• What can I do to boost my resume to get an entry level railroad job? (freight or passenger)

  • 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 rl.greenwood20
I currently am a manager/bartender at a nightclub in Boston. I'm looking to transition into a entry level rail job (my end goal is to be a engineer/motorman). So far its been pretty discouraging. Ive applied to CSX Amtrak and Pan Am but I haven't even got an interview. Is there a class I can take? Is there a college certificate that would help? Is there something that they are specifically looking for on a resume? I've been using Indeed and Glassdoor, is there somewhere else I should be looking for jobs? I am willing to do all the above to get my foot in the door. Unfortunately I don't personally know anyone in the industry so I feel like I'm taking shots in the dark.
  by Engineer Spike
Part of the game is what work you have done. The railroad seems to like people who have worked previously potentially dangerous jobs. They also like people who work in jobs which expose the workers to extreme weather conditions. Another job category of railroad hires is military vets.I told one guy wo asked a similar question to yours to join the national guard. Another suggestion is to join your local volunteer fire department or ambulance corps.

Basically, the railroad likes people who are salty minded, don't mind extreme weather. There will be lots of rules to learn. I carry a set of manuals each day at work, which resemble a set of encyclopedias. You have to memorize, and will be tested on this material.Failure to be able to comprehend the rules, and also apply them will put yourself and others in danger.

In my hiring class, most were either veterans, or college grads. I think that they are looking for people who will stick to a long term commitment. There were questions in my interview about the normal dealing with conflict... One relevant to what I have been talking about was asking me about extreme conditions. I had worked in my uncle's bakery. Every summer it was over 100 degrees every day. Then they asked about dealing with the cold. I told them that as a scout, I had done winter tent camping every winter. One other aspect that they look for is if you have the balls to speak up if someone on your are is doing something dangerous. They may phrase the question to see if they have you for a rat. This doesn't go aver well in the field. On the other hand, there have been train crews who wanted me to make a onerous move. I refused to do it, or offered a safer way to get the job accomplished.
  by CSRR573
I don't know if OP has had success in getting hired or not since this thread is over a year old but as a newish railroad employee i can share some insight. I too am from the Boston area and in January got hired on at Amtrak as a machinist in Boston. I tried forever to get a job on a railroad, applying or anything from coach cleaner at Amtrak to signal maintainer at Mass Coastal, with no success. Finally one day I got a email from Amtrak for a carman job. Updated my resume, got an interview and ended up with an offer for machinist. Of course i said yes, get my foot in the door, get some rr related experience and hopefully move on to engineer some day too. After i got hired, i found out what ultimately got me in the door. During the interview they ask alot of questions pertaining to computers and how well you know them and are familiar with them, now this could just be craft related questions but as a machinist, you do very little with computers and electronics. Also I have a big automotive background with many ASE certificates and i am a master automotive technician and master medium/ heavy duty technician too. Those impressed them very much.