• BNSF or UP? Signal apprentice vs Diesel Electrician

  • 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 Laudydaudy
Hello everyone,

I finished 9yrs of active duty in the Marine Corps in 2011. I have been going to school full-time and I recently applied and have opportunities with both BNSF and UP for either diesel electrician or signal apprentice. I have decided to transfer my school to an online program to finish my bachelor's in civil engineering and take a job with the railroad. I have 9 years of experience troubleshooting electronics in the Marine Corps and I am interested in electrical work and also construction. My question is which Class I railroad is better to work for? (I like both of the locations they have offered me and the pay is comparable) Which job is a better entry level position? (I don't care if I have to travel)

I am a little concerned with Warren Buffet buying BNSF and if it will go down hill as putting profit over its employees. This article raises concern for me with BNSF http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... vice-slows" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .I am not afraid of hard work and as soon as I finish my degree in civil engineering I would like to apply it and stay with the railroad and move up the chain. If you were in my shoes and had opportunities with both companies and also could choose which job to pick to start out in which one would you choose?

Thanks for reading :)
  by MichaelB86
A lot of people will tell you one of the two railroads is better than the other, usually BNSF is more popular among outsiders than UP for whatever reason. The truth is they are basically the same. You'll have a good career with either Company. The craft in question, Signal vs Electrician is up to you and what you are more into. I imagine Electrician is better hours but Signal dept is outside and always going to different places and different surroundings. That might appeal more to you than working in similar surroundings all the time. The best part? No morning Formations! lol It's a good opportunity.
  by Laudydaudy
Thanks alot! I figured the class I RRs are pretty much the same. I guess I will just make a decision based upon which location I would like (slightly better).
  by COEN77
Signal Apprentice would have you working outdoors instead of in a confined area. Diesel Electrician would be most likely in a shop. I don't think there is that much difference between railroads. Where are the locations for each job? Some on here would know about ones ability to transfer to other locations etc...within the confines of seniority.
  by Laudydaudy
The locations that I am most interested in are throughout Nebraska, which is my home state. However, I am ok with relocating if the RR wants me too. I think I would like working outside more-so than working in a shop. Mostly, because I will have my degree in civil engineering in a few years and later on would like to be a manager for the RR with there engineering and construction projects.