• Schools offering Railroad Skills Training Courses

  • 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

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  by kchladek
 
Hi guys,

I was just wondering, are there any railroad training schools around chicago?
  by flood152152
 
Not that I know of. Even if there were I wouldn't suggest it. There are plenty of rrs that are always hiring here in Chicago and if you have seen some of the people they hire these days their standards aren't very high. Anyway, make sure you keep an eye on all the class 1's as well as the IHB, BRC and EJE when job hunting.
  by LYconductor
 
What railroads out there actually require something like this. I'm sure its not a bad thing really. But I hired out for Uncle Pete with out such schooling. The only college education I had at the time was for a fire academy, which I dropped out of the day I got the phone call. To me personally it seems like a lot of time and money into something I know the UP or BNSF dont require.
  by CanadianRail
 
I have heard some negative comments on railroad schools but I am happy with my decision to take the Railway Conductor Course through SAIT.

Currently, CP and CN are not hiring for railway conductors in my area. When they start hiring, the competion will be tough with lots of people looking for work. Many of these people will have had expeince doing physical labour in outdoor conditions. The course will help me as I can not compete with the experience of the other candidate as I have been working in a office environment fot the last 15 years.

My course is 4 months and ends in April. I currently have a A+ average and in high school I was never an A+ student more of a C average student. The course covers the CROR rules, first aid, WHMIS, Fire Safety, TDG and we get to practice entraining, detraining, cross over, handbrakes, coupling, uncoupling, air brakes and hoses, TIBS, switches, radio, hand signals with actual cars that are onsite. On top of that, we have courses on Switching and Marshalling, Inspections, Supervision, Leadership, Resume and Interviewing, Safety, Computers and railway culture and history.

I believe this will give me a real advantage over the candidate the just has experience in doing physical labour in outdoor conditions. The railway will know that I already know what to expect on job and they will be able to spend less time in training me as compared to the other candidates.

When looking at career options, I was looking for something that would pay well and that I would not need to spend the next two years or more in school learning. The cost is just under $9000.00 for the 16 week course which seems expensive but for me I believe it will be worth taking even if it takes me two more years just to get hired on by the railway. I have been hearing that it probably will not be that long. The railways should need people again in 2010 just based on the number of expected retirees.

In the meantime, I have decide to apply for a Seasonal Track Labourer Position to get a foot in the door, this will also give me that outdoor, physical labour experience that I am lacking in my resume. I have an interview on Tuesday. I am not that overly fit and probably a bit overweight. Also being a woman, I am not as strong as some of the men, but hopefully my CROR rules, first aid, WHMIS, Fire Safety and TDG and improved interview skills gained through SAIT will help them overlook my weaknesses. I also have another two months to get in shape.

As for the question posed for schools offering a Master's in Railway. I have not found any. However, a Bachelor of Commerce or Business Administration with a concentration in an area like Logistics, Supply Chain Management, Business Process Management ect would be helpful if your future goals include management.

I plan to get a Master's while working through online courses. Not sure which area yet - depends which area of management I decide I want to enter.
  by HoggerKen
 
UP does not require it thank God. I have seen kids who came out of these schools, and they had to be re-taught how to do things properly.

They could not read a switch list.

They could not tell the difference between a 39 foot cement car, and a 55 foot grain hopper. They look so alike. One has cement all over it, the other stinks of rotting grain.

They had no idea what parts of the cars were what. Tell one to see if a car is cut out or not. Where the retainer is. If the piston is in or out. Good luck.

They had no idea how to ride a locomotive when making a move. Most always ride the wrong side, or stand on the top platform where as an engineer, you cannot see them.

They carried their lanterns like a purse. God forbid they had to stop a move.

They could not follow instructions as given. If I tell a brakeman to wait by a switch, a very simple task, I expect they are there until I tell them otherwise. When I tell them to pull two cars, and shove them in the clear on another track, I expect it done. Without having to repeat myself three times.

These were kids after three or four months of actually being on the job after their schooling. I could understand it if they were fresh to the industry.

And the biggest gripe. The never listen to those who have been around 40 years doing this job because they had "an education". Their favorite words are.... "I Know". Most of them are gone now because of rules violations or injuries, or quit because they got forced to the other side of the state to work. Welcome to the realities of railroading!

And they paid for this "education"? Stick to hiring out at a railroad that pays you to learn how it is actually done. It is much safer in the long run.
  by CanadianRail
 
HoggerKen wrote:UP does not require it thank God. I have seen kids who came out of these schools, and they had to be re-taught how to do things properly.

They could not read a switch list.

They could not tell the difference between a 39 foot cement car, and a 55 foot grain hopper. They look so alike. One has cement all over it, the other stinks of rotting grain.

