shake your hand.

Welcome to the club!

True story, except it was only $500.00, was about 30 years ago, and was a different union.

Best of luck to you.

baz66
July 12th, 2011, 05:22 AM
Ed You didn't say you smoked
baz

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 08:42 PM
I would suggest that if you are looking at a career in the railroad industry you consider passenger service instead of freight. If you can land a job with LIRR (Metro North or Amtrak if you can deal with working out of Manhattan) you’ll have much more scheduled work.

I spent most of twenties working an extra board in freight service and I can tell you that spending 12 hours a day in the cab of locomotive and living out of a grip and mostly away from your home terminal gets old very quickly.

In 2005-2006 I taught new hire CSXT train service employees operating, safety, air brake and train handling rules as well as conducting some of the hiring sessions for employment in Selkirk, Dewitt, Boston and North Jersey among other locations on the Albany division. I don’t think that even 20-30% of the students that went through the classes stayed much past getting marked up. Once they get a taste of that extra board and getting called to go to work on weekends, holidays, bad weather or good, 1AM or 3PM, not many last very long.

If they are hiring in the Boston area (Framingham, Readville, as far as I know Beacon Park terminal in Boston is getting shut down) you might be better off working out of there. Regular jobs (local freight service) usually went pretty cheap (low seniority) in that area and you would have a better chance at escaping the extra board in those locations.

As far as that $150,000 per year figure goes, don’t expect to see it any time soon. The only place on the Albany division that you’re going to see that kind of money is in the long pool between Selkirk and Buffalo (high mileage runs) and those jobs are all taken by some very high seniority men. The only time I’d see Buffalo when I worked out of Selkirk was once and while in the summer months (when the vacations started) getting lucky off the extra board list.

djt-

thanks again for all the support. right now i'm just trying to get my foot in the door. I know I wont make that six figures anytime soon. But i'm not looking for that. if i can land a job anywhere on the east coast and at least get the training i need i'm happy.

as for the lirr and mta...i've heard from everyone that i know that works for mta say that the company sucks. i've researched and csx, up, and NS come up as the top 3 for great companies. I know that an economy is still an economy, and if i'm laid off because of whatever, then i'll be off to find another job.

and for those who keep saying "ohh its hard long work...ohh newcomers dont stand a chance...most people quit early...etc." I hear ya. but most jobs are like this. like think about journalists. they are never outside in harm's way. but they have to write huge 30 page essays everyday. thats pretty hard. or firefighters have to willingly burn themselves to save people. I know i'm only 19, but i've always loved trains, and want to experience this. and if i can stand it and enjoy it, i'll stay.

and you posted something like "hope ur used to staying away from home alot, being called in at 2 am, etc.

well thats life. my father is a project manager for a tri state construction company. he works his ass off. hes home 40% of the year, and is on call 24/7. and his annual salary barely breaks the six figure mark. but he enjoys what he does.

so i'll say again that i love trains, love the people that enjoy them, but dont try to convince me to not become a conductor or engineer.

angelo

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 08:56 PM
i guess ill just add that ive been around cars, machinery, tools, etc. all my life. like everytime i do an oil change on my dads corvette or my truck its impossible for me not to cover my arm in oil when removing the oil filter. but i love that.

or we once rented a huge excavator for the backyard. it was an older one with no cab. so the arm is right in front of you, well a hydraulic hose broke and i got drenched in smelly greasy hydraulic fluid. i didnt care though, just turned the machine off, fixed the hose, and went back to work.

and as far as injuries go, ive pulled a shoulder or arm out of a socket while trail riding, and just pooped it back in and continued riding. or if we are drag racing at the track, there isnt a hospital or med. clinic for miles. so ive cut open my palm before, all i did was pour some gas on the cut, and wrapped it with electrical tape.

not trying to showoff, just trying to say that i'm not the average kid. I'm 6'4, 250lbs, can bench 200-250 comfortably, and am always being a risk taker. all my friends always call me a tank. lol

so me and my parents and almost everyone else i know think becoming a conductor/engineer would be the perfect career for me.

thanks.
angelo

djt
July 12th, 2011, 09:38 PM
as for the lirr and mta...i've heard from everyone that i know that works for mta say that the company sucks. i've researched and csx, up, and NS come up as the top 3 for great companies. You might want to do some more research on that one. I'd love to have you ask some questions in person right in the GYO or east end yard office at Selkirk. T&E will give you a great idea about just how great the company is, lol.

