• Any tips on landing a job interview for conductor?

  • General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.
General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.

Moderator: thebigc

  by LiamCorbett
I’m planning on attending Johnson County Community College this fall for their Railroad Conductor Program, and then applying at a local shortline. Anyone have any tips for the interview process?
  by Engineer Spike
I never saw this post, but in my opinion, you're better off changing your major to something more universally useful. There should be no trouble finding a railroad job, if you would like one. Railroads are desperate for help now.

I've mentioned changing your major for a few reasons. First, as mentioned they are desperate for help. In my terminal dozens of new hires have come and gone with none having a railroad degree. Right now anyone who can pass a drug test, and has some semblance of intelligence will get hired. Shotgun applications around to everyone.

The second point is that the railroad is a very tough place to work. With the skeleton staffing and job cuts of a few years ago, they expect to almost own the employee. You may have seen the railroad media mention BNSF's Hi-Viz attendance policy. If you are college age, you no doubt would like to have a social life, and spend time with your friends. No dice on the railroad. You may not like it.

A last item is that the railroads have become really nasty to work for. Sometimes they nail you for very trivial "offenses". Being a human being, you are not perfect. Someday there might be an incident. You may have not even been at fault. Another crew member might have been at fault. That does not mean that you will not be held responsible. Many employees carry job insurance. This is used if your are held out service for discipline. Another solution is to have another side gig just in case. A few guys were formerly contractors. They do little jobs to keep their hand I'm it. A couple of these guys have purchased rn down two family houses and have rehabbed them. As Red said in Shawshank Redemption, "Prison is no ferry tale life." So too is it these days on the railroad.
  by LiamCorbett
I’m planning on trying to work for my local shortline to avoid all the problems with the Class 1. I’ve talked to some crews and they all say it’s better than BNSF or UP.