They had no idea what parts of the cars were what. Tell one to see if a car is cut out or not. Where the retainer is. If the piston is in or out. Good luck.

They had no idea how to ride a locomotive when making a move. Most always ride the wrong side, or stand on the top platform where as an engineer, you cannot see them.

They carried their lanterns like a purse. God forbid they had to stop a move.

They could not follow instructions as given. If I tell a brakeman to wait by a switch, a very simple task, I expect they are there until I tell them otherwise. When I tell them to pull two cars, and shove them in the clear on another track, I expect it done. Without having to repeat myself three times.

These were kids after three or four months of actually being on the job after their schooling. I could understand it if they were fresh to the industry.

And the biggest gripe. The never listen to those who have been around 40 years doing this job because they had "an education". Their favorite words are.... "I Know". Most of them are gone now because of rules violations or injuries, or quit because they got forced to the other side of the state to work. Welcome to the realities of railroading!

And they paid for this "education"? Stick to hiring out at a railroad that pays you to learn how it is actually done. It is much safer in the long run.
Hoggerken,

Thank you for the great "what not to do tips"! I will make sure I listen the those with 40 years experience and avoid the words "I know" even if I really do know and ask questions if I don't know!!!

However, I still think my education will be greatly beneficial to me and the railway that hires me! Perhaps those "kids" either had a bad school or they were just bad students!

I was taught how to read a switch list in my switching and marshalling class and know where to find which track the cars are on, and which order they will or should be on the track, the car numbers, types, loads or emptys, bad orders, commodities, dangerous goods, tons and ft. I don't think I will forget this once I get on with a railway - it was pretty easy to figure out.

I can recognize and know the difference between cement cars, grain hooper, flat cars, bulk head flat cars, box cars......

As for retainer valves, cutout valves and pistons, well I haven't taken the airbrake class yet, but I can tell if the piston is extended or not on both truck mounted and foundation type brakes. If you can see the shiny metal - then the piston is extended and the brakes are most likely applied - unless there is a problem with the brake rigging or brake shoes. As for the retainer - the normal position is straight down (direct exhaust postion). The cutout valve should be straight down position unless you want to cutout a car due to brake problems . I also know these valves can be located in diferent places on different cars so it may take someone new a while to figure out the locations on all the cars.

As for riding a locomotive..... my school does not have one.. so I have not practiced on one or been taught this skill but I assume the same rules apply as riding a car. Always ride in the stirrup (or bottom rung) of the side ladder on the right hand side - same side as the Engr. I am sure I will learn this when we do our field labs - if not I will be sure to ask!!!!

I would love to hear more of your gripes - It will help me learn and become a better railroader once hired!!!
  by CaliforniaOwl
 
I am new to this site, so I don't know if this has been reported or not.

The BNSF/Tarrant County College Dispatcher program has been put "on-hold" for the time being. I was told via e-mail, that I should check back in January 2010 to see if/when it will be included in the future. Don't know if BNSF or Tarrant County shut it down, or if it is recession related. At least for the short-term it doesn't sound good.

---Mike
  by srohio
 
Does anybody know of any training programs/ schools in the ohio area?

By reading other posts I found a school in PA and WV.

I actually found some info on the one in PA (The Eastern Lackawanna County
Agricultural and Technical University )
http://www.ltths.org/Railroad_School.htm

I read on another post that there was a program at Marshall Community & Technical College's in Hunnington WV
but I did not have allot of luck finding info on their website.

If you know any info on these programs or any other schools in the ohio area I would really appreicate it.
  by slchub
 
Boy, someone has A LOT of time on their hands.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
lol... yes, that school in Scranton is the BEST. Sign up immediately. You'll learn everything you need to know. ;-)

-otto-
  by Zantre
 
Are there any specific training facilities, that are recognized highly by rail companies, that focus primarily on the industry itself? Like a vocational school that would offer courses that deal with Operators/Dispatchers, Break/Signalman, Conducter/Engineer, ect.

Before I throw myself off to quite a few years of college, I was just curious as to whether or not I could save time by finding a program like this, something where I could just concentrate on the rail industry without any other un-needed coursework.

If anyone has information, it'd be much appreciated!
  by gp80mac
 
The major railroads will train you, and PAY you as you train! No special schooling or certificate needed!
  by Zantre
 
I realize that most companies do their own training, but that's always after an applicant has been accepted for a position. And that's the part i'm stuck at.

I recently found a college down in Fort Worth, Texas called Tarrant County College, and they offer a railroad course that deals with dispatching. Can anyone give me feedback on this? How this school/course is viewed from the company's point of view, ect.
  by UPRR engineer
 
Id say the class ones wouldnt think too much of you going to that school, dont know where your looking to go after that.
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