Not to mention the droves of T&E that leave freight service for passenger service every time Amtrak holds interviews up here.




but most jobs are like this.
No most jobs aren't like working train service, not by a long shot.





but dont try to convince me to not become a conductor or engineer.
No one has to convince you of anything, six months of working an extra board will be all the convincing you'll need.

If you'd like a second opinion I can get you in touch with one of the managers that you might just end up interviewing with if you get called for job orientation/testing session.

Let me know.

JCitron
July 12th, 2011, 09:41 PM
I would suggest that if you are looking at a career in the railroad industry you consider passenger service instead of freight. If you can land a job with LIRR (Metro North or Amtrak if you can deal with working out of Manhattan) youíll have much more scheduled work.

I spent most of twenties working an extra board in freight service and I can tell you that spending 12 hours a day in the cab of locomotive and living out of a grip and mostly away from your home terminal gets old very quickly.

In 2005-2006 I taught new hire CSXT train service employees operating, safety, air brake and train handling rules as well as conducting some of the hiring sessions for employment in Selkirk, Dewitt, Boston and North Jersey among other locations on the Albany division. I donít think that even 20-30% of the students that went through the classes stayed much past getting marked up. Once they get a taste of that extra board and getting called to go to work on weekends, holidays, bad weather or good, 1AM or 3PM, not many last very long.

If they are hiring in the Boston area (Framingham, Readville, as far as I know Beacon Park terminal in Boston is getting shut down) you might be better off working out of there. Regular jobs (local freight service) usually went pretty cheap (low seniority) in that area and you would have a better chance at escaping the extra board in those locations.

As far as that $150,000 per year figure goes, donít expect to see it any time soon. The only place on the Albany division that youíre going to see that kind of money is in the long pool between Selkirk and Buffalo (high mileage runs) and those jobs are all taken by some very high seniority men. The only time Iíd see Buffalo when I worked out of Selkirk was once and while in the summer months (when the vacations started) getting lucky off the extra board list.

Beacon Park is being closed with CSX building a new yard near Framingham or more at Westboro, I think. As you know DJT, these places are in between Worcester and Boston on the old B&A mainline. The Beacon Park site in Alston/Brighton area has been sold to Harvard I think.

One of the jobs out of Boston was one that I was accepted to interview for, then the job got cut immediately afterwards in late 2008. There were two openings at the time, and I know one of the guys from Railroad.net forums got it. He got hired on, and my interview was due to come up in a few days, but got canceled when everything hit the tubes late in 2008 and early 2009.

In some ways I'm glad I stayed within my realm, knowing how things have turned out for me physically, particularly now with neurological issues I have been diagnosed with recently. This would have sadly cut that career path off very quickly.

I hate to say it, and this is no reflection on the OP, or many other people out there, but the work-hard, work a lot, do what's needed to get the job done, work attitude, doesn't seem to be there anymore for a lot of the younger generation. I'm saying this as a manager trying to hire people for my team. I've interviewed quite a few people for a job that requires both technical skills as well as grunge work, and they immediately make a face when I mention the "hard work".

Anyway, regarding the shift work. It's not that bad, really. Other than working outside, and being away from home on trips, this is really no different than the 15 years I put into computer operations from 1989 to 2004, I worked in computer operations, and later on as a network administrator. I was on call 24/7, 365/y, always carrying a beeper (prior to a cell phone).

