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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 1211 times)
Matthew_L
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #20 on: Aug 31st, 2005, 4:04pm »
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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.
i'm single and work alot now, so that won't bother me. And to quote Mr. Foreman on That Seventies Show, "That's why they call it work, not Silly-Happy-Fun Time!"
 
on Aug 24th, 2005, 4:40pm, Passenger_Extra wrote:       (Click here for original message)
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.
Rule G is no problem for me. I occasionally drink after work but that is usually if I do not have to work for at least 12 hours, if not an entire day.  One or two drinks does the trick for me- I'm getting too old for hangovers!  
 
FYI, I'm still deciding so all the input is appreciated!  
 


« Last Edit: Aug 31st, 2005, 4:05pm by Matthew_L » Logged

Best wishes to all,
Matthew L

moderator- D&H, Erie Lackawanna/Erie and LA&L/B&H/WNYP

P.S. All aboard for the last train to Hammondsport!
Passenger_Extra
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Posts: 1284
Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #21 on: Aug 31st, 2005, 4:30pm »
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on Aug 31st, 2005, 4:04pm, Matthew_Langworthy wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
FYI, I'm still deciding so all the input is appreciated!  
 

 
 
Your welcome.  I couldnt think of another job, but I grew up with it.   Any railroders kid knows by the time he's 4 what a moveable feast is.  
 
PX


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Not good on trains 1, 2, 5, 6, 25 & 26 west of Washington D.C. and trains 27 & 28.
Matthew_L
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #22 on: Sep 12th, 2005, 8:45pm »
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Next question: does my driving record factor into employment opportunities?  I have no points on my license but an insurance carrier has placed blame on me for an accident last year.  No tickets were issued, and I may go to court to have that accident expuinged from my record.  Will this accident count against me?

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Best wishes to all,
Matthew L

moderator- D&H, Erie Lackawanna/Erie and LA&L/B&H/WNYP

P.S. All aboard for the last train to Hammondsport!
electro soundwave
Historian
Posts: 1984
Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #23 on: Sep 12th, 2005, 9:11pm »
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As long as your honest about it then no it shouldn't

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SCL/L&N Family Lines
The Southern Serves The South
Zane
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #24 on: Oct 12th, 2006, 5:32pm »
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Hi Folks,    
I'm a new guy here. Is there anybody here that works for CSX in Charlotte? The reason I ask is that I am standing in  line for the Conductor Training program at UNF and I want to work around Charlotte so I am looking for some advice. My e-mail address is: zanenalexandra@knology.net  
I am also interested in the other RR's around Charlotte and if I might have better opportunities there. Any help would be great!  
I am moving from Charleston, SC to Charlotte so if anybody can give me advice about the Yards in Charlotte that would be great. Right now I am looking for houses around Rock Hill and I am wondering if that will be a good spot.    
Right now I work as an Engineer and Dispatcher for a Tugboat company in Charleston running mostly ALCO's and EMD's. I'm a big picture taker so I am looking forward to switching over to a Railroad career and posting some great shots. I look forward to any advice you can share. Thanks!  
 


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Zane Johnston
bluenoser
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Posts: 3
Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #25 on: May 23rd, 2007, 2:21pm »
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Hi folks! first post in my second coming....I was here years ago, but I guess my account got written off. Anyhow, I am about to apply for a bunch of Conductor positions in Northern Alberta with CN. I am an over-the-road trucker so the shift hours and being away from home doesn't bother me, and I'm young so there's not much that holds me back.  
 
My problem is the want ads on CN's website don't offer any inkling of what they're looking for other than a simple job description. there is no mention of conductor school (I've got a friend who is about to do it at George Brown in Toronto but I would lie down on hot coals to avoid Toronto) or of transportation industry experience, which I suppose I could say I have from the trucking. and prior to trucking I never had a job that would be useful in mentioning when applying to the railroads.
 
so I'm sitting here with a half-written cover letter and I'm really not sure how to put my best foot forward. Just about all I have going for me is that I'm a lifelong railfan and once I've mentioned the trucking experience, I'm up against a wall because their want ad is too general. so if there's anybody out there that works for CN....do you have any suggestions about what language it's helpful to use? any idea what successful cover letters look like? I really can't imagine what other people applying to these jobs are writing, they must be getting a real mixed bag of applications.  
 
the reason I'm taking this so seriously is, really, I'm only ever going to have one cover letter for the railroads, all that's going to change is the job title I'm applying for. if I can get a solid application, it would help me now and in the future. any suggestions at all?


