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Getting a job in the RR industry
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   Author  Topic: Getting a job in the RR industry  (Read 1210 times)
Matthew_L
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Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« on: Aug 10th, 2005, 8:34pm »
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So here I sit in Rochester, NY, working 2 part-time jobs to make ends meet and pay for my house.  Paying a mortgage on less than $20,000 in income was brutal last year!  
 
After some thought and seeing a few ads, I decided to investigate the RR industry.  Part of me is thinking, why not become an engineer, brakeman or conductor? It would require some schooling, but I've read that some RRs will actually pay for it.  On the other hand, I do have 14 years of Customer Ssrvice and Inside Sales under my belt, so I already have some skills in that area. (BTW, GWI did advertise for a customer service-related position, but I never got a reply to my E-mails.)
 
Now I'm torn, trying to decide which way to go.  Any thoughts?  Ideally, I'd like to stay in the Rochester/upstate NY area to be near family and friends, especially my father- who is dying slowly from MS.  
 
Of course, I realize this would be work, not just playing with big trains.


« Last Edit: Aug 10th, 2005, 8:37pm by Matthew_L » Logged

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thoroughbred_05
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #1 on: Aug 10th, 2005, 9:01pm »
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the NS has a training program that the other big railroads are looking to put into place,CSX  directs you to a community college type school to learn the job.I'm speaking of conductors positions,to become an engineer on the NS you must first be a qualified conductor.The job is not a physically demanding occupation ,all though the hours can be cumbersome at times.I would say that it takes someone who is proficient at following rules,knowing proper procedures and is able to be away from the everyday things that most 9 to 5  jobs allow you to enjoy.Not all railroad coductors work the road ,many are needed in the yards and local jobs. It is an enjoyable career from my perspective ,most times I'm away from home usually no more than 36 hours when on the road every once in a while I sit in a motel for maybe 16 to 20 hrs,waiting to be called for a return job to my home terminal, but not very often. Check NSCORP.com they  list hiring sessions all over the system normally updated the beginning of each week

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prostock19
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #2 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 6:55am »
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Last time I heard, CSX is looking for people in Buffalo.  But, it isn't easy.  You have to get the money to go to school and be able to live around the school.  Usually, AMDG Cincinati takes the Buffalo group, and the people I know that went there said it cost them roughly $1000 for the 5 weeks of lodging.  After the 5 weeks, you're on the payroll, buit you still need money for meals when CSX sends you for 2 weeks to Atlanta.  You do get reimburse  for meals.  If you have more questions, you can contact me off the board.

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NS3360
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #3 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 7:58am »
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Or if you wanna take it easy (have a life), try a shortline. Home everynight, good pay ( the bigger companies), and you might even get to work with Alcos

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thoroughbred_05
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #4 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 9:05am »
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depending on who you listen to,this may be a good time to hire out.With the fairly recent changes in the RR retirement rules(out at 60 with 30 yrs) many current workers can now be entitled to take advantage.Allthough I, see a few who have it so good ,and are so settled in with the "life" that they just keep on doing their job.Thier seniority affords them poitions on the prefered jobs (scheduled,daylight,weekends off) making premium bucks that they have a hard time turning away.Many of the RR"s did not hire for extended periods in the 80's and at some point this will catch up with them ,with the ever  increasing frieght that this countrys economy needs to keep rolling.

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ChrisS
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #5 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 9:26am »
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on Aug 12th, 2005, 6:55am, prostock19 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Last time I heard, CSX is looking for people in Buffalo.  But, it isn't easy.  You have to get the money to go to school and be able to live around the school.  Usually, AMDG Cincinati takes the Buffalo group, and the people I know that went there said it cost them roughly $1000 for the 5 weeks of lodging.  After the 5 weeks, you're on the payroll, buit you still need money for meals when CSX sends you for 2 weeks to Atlanta.  You do get reimburse  for meals.  If you have more questions, you can contact me off the board.

 
I can't figure out how someone is supposed to come up with all that cash, while taking a 5 week hiatus from employment, in the hopes of getting a job.  Pretty much bars anybody who's gainfully employed and/or has financial obligations.
There are still railroads that don't require the "schooling", however.