In all those years, I never had a holiday off, missed out on family celebrations either because I was on call, or had just come off the swing shift and was sleeping. Later on with network administration, weekends and holidays were spent performing upgrades, and general PMs on servers that had to remain operational 24/7 365 d/y. Forget about New Year's celebrations. New Year's day was spent rolling up the business system and closing out access to the database so year-end/new year processing could take place. This was the tough part when the rest of the company was at the annual holiday party, the rest of us in MIS had to go back to the computer room and run the second-shift job schedule, which had to run anyway even though it was Christmas Eve.

John

djt
July 12th, 2011, 09:42 PM
as for the lirr and mta...i've heard from everyone that i know that works for mta say that the company sucks. i've researched and csx, up, and NS come up as the top 3 for great companies. You might want to do some more research on that one. I'd love to have you ask some questions in person right in the GYO or east end yard office at Selkirk. T&E will give you a great idea about just how great the company is, lol.

Not to mention the droves of T&E that leave freight service for passenger service every time Amtrak holds interviews up here.




but most jobs are like this.
No most jobs aren't like working train service, not by a long shot.





but dont try to convince me to not become a conductor or engineer.
No one has to convince you of anything, six months of working an extra board will be all the convincing you'll need.

If you'd like a second opinion I can get you in touch with one of the managers that you might just end up interviewing with if you get called for job orientation/testing session.

Let me know.


By the way what ever you do don't mention being risk taker, that's the last thing you want to mention in a railroad interview and is a sure way to have your resume thrown out.

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 09:52 PM
hey djt

thanks for the tip about the risk taker thing.

and yeah that would be really coolif you could get in contact with one of the interviewees

thanks.

angelo

djt
July 12th, 2011, 09:54 PM
Beacon Park is being closed with CSX building a new yard near Framingham or more at Westboro, I think. As you know DJT, these places are in between Worcester and Boston on the old B&A mainline. The Beacon Park site in Alston/Brighton area has been sold to Harvard I think.



Yes that's what I hear is going on there now. Framingham is supposed to be the new eastern most terminal for the B&A and used to be the destination for the ML trains (autoracks).

When I worked for Conrail in the 1990's we'd take trains right into Beacon Park and went to hotel right in Harvard Square which is gone now from what I've been told.

djt
July 12th, 2011, 09:59 PM
hey djt

thanks for the tip about the risk taker thing.

and yeah that would be really coolif you could get in contact with one of the interviewees

thanks.

angelo


Let me see if I can make a few phone calls angelo, I'll PM you.


By the way I see your in Long Island, I've got relatives on my Sicilian side that live in Amityville.

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 10:02 PM
cool sounds good. and amityville is about 15-20 min away from me. cool.

i appreciate all the help

sniper297
July 12th, 2011, 10:02 PM
Looking for something risky, walk into a Navy recruiter's office, tell him you wanna be flight deck crew on an aircraft carrier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C5_-VWU6ks

Harriest job I ever had. :cool:

Curious about one thing, you love mechanical stuff why liberal arts?

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 10:07 PM
well i chose liberal arts because coming out of high school i had no clue what i wanted to do. so liberal arts has nothing to do with art, just mean a little of everything. like some english courses, so math courses, some history courses, and a mix of science courses. also the degree offers some random elective type course.

i wanted to do an automotive degree, but there are 2 campuses on LI. one is 5 min from me ( the one i'm attending now) and the other is 45 min. away. i'm not gonna drive 45 min. every day there n back. because of gas, and theres random rush hour sometimes:( the further campus has degrees in welding, auto, machinery, etc. but out there there are race tracks and farmland, etc. so it makes sense the cooler classes would be out there.

long island is weird. from nyc to queens, its tenament, apartments, industrial, etc. from queens to nassau, its tons of rich people that have their own police force, from the nassau/suffolk border to mid suffolk, its the middle working class peole (like myself), and out east its like all of a sudden u hit georgia or something. like miles of trails, a demo derby track, tons of fishing towns, etc. (oh and every one out there has a rifle)8)

djt
July 12th, 2011, 10:39 PM
Looking for something risky, walk into a Navy recruiter's office, tell him you wanna be flight deck crew on an aircraft carrier.



