Canadian National Railway Conductor Job Description
Conductors work as members of two or three person train crews and perform duties associated with the movement of trains, rail cars, and locomotives in rail yards and on the road. They coordinate the assembly of trains and execute any ground work outside the locomotive cab while in the yard or en-route (ex: operating track switches, picking up rail cars, making emergency repairs, etc.).
Why you want this job
Railroading is a 24/7 business and that doesn’t scare you; you enjoy working different shifts and being outdoors.
Most importantly, you walk the talk when it comes to safety. With such big equipment comes even bigger responsibility, and you can be counted on to keep yourself and those around you safe.
The statements in this section are essential job functions that an employee must be able to perform with or without accommodations in order to achieve the objectives of the Conductor job.
- Ensuring compliance with all train orders, signals, railroad rules and regulations related to safety and operations
- Providing and receiving various forms of oral and printed instructions concerning the movement and placement of rail cars
- Assembling/dismantling trains in the rail yard, and picking up/setting off rail cars en-route
- Observing, interpreting, and relaying signals to ensure safe train and locomotive movement
- Operating track switches to change locomotive and rail car routes
- Inspecting the condition of a train and equipment
- Making effective decisions when in unfamiliar locations or emergency situations
- Communicating effectively with the Rail Traffic Control centre, other train crews and other departments on a regular basis via handheld radio
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Successful applicants will participate in an intensive paid training program that includes 7 weeks (5 weeks classroom and 2 weeks field training) at the CN Campus in Winnipeg, MB. Expenses related to transportation, accommodation and meals while in Winnipeg are covered by the company.
After these initial 7 weeks, candidates will complete a minimum of 45 trips as an extra person on a crew to enhance their knowledge and skills. Successful completion of the entire training program is mandatory in order to work as a Conductor, and includes written exams and field training (including physical requirements).
Working Conditions and Physical Requirements
- Working a flexible schedule with regular and predictable attendance, in line with the 24/7 railroading environment (includes night, weekend, holiday work hours, some overtime, and being away from home for extended periods of time)
- Pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying up to 90 pounds
- Working outdoors in varying weather and environmental conditions
- Operating various devices on rail cars and locomotives, such as uncoupling levers and handbrakes
- Climbing on and off ladders of moving rail cars
- Grasping and holding objects while riding the side of a train
- Walking for frequent extended periods
- Bending, stooping, squatting, and kneeling frequently
- Meeting medical fitness requirements for the position, including those established by the Railway Association of Canada, such as the ability to recognize and distinguish between the colors of signals
- Writing and passing safety and rules exams. (Note: As per collective agreement, subsequent mandatory Locomotive Engineer qualification to retain seniority/employment.)
- High school diploma or GED
- Obtaining and maintaining Conductors Rule Card
- Possessing and maintaining a valid driver’s license
- Possessing and maintaining a passport allowing entry/re-entry to the Canada and the United States (in certain specific locations)
- Proficiency in both oral and written communications
- Completion of college or vocational/technical school and/or Freight Conductor experience
- Relevant work experience in similar working conditions or regulatory/safety environment
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