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What Can I Expect???
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   Author  Topic: What Can I Expect???  (Read 191 times)
enzio
Railfan
Posts: 146
What Can I Expect???
 
« on: Oct 28th, 2008, 11:18am »
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I had just recently applied for a Passenger Engineer Career w/ Amtrak out of Lorton, VA for their Auto Train consist.  
Upon hire (GOD I hope so...) what kind of working conditions can I expect?  
Hours, vacation, salary, benefits, time off and just about everything else that comes with such a position is what I am intersted in.  
 
If there are any Amtrak Engineers or ANY other engineers for any other RR I would LOVE to hear from you in order to gain MORE insight on this potential career.    
Thanks...  
 
 
 
 


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Stephen R. Gargiulo
Gadfly
Railfan
Posts: 232
Re: What Can I Expect???
 
« Reply #1 on: Oct 28th, 2008, 9:10pm »
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Hours? It is rarely 9 to 5!  Basically (and this is just general railroad info), you will go to the BOTTOM of a seniority roster.  Senior employees will get "dibs" on the best assignments.  I don't know about Amtrak. Generally, in the freight roads it was like
one week after one year, two weeks after 2, 3 weeks after 10, 4 weeks after 17 (?),
5 weeks after 25 years. This can vary according to local union agreements.  Your vacation will, again,  be determined according to the company's schedule AND, by seniority. IOW, in the beginning, FORGET about "summer" vacation; they will be taken by the senior employees. You, most likely, will be taking your first vacations in JANUARY. This isn't set in stone; no one can tell you how YOUR division will work.  If you can hold a regular assignment, you will have "rest days" according to the position held and the bulletin #.  Your "time off", or rest days, due to low seniority will be in the MIDDLE of the week. Forget (usually) about Saturday and Sunday off!!)  
If you are on the "extra board", you will observe the rest days of the employee you are filling in for. If it happens to be Wednesday and Thursday, you will observe those days and "mark back up", or "go back to the board" after the required FRA hours-of-service time and rest have been completed.  Hours?  Again, you will likely get the worst hours as senior employees have "dibs" on the more favorable work times. Again, if you are looking for a 9-5 job with weekends off, it is unlikely to happen! IF it does, consider yourself VERY lucky!  
 
In most cases, the railroads (at least the freight roads) are very military-like. Management is taught to micro-manage and look for things to discipline employees about!  This, again, varies with the personalities on your own division.
 
The pay and bennies are generally very good.  It takes a special mentality to put up with the RR life: it is not like anything you have ever done.  If you are looking for a straight 8-hour shift with regular days off and DREAD to work on weekends, seek something else.
 
I assume you have not been interviewed yet?  Are you counting your eggs before they hatch?
 
 
Gadfly


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