Well I'm not sure if angelo is going to like this suggestion but...


A good friend of mine who I used to work with who is now a railroad manager has a son that haven't seen since he was just a teenager. I really didn't know what would ever become of this scrawny
little wise ass kid who loved trains, lol.


That scrawny little kid (who is now 6 ft+) ended up going into the military were he lost that attitude real quick and grew up, real quick. He later went through the state police academy and is now a Union Pacific special agent out west.

Wonders never cease to amaze.

When I taught those CSXT classes in 2005-06 one of classes had three kids (ages 19-21) that had just come back from Fallujah. They were more capable and disciplined then any of the other students I had regardless of age.

My suggestion at 19 years old would be to go in the military for a while, get an education and if you want to still work for the railroad (and have really good job security) become a special agent.

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 10:46 PM
i'll keep that in mind. my parents wouldnt think of that to be a good choice, but ive heard stories too of rotten kids going to the military, then becoming something amazing. but i'm pretty sure i wouldnt be recruited into the military because of my lazy left eye.

djt
July 12th, 2011, 10:55 PM
i'll keep that in mind. my parents wouldnt think of that to be a good choice, but ive heard stories too of rotten kids going to the military, then becoming something amazing. but i'm pretty sure i wouldnt be recruited into the military because of my lazy left eye.


I should have mentioned this in the other post but I'm not stereotyping you as bad teenager, I was just using that as an example, at your age the sky's the limit.


You will have to go through a strict vision test/physical with the railroad as well as a drug test that includes a hair sample, no DWI's in the last five years either.

JCitron
July 12th, 2011, 10:56 PM
i'll keep that in mind. my parents wouldnt think of that to be a good choice, but ive heard stories too of rotten kids going to the military, then becoming something amazing. but i'm pretty sure i wouldnt be recruited into the military because of my lazy left eye.

This is something too that may keep you from becoming a railroad engineer as well. Do not mention this to the field recruiter. Let the medical office determine that this is an issue. You don't want judgement passed before you even start the hiring process.

Another thing to consider is not everyone is cut out for T&E work. There are plenty of other craft jobs that you could very easily qualify for, and these could become stepping stones on to other things. Where you are good with your hands, you might want to become a car repair worker, or even end up in signal maintenance. This might be interesting because it involves both mechanical as well as electrical work. I had applied as a signal worker as well last year, but got my job where I am now at Oracle. I have many years of technical experience behind me and can troubleshoot to the component level using blueprints and the usual test gear that goes along with that.

Anyway, Gadfly over at Railroad.net wrote an interesting post about this in the Employment section there. He' now retired, if I'm not mistaken, from the rail industry, but stays active writing about it not just in the forums, but I believe he's written articles for Trains Magazine as well.


Also forgot... a starting salary of $43k a year is great for someone whose 19 years old! When I was out of high school, I was making a whopping $3.25 an hour to start. That's not quite $7k a year! A single person can live easily on 43k a year to start, as long as you keep your spending under control until you make the cut, and gain seniority.

Some things to think about.

John

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 11:06 PM
thanks for the tips guys.

as for my eye, its not too bad, but i can see great in my right eye. my left is not so good. i wear glasses that help both eyes, but my left is still not the best.

and if i am to be turned down, then oh well. sometimes things arent meant to be.

but till then, im gonna keep my hopes up.

besides, if i can ride a motorcycle at 40+ mph in a tight 1ft trail between trees and not hit them, then i think i can see pretty good.:D

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 11:09 PM
This is something too that may keep you from becoming a railroad engineer as well. Do not mention this to the field recruiter. Let the medical office determine that this is an issue. You don't want judgement passed before you even start the hiring process.