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Ranaldo20
Railfan
Posts: 224
Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #26 on: Jun 18th, 2007, 3:46pm »
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http://forums.flightsim.com/ts/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=2&topic_id=82920&mesg_id=82920&page=
 
Pretty interesting thread here on this subject.


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Gadfly
Railfan
Posts: 232
Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #27 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 4:55pm »
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Greetings & Salad-tations!~
 
I'm new here, but I can also say that my railroad career is over! I'm one of the ones that gets that little pension check de fust o' de munt.  The best thing about about the railroad is being OUT of it!  LOL!  Hate to say it but it's TRUE!  There's NO 'romance' in railroading, and if you are coming to it with starry-eyed dreams of pocket watches and steam trains. forget it!    Railroading is almost NOTHING like what you read in the magazines!  However,  looking back, would I do it again? Probably.
 
You will encounter an unsettled lifestyle (that does work for some folks), you'll often not know when you are working or not.  You can't plan your social activities.  You will encounter railroad officials just LOOKING to take you out of service.  Some of them will talk to you like you are a DOG.  Forget about weekend events (unless you can occasionally mark off). I am not sure because I haven't checked on it, but if you were hired after about 1982, the retirement isn't quite as good (I haven't checked up on this lately only keeping up with what affects ME, etc. But there were some changes that were made in the 80's--maybe it's changed again). I know about the 60/30 rule.
 
Now bear in mind that there is MORE to railroading than JUST trains. If you are SERIOUS about working for the railroad, there are a LOT of other fields within the RR.  I know, I know, the only things fans think about are choo choos and trains   but you are limiting yourself.  There are shops that rebuild track machinery (NS-Charlotte, NC, Roadway Equipment).  There's office forces (mostly much more concentrated than it used to be). There's Maintenance of Way that run those yellow and orange machines, Sales, and other related fields.  So don't just think of ONLY train and engine service.  
 
By way of introduction, I started out at Southern's Roadway Shops, then went clerking when the Frog Shop moved to Irondale, Al in '81.  I worked the Clerk's Extra Board for 3 years, then went BACK to Roadway Equipment.  Reason was simple AND it turned out to be the RIGHT thing to do.  THAT shop only worked daylight hours and weekends OFF!     Let's see.............Extra Board walking yards, handing up orders. trudging thru spooky yards on Saturday night versus Mon thru Fri and weekends off.  WHUDDYA think, boys?  Which did I choose?  
 
I'll post more later on the subject, but here's a little hint:  When you go to interview,
don't gush about how you just LOOOOOOOOOVE trains!  Huh?  Dat's right!  SHHHHHHHH!  Say little or nothing about it.  There's a reason for this!  You just might get a hiring officer that has had a bad experience with what we used to call "foamers".   "Foamers" are the ones who [i][/i]think they already know how to run a railroad from reading magazines and books.   The company wants people they can TRAIN the way THEY want you to work, NOT the way "fans" want to do it! I saw it several times myself where they hired a "foamer" who was so full of dreams of  pocket watches and red bandanas; he didn't last long! I post this to help, not to dash hopes!  At the interview act professional, interested in working, show willingness to go where they need you, and be NEAT.  
 
And if this is the true career for you, GOOD LUCK!  Me? I'm goin' over to Mountain Island Lake and drop a hook in!    (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!)
 
Gadfly


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Ranaldo20
Railfan
Posts: 224
Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #28 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 7:38pm »
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Gadfly, those are some cool and insightful comments, and although I'm no uber-poster like some of these guys, I'll be the first to say welcome to the boards!
BTW, I live in Jacksonville AL, which is about 12 miles from Anniston and  the main from ATL to B'ham!  Cool to see someone from the area, who also worked for the Southern.  There's a Southern Board in the fallen flags section.  I'm sure some of those guys would like to hear from you as well!
 
Josh B


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Gadfly
Railfan
Posts: 232
Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #29 on: Jun 26th, 2007, 10:47pm »
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Thank you for the kind words!  I will try to be helpful.  Yep, I first hired out to Southern in the 70's. Had a checkered career.  I know of no other industry where you can have the SAME "job" and work a hundred different assignments! For me, coming to work in the industry was more economic than being a fan.  Sure, like most kids, I "liked" the railroad---any kind of machinery including flying airplanes (got a bit of stick time in a DC-3 "Goony Bird", too!   I thought I would just grow out of it.
Around the age of 10 my Dad would drop me off at the old Salisbury station while he went to the FCX store for feed and seed.  I grew up, did several "careers" that...........well, didn't meet expectations.  So, like some here, I began to look for something else.  The American Freedom Train came thru in '76 and I thought, "Now that's pretty cool"!   So I wrote Southern a letter (not knowing how one went about applying.  Once I even  got in touch with Graham Claytor---believe it or not--------. He wrote me back.  I figured since they weren't hiring right then, that was the end of that.  But about 3 months later, I got a letter saying they were hiring! I went to Charlotte to the interview (GOSH!  There must've been 80 people there for FIVE jobs!) I was the LAST name called out of the five!  I started out one COLD December day cleaning greasy hydraulic parts out of an old grungy SR boxcar.  
 
Working for SR was.................well, different.   The work was NASTY, cold, you are on your feet all day, and you got FILTHY dirty!  Then I ended up on the Clerk's Extra Board. Now THAT'S something different!  BUT!  *IF* you wanted to go railroadin' I got a taste of it all! I was probably one of the LAST generation  of the Train Order Clerks that "handed up" orders to trains.  I deadheaded on the Crescent and rode the 6900's between Atlanta and Washington.  Crossed over the couplers nose-to-nose (Now THAT'S a bit hairy!) at 70+ MPH from the baggage car to the cab thru the engine rooms with two 567's screaming.  Rode some of the steam engines (4501, 2716,  Canadian 2839)---caught up on  2716 at Hayne so I wouldn't have to wait for Amtrak to come back to Charlotte, NC. And handed UP to them as well.  Got to run the loco simulators and a couple of engines on the sneak (I know where's a 1920 hand car NOS at a certain NS location; we played with that out on the yard tracks some years ago).  One Hundred ton crane that used to lift locomotives at NW Princeton Shops now  in Charlotte.    Lots of stuff a fan would really LOVE became pretty routine.  So you and I should have  some common experiences!
 
Another time, I'll tell you the BAD stuff---the REALLY, BAD stuff about that "horse"!
 
Gadfly


« Last Edit: Jun 27th, 2007, 12:05am by Gadfly » Logged
scbigtymer
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Posts: 5
Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #30 on: Jul 4th, 2007, 4:55pm »
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The hiring process was very easy I attended Marshall Community and Technical College's Railroad Conductor School, which was $4,500 for five weeks. We had a lot of book work, and hands on time. Took an interview with CSX, a strength test, drug screening and physical. After completion of the course and one week in Atlanta,GA was put out into the field for 12 weeks on the job training and then was marked up as a certified trainmen. You just wouldn't believe how quick the whole process flew by. It's a great company to work for, despite what some employees might tell you.

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keithsy
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #31 on: Mar 16th, 2008, 4:47pm »
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on Aug 24th, 2005, 4:52pm, james_greenwood wrote:       (Click here for original message)

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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keithsy
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #32 on: Mar 17th, 2008, 8:10pm »
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I rode those trains when I was 3 y/o in 1960. Times were different then. I rode behind those fine gents with GG-1's and MP-54's. What did I know? The men, and I mean men, had a different work ethic as opposed to today's worker. They did their jobs, but took no guff. If they drank, they hid it. It was an open secret. They can't do it today because everyone on the job is seeking to make a name for themselves. The risks are to great. Enough said.

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1oldgoat
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Re: Getting a job in the RR industry
 
« Reply #33 on: Apr 25th, 2008, 12:30am »
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One option is to hire out in the mechanical department (preferably a locomotive shop).  The advantages:  You're "in the door", and can learn about the power and eventually how to do minor troubleshooting.  Also, to get a feel for the company while having set working hours.  Finally, it's easier to get a "craft transfer" into the operating department than by coming "off the street".  Besides, you may like it at the shop.
 
Tips:  Play up any mechanical, electrical or military experience.  Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, but don't come off like a foamer. *   Remember, you can't say "safety" enough!
 
As far as getting into the operating dept., I worked for the BNSF which stands for "Better Not Start a Family" (also "Bigger Now, Still F#@ked").
 
* Don't EVER call a string of locomotive a "lash-up". I've never heard a rail use that term- only foamers.  It's called a "consist".


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