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james_greenwood
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #6 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 9:31am »
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www.amdg.ws/
Click on training programs. IIRC, financing may be available.


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ChrisS
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #7 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 1:09pm »
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Financing is really the lesser half of it.  How does someone with a mortgage, car payments, perhaps a family, etc., go without an income for over a month with no guarantees?  I've also heard at least one outfit doesn't do physicals until after the cutoff for getting a refund.  "I'm sorry Mr. Soandso.  You've got XYZ syndrome, so you're ineligible for employment.  Thanks for the $5,000.00."
Not that I'm looking to get back into it.  Well... not yet anyway.  The wife isn't too keen on it, but I'm working on her.  


« Last Edit: Aug 12th, 2005, 1:17pm by ChrisS » Logged
prostock19
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #8 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 1:27pm »
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on Aug 12th, 2005, 1:09pm, ChrisS wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Financing is really the lesser half of it.  How does someone with a mortgage, car payments, perhaps a family, etc., go without an income for over a month with no guarantees?  I've also heard at least one outfit doesn't do physicals until after the cutoff for getting a refund.  "I'm sorry Mr. Soandso.  You've got XYZ syndrome, so you're ineligible for employment.  Thanks for the $5,000.00."
Not that I'm looking to get back into it.  Well... not yet anyway.  The wife isn't too keen on it, but I'm working on her.  

Railroad divorce rate is high.  Unless you have a real good and understanding wife, I wouldn't risk it.  You can try putting in for a shortline.  I know there is one out by the airport there....forgot the name of it.  If you were single without obligations like a mortgage, I would say "go for it".  What else, try getting in the car shop.  Then, transfer over to transportation.  One guy I know in Selkirk did that...but he already had 5 years in the car shop.  They sent him to Atlanta for 5 weeks to get the same education we had to pay for.


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james_greenwood
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #9 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 2:00pm »
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on Aug 12th, 2005, 1:09pm, ChrisS wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Financing is really the lesser half of it.  How does someone with a mortgage, car payments, perhaps a family, etc., go without an income for over a month with no guarantees?  I've also heard at least one outfit doesn't do physicals until after the cutoff for getting a refund.  "I'm sorry Mr. Soandso.  You've got XYZ syndrome, so you're ineligible for employment.  Thanks for the $5,000.00."
Not that I'm looking to get back into it.  Well... not yet anyway.  The wife isn't too keen on it, but I'm working on her.  

Your finances as well as your decisions are your business. I was merely offering information. So much for that.


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ChrisS
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #10 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 2:11pm »
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on Aug 12th, 2005, 1:27pm, prostock19 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Railroad divorce rate is high.  Unless you have a real good and understanding wife, I wouldn't risk it.  You can try putting in for a shortline.  I know there is one out by the airport there....forgot the name of it.  If you were single without obligations like a mortgage, I would say "go for it".  What else, try getting in the car shop.  Then, transfer over to transportation.  One guy I know in Selkirk did that...but he already had 5 years in the car shop.  They sent him to Atlanta for 5 weeks to get the same education we had to pay for.

 
Once upon a time I worked for the railroad as a switchman/brakeman, so my wife and I have been-there-done-that.  She's really awesome about such things, she's just not sure why I'd want to "done-that" again.  Guess I've always missed it.  
 
I was looking at a couple of regionals and a shortline in the area (I'm in Illinois BTW)  The UP just opened Global III right next door, and Clinton is very doable, but they have a policy against hiring people who took a buyout from any predecessor roads.  Not that I'd necessarily want to work for them anyhoo.


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ChrisS
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #11 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 2:15pm »
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on Aug 12th, 2005, 2:00pm, james_greenwood wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Your finances as well as your decisions are your business. I was merely offering information. So much for that.

 
I appreciate it.  Sorry if I came off bad.  My interjections on this matter were really rhetorical for the most part.  Sometimes I have a nasty habit of thinking out loud.  


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james_greenwood
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #12 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 2:18pm »
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on Aug 12th, 2005, 2:15pm, ChrisS wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I appreciate it.  Sorry if I came off bad.  My interjections on this matter were really rhetorical for the most part.  Sometimes I have a nasty habit of thinking out loud.  