Another thing to consider is not everyone is cut out for T&E work. There are plenty of other craft jobs that you could very easily qualify for, and these could become stepping stones on to other things. Where you are good with your hands, you might want to become a car repair worker, or even end up in signal maintenance. This might be interesting because it involves both mechanical as well as electrical work. I had applied as a signal worker as well last year, but got my job where I am now at Oracle. I have many years of technical experience behind me and can troubleshoot to the component level using blueprints and the usual test gear that goes along with that.

Anyway, Gadfly over at Railroad.net wrote an interesting post about this in the Employment section there. He' now retired, if I'm not mistaken, from the rail industry, but stays active writing about it not just in the forums, but I believe he's written articles for Trains Magazine as well.


Also forgot... a starting salary of $43k a year is great for someone whose 19 years old! When I was out of high school, I was making a whopping $3.25 an hour to start. That's not quite $7k a year! A single person can live easily on 43k a year to start, as long as you keep your spending under control until you make the cut, and gain seniority.

Some things to think about.

John

thanks john, i appreciate the support. and yeah i didnt think $43k a year wasnt too bad either for me. im at maybe $10k/year with my current job

overkill650
July 12th, 2011, 11:15 PM
I should have mentioned this in the other post but I'm not stereotyping you as bad teenager, I was just using that as an example, at your age the sky's the limit.


You will have to go through a strict vision test/physical with the railroad as well as a drug test that includes a hair sample, no DWI's in the last five years either.

I am definitely physically fit. Lets hope I can pass that eye exam.

As for the other stuff, ive never done drugs because in this day and age, i need money for gas and resto parts for my old truck, i have no money to get dizzy for a couple hours.

and ive never gotten a summonce, ticket, etc. (Yet, knock on wood):D

LtBorgOps
July 13th, 2011, 12:10 AM
Ok, heres my take on the whole thing... (this may have been said already) but any ways

First off most railroads require you to become a conductor first before you get promoted to an engineer.

Second.. there are a few "railroading" schools out there i my self went to NARS (natl. academy of railroad sciences) in Overland Park (Kansas city), KS. when i went the cost was about $5,000 + room/bord (hotel or short term apartment) now this school is ran by BNSF i enjoyed it there. BNSF and several Class I's from the "west" side of the country (every thing but NS/CSX) gave interviews/app at the school as well as some of the shortline/regional railroads

Now i want this next statement to be taken as is and meaning that nothing was intended to offend or disway you from your choices.

The railroad is a hard line of work. it basically becomes your life as they told us in school there. I my self decided after my exams and completions that i would not take this as my line of work. so just remember that you are basically becoming a member of the railroad when you work for them just as you would be come a member of the armed forces


LtBorgOps AkA Thad

djt
July 13th, 2011, 12:30 AM
I am definitely physically fit. Lets hope I can pass that eye exam.

As for the other stuff, ive never done drugs because in this day and age, i need money for gas and resto parts for my old truck, i have no money to get dizzy for a couple hours.

and ive never gotten a summonce, ticket, etc. (Yet, knock on wood):D


With you being drug free with a clean drivers license you'll have one up on many of them that go through the interview/testing procedure.

I'm not sure exactly how they go through the orientation/testing now but with the job orientation/testing/interview sessions I conducted a quick color blind test was also given. Later on with the actual railroad physical you'll be given a hearing examination as well as depth perception/peripheral vision test among other things.

