• Pre-Railroad Employment Health Exams

  • 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 Anthony
I'm in college right now, and I am hoping to become a Conductor for the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad after graduation. Before being hired, I know that most railroads require that you take a physical exam, which includes hearing and vision tests. I wear glasses and I am hearing impaired in my right ear, but I can still hear perfectly out of my left ear. Given these health conditions, should I expect to pass these tests? If not, will wearing a hearing aid in my right ear make my hearing good enough to pass the hearing test? I'm also hoping that I can eventually get LASIK surgery to have the sharp vision of a hawk that is needed to be a railroader.
  by UKtraindriver
Not much help as I’m sure the UK and US have different rules but in the UK, as long as you can pass the hearing test even if you need a hearing aid, you’ll pass the medical. Similarly, as long as you have 20 20 vision even if you need glasses to achieve this, you’ll pass the medical. However, laser eye surgery seems to be a bit contentious. A lot of train companies won’t accept people who have had laser eye surgery. This is more the rail industry just being stuck in the past more than anything so it’s something worth researching into first before going for it. Hopefully someone from the US will be able to advise better.
  by photobug56
I'm no expert, but I do know that one can have vision 'artifacts' with some types of eye surgery, and that can interfere with night vision and even cause issues during the day. My guess is that testing for these problems is a PITA, and would have to be done regularly since eyes can change post surgery.
  by krispy
If you pass the color test and can wear glasses corrected to 20/20, then you should be good to go. But be careful with hearing, this is something some roads watch carefully. It wasn't a big concern when I hired on several decades ago but now it's big issue in regards to hearing degradation over time. They'll use your pre-employment hearing test as a baseline and if your hearing suffers over time, you'll get an 'earful', one way or another. They're starting to be very concerned with this issue, especially if you work for a state or federal agency.

And oh yeah, don't do drugs, LOL. There's a spate of cases popping up with the various CBD products, and they're costing people big, don't mess around with that at all.
  by Engineer Spike
I wear glasses too, and have had no problem. I don't recall if they are corrected to 20/20, but aren't too far off from that. As to hearing, the above poster was probably referring to the big deal of about 30 years ago. Railroads didn't mandate hearing protection, and many locomotives had horns mounted over the cab. Many guys got settlements for their hearing loss. I lost all hearing in my left ear over a decade ago due to illness. I'm still running trains on a class one. They gave me a set of headphones like pilots wear. Now I've gotten hearing aids which take sound from my deaf side and transmit it to my good ear. I wouldn't worry too much.