OK. Not a problem.


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prostock19
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #13 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 6:42pm »
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on Aug 12th, 2005, 2:11pm, ChrisS wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Once upon a time I worked for the railroad as a switchman/brakeman, so my wife and I have been-there-done-that.  She's really awesome about such things, she's just not sure why I'd want to "done-that" again.  Guess I've always missed it.  
 
I was looking at a couple of regionals and a shortline in the area (I'm in Illinois BTW)  The UP just opened Global III right next door, and Clinton is very doable, but they have a policy against hiring people who took a buyout from any predecessor roads.  Not that I'd necessarily want to work for them anyhoo.

My Appologies.  The dude who started the thread was from Rochester, NY and I thought I was talking to him.  My Bad.


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thoroughbred_05
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #14 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 10:25pm »
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From what I have heard the school that the CSX ,deals with ,provides an interview ,there are no guaranties of a position.Not sure if that is accurate ,that would be a tough deal after laying out the time and money,not to mention giving up your prior job.Although, I have seen first hand people go through all the medical exams and background checks for the NS,then leave thier job to go to McDonough,Ga only to not be able to perform the static side ladder test and be disqualfied, thanks for coming!

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prostock19
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #15 on: Aug 12th, 2005, 11:16pm »
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on Aug 12th, 2005, 10:25pm, thoroughbred_05 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
From what I have heard the school that the CSX ,deals with ,provides an interview ,there are no guaranties of a position.Not sure if that is accurate ,that would be a tough deal after laying out the time and money,not to mention giving up your prior job.Although, I have seen first hand people go through all the medical exams and background checks for the NS,then leave thier job to go to McDonough,Ga only to not be able to perform the static side ladder test and be disqualfied, thanks for coming!

As far as I know, when I tried applying for BNSF, they wanted me to go to JCCC and then apply.  At least with the CSX, they don't accept you into the school unless there is a position open for you.  You may not make it, but there is a position for you when you get out.  I am living proof.


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thoroughbred_05
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #16 on: Aug 13th, 2005, 11:38am »
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Roger.

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Matthew_L
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #17 on: Aug 16th, 2005, 7:30pm »
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on Aug 12th, 2005, 7:58am, NS3360 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Or if you wanna take it easy (have a life), try a shortline.
Good idea!  Since LAL, B&H, ONCT, R&S, GWRR, FRRR, FGLK and OMID are all within the area I'd like to reside, one of them might be a good choice.  Does anyone know if they'd train me, or would I have to learn elsewhere?  
 
I guess I'm fortunate because I'm single, although I'd still have to pay for my house regardless of where I go.    


« Last Edit: Aug 16th, 2005, 7:31pm by Matthew_L » Logged

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Passenger_Extra
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #18 on: Aug 24th, 2005, 4:40pm »
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Not to throw water on anybodies dreams, railroading is tough work.  If your already married, realize that you aren't going to be home a lot.
 
If you have problems concentrating; realize its a job you have to be constantly one step ahead of yourself .  Your life as well as your co workers often depends on how well you do your job.
 
If you like to take a nip or two before work, dont even consider it.  Yes the old storeys about brakeman being inverterate drinkers are true, but not these days.
 
   
 
 
 


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james_greenwood
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #19 on: Aug 24th, 2005, 4:52pm »
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on Aug 24th, 2005, 4:40pm, Passenger_Extra wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Not to throw water on anybodies dreams, railroading is tough work.  If your already married, realize that you aren't going to be home a lot.
 
If you have problems concentrating; realize its a job you have to be constantly one step ahead of yourself .  Your life as well as your co workers often depends on how well you do your job.
 
If you like to take a nip or two before work, dont even consider it.  Yes the old storeys about brakeman being inverterate drinkers are true, but not these days.
 
  
 
 
 

You are correct! I hired-on with the Pennsylvania in 1966. If you didn't drink while on-duty you had a really difficult time fitting in. Lunch breaks were often taken at the nearest tavern, appropriately named, "The Drawbar." It's a different world these days, I honestly can't remember the last time I smelled alcohol on a co-worker.


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