The color blind test is of course necessary to find out if the candidate can read signal aspects and depth perception/peripheral vision is obviously important for giving car counts and working around moving equipment in general.

sniper297
July 13th, 2011, 01:06 AM
Funny thing, the US Navy requires 100% normal color vision for everything except Mess Cook and Yeoman (clerk). Something like 10% of the white male population has the most common form of color blindness, inability to distinguish certain shades of blue/green - for white females and other races that type of color blindness is so rare there aren't any statistics for it. My oldest son failed that test, didn't want to be a cook or clerk, so he went across the hall and broke family tradition by joining the Army instead. Lucky accident, since artillery seems to suit him well.

http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/1129/94578858.jpg

Always wanted to make that into a bumper sticker. :cool:

Want to take an online color vision test to see if you'll pass;

http://www.egopont.com/colorvision.php

AJ_Fox
July 13th, 2011, 01:40 AM
Nice. A good man there.

The color test was cool too.

Cheers

AJ

djt
July 13th, 2011, 01:41 AM
Something like 10% of the white male population has the most common form of color blindness, inability to distinguish certain shades of blue/green


Yep, my only brother is color blind, I can read an approach medium from a long distance, he can't.

He also graduated from a very well known engineering school here in New York and is now a senior engineer at a fuel cell development company, color blindness hasn't held him up much in life either, lol.

overkill650
July 13th, 2011, 11:53 AM
hello guys, good afternoon.

djt, any luck on getting in touch with that hiring manager?

i had another question, if i'm selected to attend an interview, what questions will they ask me? like i love anything railroading, but i know very little about the trains, signals, etc.

should i study these areas, or will i learn them in the school that the company will send me to?

thanks, angelo

overkill650
July 13th, 2011, 12:17 PM
so far i've applied to NY-SELKIRK, MD-CUMBERLAND, MD-BALTIMORE, PA-CONNELLSVILLE, NJ-SOUTH KEARNEY.

all of the applications say STATUS: CURRENTLY BEING REVIEWED

judt giving you an update

overkill650
July 13th, 2011, 12:21 PM
Want to take an online color vision test to see if you'll pass;

http://www.egopont.com/colorvision.php[/quote]

tried that. got 100% in 40 out of 60 seconds.

djt
July 13th, 2011, 02:23 PM
djt, any luck on getting in touch with that hiring manager?



Actually Angelo they're not hiring managers, the railroad will often send Trainmasters and Road Foreman to the hiring sessions also. One of the guys Iím trying to get a hold of is a Trainmaster in S. Kearney.




i had another question, if i'm selected to attend an interview, what questions will they ask me? like i love anything railroading, but i know very little about the trains, signals, etc. There will be a lot of safety related questions and youíll be asked about your previous work history and how it relates to the job requirements/responsibilities of a train service employee.

I would not let on or even mention that youíre into trains or that you love them. The railroad has wasted a lot of money on training disillusioned rail fans who find out the hard way that liking trains and working for the railroad are two entirely different things.





should i study these areas, or will i learn them in the school that the company will send me to?
They used to have a downloadable signal study guide on the web site but Iím not sure if they still have that available.

Youíll get everything you need when you get to the Redi Center in Atlanta.

ct_krogen
July 13th, 2011, 03:50 PM
first thing first he has to go to train school. even if he pastes with all A's
that does ot mean you will get toowrk on the train,,,, my good friend went to train school had all A's and it to three more months to get on with csx.... in the nashville sub..,,,,

djt
July 13th, 2011, 04:43 PM
first thing first he has to go to train school. even if he pastes with all A's
He doesn't have to go to train school, CSXT brought the new hire training back in-house and everything is done at the Redi Center now.

overkill650
July 13th, 2011, 09:24 PM
ok guys so again i really appreciate all the help, and i'll try to stay in touch and let you know what happens.

and djt, it would be really cool if you could get in contact with that trainmaster from jersey. thanks in advance.:D

angelo

overkill650
July 13th, 2011, 09:25 PM
yeah i'm also trying to get a copy of ts10 or 12. which one do u guys believe is better?

tyard
July 13th, 2011, 10:15 PM
First, good luck in your applications!

