Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by jgbond007
Im pretty excited, yesterday I received a letter from NYC transit stating that I am being considered for the position of Train Operator ( took the OC exam in 03) and that I have to report to 180 Livingston street on 4/27.
Has anyone gone through this process so I can at least have a heads up of what to expect.

The only other problem I have is that I am currently employed as an Assistant Conductor with the LIRR and I dont know if I should make the switch over to the subway. From what I hear from everyone is that I can make a hell of a lot more on the LIRR than the subway but I have always wanted to be a train engineer/motorman. Have a tough choice to make, especially because of all the time I invested in becoming an AC for the LIRR even though I have not been employed there that long.

  by Otto Vondrak
If you leave the railroad, I think you lose your Railroad Retirement. I could be wrong.

  by L'mont
Is it prohibitivly difficult to move from AC to engineer? If you have so much invested with the LIRR, why don't you push for that?

  by jgbond007
Don't get me wrong, I have invested time with LIRR (4 months of unpaid training plus memorizing siganals, definitions and rules verbatim) but I have actually only been employed woth the LIRR for 4 months so as far as seniority, pension and railroad retirement I dont have a lot of time so if I was gonna switch over, I think now would be the time to do it, but I am still unsure though.

Thanks for the advice though, any more comments, sugesstions would be appreciated as well

  by jbav1
Do what will make you happy, because if you don't you'll be saying coulda, woulda, shoulda the rest of your life. I got called for the Car Inspector position and went through the process at 180 Livingston, I start in early May. Drug screening, medical, a lot of paperwork, I had to go back 3 times not including the initial interview. I also went through the unpaid Loco Engineer Phase 1 with LIRR and know what you went through, I only made it 7 weeks, my life was too hectic for the dedication needed. The people I spoke to that were there for Train Operator all seemed excited about the position. I am looking forward to starting the Car Inspector position also, it will be a change for me but I am excited. Good luck to you in your decision.

  by Yanks Rule
JgBonnd007, you would be making a HUGE HUGE mistake if you left the LIRR for NYCT. I've been a NYCT employee for 14 years with 12 of them as a Train Operator. It's just a paycheck; nothing more, nothing less. As a regular LIRR rider, I can tell in the demeanor of most employees I come into contact with that their job is more than a paycheck. They seem to be happy at what they're doing.

  by Otto Vondrak
I would also consider your working environment. Above ground or underground? Long distance railroad or regional subway? Either way, I guess you're home in your own bed every night...

  by pennsy
Hi All,

Interesting question and some fascinating answers.

The bottom line should be what will make you happiest. Do whatever you enjoy doing the most. Then it won't be a job, it will be a hobby, and you will look forward to going to work etc. Worst thing possible is having to force yourself to go to work in the morning.

As an example: Once had a chance to listen to Sammy Davis Jr. discussing this very subject. He told us all that he thought he was the luckiest man alive. He was doing what he LOVED to do and got paid BIG bucks to do it. He would have done it for free since he loved to do it. Take his advice.

  by jbav1
Good Advice pennsy

A quote from Pete Rose when asked how much he loved baseball:

“I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball.”

It's very hard finding a profession that you will enjoy doing day in and day out. I'm 45 and I hope this Car Inspector gig is my last. If anyone has info on the job I would love to hear it. I start in May. Thanks.

Best advice jgbond007 is do what is right for you and your family.

  by StevieC48
Otto Vondrak wrote:If you leave the railroad, I think you lose your Railroad Retirement. I could be wrong.
Yes most of the subway systems in the us are not part of the RR pnesion.I know that the MBTA dosent participate in it on the Light Rail and Subway and Busses. But the C/R is part of it.
  by pc motorman
Brother railroader. DO NOT leave the LIrr for MTA ! U will be sorry after its too late, and u see how they treat their employees. I retired after 37 years as a motorman and would have loved to get on the LIRR. Once your tainted by the city they want no part of you. U spent all that time training to become a AC, now go into engine service. U will make FAR more money. If U leave the LI for the city, let me know and I'll gladley help you kill yourself. cause thats what you'll want to do!
  by jbav1
IMHO stay with the LIRR, I was a car inspector for the Subways for 1 year and hated it. Dirty environment, and with the time you put in to become an AC with the training and qualifying stay where you are. In the long run you will be better off. The experience at 180 is akin to a cattle herd, you will be treated like a second class citizen, yelled at talked to in a condosending way. Hey but that was just my experience.
  by 3rdrail
Hey Bud ! You need to discreetly go down and speak with the motormen that are doing this job - in person, in order to make a fair comparison. Speak with at least three. If you know folks that do it, that's even better- do it privately, but I'm guessing that you may not.
  by Trainmaster5
I've been a motorman/train operator for the last quarter century and the job and morale has gone down the tubes in that time. I've operated work trains, electric locos, transfers and what have you but I regret not having the chance to operate a railroad train from Penn Station to Greenport or Montauk. The LIRR and Metro-North are all under the MTA umbrella like the subway but if railroading is in your blood stick with the big boys. The difference is like driving a Mini-Cooper while the other guy's are driving tractor-trailers. The railroad is a better job in my opinion.
  by pc motorman
so, are you still thinking of leaving the LIRR for the subway?
after all my years as a motorman, I feel I can address you questions.
NO buffs, and no BS !
you may contact me at my e mail address and I will give you the whole low-down. this will be our private conversation.
[email protected]