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   Author  Topic: Age limit  (Read 165 times)
Madman
TRAINing
Posts: 3
Age limit
 
« on: Jan 20th, 2008, 12:26am »
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Do railroads have an age limit in order to work for them? I am recently retired from the construction industry and would like to apply for work on a railroad.

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Gadfly
Railfan
Posts: 232
Re: Age limit
 
« Reply #1 on: Jan 22nd, 2008, 12:43am »
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So far as I know, there's not.   However, if you are now retired at what I assume is normal retirement age (??), I would be quite reluctant to recommend it.  Of course, there are jobs on the railroad that don't require agility (clerks, for example, but that is a craft that is fading fast).  If you are thinking about this work "because I was always crazy about trains", I would advise against it.  It requires agility and quick reflexes----reflexes that are hard to learn from scratch. It is one thing if you started out as a young man and worked with it for the next 30 years, quite another to start out trying to do this as a 60 y/o man.  Railroading is a quick way to get killed or maimed!  Honestly, it is a young man's game.  If you believe that railroading is merely riding trains from one place to the other, it is not.  It is cold, lonely, dangerous, and it's WORK.  You get the WORST assignments because you will be on the BOTTOM of the seniority list.  Forget about working 8 to 5.  Forget about holidays. Forget about being with your family when they gather for Sunday dinner.  In your case, it will be the 40 and 50 y/o's (who should've been your junior) that will have the weekends off (IF they are lucky; most of them don't have them, either!) while YOU are working the 3rd trick Sunday night on the local switcher, or on a "bean train" bound for parts afar!  The "good assignments"?  FORGET about 'em!  YOU ain't gonna get 'em!  You can expect to have trainmasters screaming at you---even when you did nothing wrong.  
 
And YOU want to go railroading AFTER RETIREMENT?   Advice?  Forget it.  I may be wrong, but I see so many people who think they "just love trains" who mistakenly think that railroading is like a little trainset running around a Christmas tree, or it's a game.  I actually doubt they will hire you.  They can't come out and SAY, 'Hey we think you are too old', but they'll tell you ANYTHING and simply not do it---like so many other industries.   And when you tell them that you retired from ONE job, the question is automatic as to WHY do you really want to come to work for THEM?  They've seen "foamers" before---people who have this mistaken fascination for trains.  They are adept at weeding out people who try to come to work for all the wrong reasons.  They can see you coming and they can see you foaming!
 
After working in this industry for 30 years or so, I've seen a lot and I feel that I must not pull punches in answering such questions.  If you are younger than I think, then more power to you.  After retiring for REAL from Norfolk Southern, I can assure I would not WANT to go back.  The real railroad is a ROUGH way to make a living.  So if you have managed to retire from ONE job, *I'd* get me a job at Auto Zone delivering parts a couple days a week and forget about no railroad!
 
Good luck whatever happens!
 
 
Gadfly
retiree, Norfolk Southern Corp


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Madman
TRAINing
Posts: 3
Re: Age limit
 
« Reply #2 on: Jan 24th, 2008, 8:44pm »
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Gadfly,
You told me exactly what I expected to hear.  I've been a carpenter for thirty five years, and can do it in my sleep. I am in excellent shape, but I don't think I'm ready to be the whipping boy at sixty years old. I'm just trying to explore different options.
Thank you for your input.


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