Second, to answer your Trainz question, this is sort of the deal with the 2:

TS2010: Works with basically everything out there, is older an by extension cheaper (I got mine from Topics Entertainment or something from Amazon for $20 a few months ago, and it seems totally fine and I haven't had any issues!). It has the SpeedTree capability as well as most of the core stuff TS12 has, minus Doppler sounds, satellite view, and perhaps some others. It comes with around 30 routes, and plenty of content on the disk, but most of this IS older, so bear that in mind if you are looking for all the brand new, HD stuff on this forum. Also, has compatibility mode for content that has basic errors in newer games, although most content can be fixed to work fine to new standards.

TS2012: Does not include any older content, but includes some excellent content and routes that are much newer. As well as the content and the couple of new core game features (Doppler, satellite view, extended draw distances, etc), I have heard a lot of people praise TS12 for performing better on their computers then 2010 or earlier. I can't confirm this myself as I do not currently own TS12 (because I have 2010, I have not quite yet felt the need to spend another $50 on games. I will probably get it in a few months, or if I see it at a cheap price on sale).

Sorry I can't give you an actual answer, but hopefully this will help sum up the differences. Be aware I have probably missed some things, so waiting for some other input may be wise.

-tyard

overkill650
July 13th, 2011, 10:20 PM
thats ok tyard, i appreciate it. now i think of it, im probally gonna get ts10 because my computer would probally pull out a gun and shoot itself if i attempted to run ts12:eek: ...lol

tyard
July 13th, 2011, 10:23 PM
Good choice, you can always get 12 later on, perhaps when the content demands for it get a little higher (maybe I live under a rock but I don't think I've seen much if anything that won't work with TS10). I will probably post something if I see TS12 on a major sale somewhere, so that holdouts like myself won't have an excuse :p

ct_krogen
July 14th, 2011, 02:41 PM
[quote=djt;828695]He doesn't have to go to train school, CSXT brought the new hire training back in-house and everything is done at the Redi Center now.

I did not know that....

JCitron
July 14th, 2011, 05:27 PM
Want to take an online color vision test to see if you'll pass;

http://www.egopont.com/colorvision.php

tried that. got 100% in 40 out of 60 seconds.[/quote]

Same here in 50/60 seconds and that was on a laptop with no number pad.

Back top topic...

DJT mentions something I forgot... Never say you are excited about trains, and always love the railroad, etc. Gadfly had an interesting post up on Railroad.net regarding a dorky rail fan that came around one of the old stations. These are the OCD-type guys that give the rest of us rail fans a bad name - the weird ones that wear the same shirt, which usually has a mustard splat on it, along with a hat with a bunch of patches and logo pins stuck in it. Even I, a diehard rail enthusiast, runs for the hills when I see people like this!


Regarding TS10 versus TS12. Actually you might like TS12 since you're starting out from scratch. The system requirements are the same, yet the performance is a bit better. The multiplayer is built in, and there are ways of making the older stuff work, which you would have to do even when using TS10. The old compatibility mode really has a performance hit on the program, which I won't go into details now about., so you really wouldn't want to use that anyway.

Good luck with your career persuit. I wish I was with you on this :)

John

overkill650
July 14th, 2011, 05:33 PM
haha john me too, laptop with no number pad. lol:hehe:

djt
July 14th, 2011, 06:17 PM
Good luck with your career persuit. I wish I was with you on this

John


John, I just sent you a PM, I have a quick question for you about Oracle.

kerid
December 16th, 2012, 10:34 PM
was wondering how this fella made out with becoming a train conductor or engineer....

SD45T-2
December 16th, 2012, 10:57 PM
He got the job. I think.

He was pretty lucky.

William0d0
December 16th, 2012, 11:42 PM
Want to take an online color vision test to see if you'll pass;

http://www.egopont.com/colorvision.php

tried that. got 100% in 40 out of 60 seconds.[/QUOTE]

100% in 36 seconds. Not too shabby for a 52 year old.

Maybe I can drive a choo choo.:hehe: