• Curious about working for NJ Transit as Conductor/Engineer

  • 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 Snowmojoe
I was curious about what it's like working as a conductor/engineer for NJ Transit. Or anything, I guess, even MOW work or something like that. I have never worked for a railroad. I recently got laid off from my corporate job and I'm looking around and my options. To be 100% honest the idea of going back to a corporate job -- sitting at a desk all day, sitting through meetings that don't affect or pertain to me at ALL -- is looking less and less attractive. The things that the corporate world think is a "challenge" is absolutely laughable. I get 2, 3 days to finish projects that take me 1/2 hour to an hour.

I'm 41. 2 college degrees. I'm not in the least bit afraid of physical labor. In fact I'm starting to suspect that maybe I should have gone into something more physical right out of school. I work a lot harder at my "hobbies" than I do at any desk job I've had. I can weld, operate heavy machinery (bulldozer/backhoe/dump truck etc. - I own one of each, actually), and I am pretty good at fixing and/or building just about anything, really. I have a very mechanical mind - I can usually figure out how something works just by looking at it.

I thought a lot about getting a job as a conductor/engineer with a freight railroad like NS, CSX, or maybe even NYSW, but my real hang up there is that I have an 8-month old little girl who means everything to me and I don't think I would like having to travel as far and be away from home as much as those jobs would require me to travel, because I like being able to see her every day. That's what brought me around to NJ Transit - whatever the schedule is like, its *New Jersey* Transit, so how far could I honestly ever really wind up from home?

I'm not looking for a miracle of deliverance. I realize that every job no matter what it involves has its good points and bad points. I know I'd be working in the worst weather, cold, rain, middle of the night, etc. Definitely not afraid to work hard, like I said. I am just curious what the organization is like, what the schedules are like, what being in the union is like (never had a union job), and if there is anyone out there who has experience I'd be interested in your feedback.