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Old 12-05-2013, 10:22 PM   #1
treacheroustexan
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Default any railroad conductors here?

Anyone? I recently got an offer after a hiring session for a freight conductor position at CSX in willard ohio. just really scared to make the leap and being on call 24/7 and feeling like I'm leaving my family behind. Is there anyone on here with first hand experience what that is like or know anyone who does it? Thanks!

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:39 PM   #2
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My ex-boss left his job (as my supervisor) a couple years ago to take a job with CSX in the extreme northeastern corner of NY state on the Canadian border. The pay was supposed to be great as well as the benefits and so on. The catch was being on call 24/7, and if you screwed up any aspect of your job, god help you. He ended up hating it. Getting yelled at all the time, having to show up at the drop of a hat, dirty filthy work with a bunch of rough characters, and having to deal with illegal drug smuggling across the border... He got furloughed a year into the gig, and quit within a few months after that. I don't know much else, we don't keep in touch. But he was never one to complain or shy away from hard, dirty work, and he hated the job. Regretted ever taking it was the last thing he said to me.

My advice would be to do your homework. Research it as much as you can.

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:45 PM   #3
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My dad is from Willard and I grew up about 15 miles away. I wouldn't want to have to move to that crap hole. I went to college and only go back to visit family.

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:50 PM   #4
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I no a guy who is a cunductor for csx. He said they do all the connect and un-connecting of all the boxcars. And that they send you away for training for a few months. But now they pay for all your training. He said they used to not pay. And that they also do a hair folicle drug test going back 3 months or so. Sorry thats all I remember.

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Old 12-06-2013, 12:47 AM   #5
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I'm not a conductor, but I work for a railroad (electrician). I do know some conductors and engineers. Generally with the railroad (regardless of freight, passenger, job title or company), seniority is the rule. In the beginning you will get all the sh*& jobs and shifts that the other guys don't want. It's sorta a right of passage. If you can stick it out, it gets a lot better. There is a reason that a lot of the guys on the railroad have made a career of it. The average person at my shop has more than 20 years service and retiring at 60 (if you have 30 years) ain't too shabby either. It's definitely a different world. Some hate it and leave, some love it and thrive. I know many happy conductors.

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Old 12-06-2013, 03:00 AM   #6
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When they say you marry the railroad when you join they mean it. Say goodbye to your social life. Welcome to no holidays, no days off, just sit by your phone and wait. It is a terrible job but the pay and benefits are decent. Retirement is great. There is a reason many railroaders are divorced. The job is not necessarily hard except working in the elements but expect to feel like you are never at home. The 24 hours off shifts are the worst because when you are ready to go back to bed the phone rings. You will learn to hate hearing a phone ring. You will be going to work tired and you will be watched constantly while working if not by a person by cameras. Be sure you are ready for this lifestyle. When they tell you something at the interview that you figure it can't be that bad it is. I spent 10 years in train service before i switched over to a carman. Wish i would have done it sooner even if it was a pay cut. But i still don't have the nice job that allows me hang out with friends and family on holidays or weekends. At least i now have a start time, never know when i get off though, and two days off a week.

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Old 12-06-2013, 09:18 PM   #7
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Dang! I've always thought a railroad gig would be cool, but the way everybody is talking, I'm glad that's not the career path I took!

I work 4 10 hour days Mon-Thurs, and get 2 weeks off at Christmas every year. I think I'll stick with being a machine operator.

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Old 12-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #8
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I'm kind of once removed from this as I'm a recruiter and one of my major clients manages or works with the communications networks for a few of the railroads. I've talked to some people trying to get out of the work and had to check references of people who used to work as conductors.

From the outside looking in it is a very demanding job but the railroads are pretty stable companies (especially a Class I like CSX) and can offer good pay and benefits. I know of the people I interface with they are professional, friendly and safety-minded in all they do. You have to be 100% sure going in this is something you want to do, those I know that have tried it and had questions about the demands of the job usually didn't care for it.

Again, my info is only a 2nd hand account so take it FWIW.

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Old 12-06-2013, 10:13 PM   #9
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thanks guys. I love what I do now (injection molding process tech) but I just thought the railroad would pay a lot better. Guess it's not all about the money. I work 12s at this company and I love it because I get like two "weekends" off in one week.

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Old 12-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treacheroustexan View Post
Anyone? I recently got an offer after a hiring session for a freight conductor position at CSX in willard ohio. just really scared to make the leap and being on call 24/7 and feeling like I'm leaving my family behind. Is there anyone on here with first hand experience what that is like or know anyone who does it? Thanks!
My roommate works for UP and my brother works for BNSF they are both conductors! TAKE THE JOB!!!!!!!!!

The 24/7 sucks at times but you'll move up in seniority and choose the jobs you work! Trust me take the job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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