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How do the crew members sleep on such a long trip? Are there berths in the engine?

No, hotel rooms are given to the crew's at the end of a long trip at the away terminal and or final terminal and probably any chance the crew can get a nap when they meet trains at remote locations or waiting to get into the yard.

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No, hotel rooms are given to the crew's at the end of a long trip at the away terminal and or final terminal and probably any chance the crew can get a nap when they meet trains at remote locations or waiting to get into the yard.

Hotel or Bunkhouse, depends on the terminal. No sleeping on the train, in fact even assuming the position of sleep is against the rules.

interesting

How many days off do you get

What's a day off?? I haven't had a day off since May. I haven't worked every single day, but being on call 24-7 it's not like you can go anywhere or do anything. I'll give you the normal speech I give all the new hires I meet. Be prepared to work at all hours of the day and night. You'll love those phone calls just as you're nodding off to sleep after being up all day. No sick days, no days off, you can be forced to any terminal between Halifax and Thunder Bay and you will most likely be laid off once you are finished training. There are currently 60 CTY(Conductor-Trainman&Yardman) employees laid off in Toronto.

Biggest piece of advice I can give you. When you are training with the old heads, LISTEN to what they have to teach. The biggest pet peeve of all of us is someone who comes off as a know-it-all.

How do the crew members sleep on such a long trip? Are there berths in the engine?

Long trip? Train service is a maximum of 12 hrs on duty, 18 for work trains. Unlike truckers, train crews do not stay on the train from origin to destination. A train crew will normally run 100-200 miles, take rest at the away from home terminal and take a train back to their home terminal.

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I rememeber back in the 1970-80's you would work for 12+ hours then only sleep for 3, over a peroid of a week with CN or CP.

After the Hinton, AB disaster new work-rest rules were introduced. In train service you can work a maximum of 12 hrs. If you work over 10 hrs you get mandatory 8 hrs rest at the home or away from home terminal. For example, train L569 which runs as required from North Vancouver to Lillooet(7hrs running time) is often 10 hrs on duty, when the crew gets to Lillooet and ties up they are automatically put on 8 hrs rest.

Crews in work train service(ballast trains, rail trains, geometry trains, wreck clean up, etc.) can work 18 hrs.

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A train crew will normally run 100-200 miles, take rest at the away from home terminal and take a train back to their home terminal.

Amtrak does very similar from what I saw this summer, I know for the Vancouver to Portland run they have one crew that does Vancouver to Seattle, then that crew switches off and does the return Seattle to Vancouver run later that day. And similar for the train going in the other direction from Portland to Seattle. The only crew member that did the entire run was the cafe attendant.

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Does anyone know why the track closest to the platform at the Georgetown VIA Rail station was taken out? As you can see in

video, a passenger has to wait on a narrow platform that extents to one of the mainline tracks? I think think last time I was there I did see the track which use to be beside the platform still in place. Why wouldn't they have just left it there?

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A question regarding the railway conductor program at George Brown College, I know this was covered slightly in the GO Transit section of this board but I just wanted to hear a few more opinions. As it stands now, my current job was just made redundant after 5 years, andI have been exploring the option of taking this program in at the beginning of January. A new program initiated by Employment Canada allows individuals to go back to college or school and pays for up to 27, 000 dollars tuition (through unemployment). Now if I decide utilize this progam, would it be a wise investment? (making inquires like this are all part of the process btw...)

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A question regarding the railway conductor program at George Brown College, I know this was covered slightly in the GO Transit section of this board but I just wanted to hear a few more opinions. As it stands now, my current job was just made redundant after 5 years, andI have been exploring the option of taking this program in at the beginning of January. A new program initiated by Employment Canada allows individuals to go back to college or school and pays for up to 27, 000 dollars tuition (through unemployment). Now if I decide utilize this progam, would it be a wise investment? (making inquires like this are all part of the process btw...)

As I metioned before, it's not a good investment, it doesn't give you a better chance of getting in anywhere. You are best off to apply directly to the railroads or Bombardier. They will train you in house and it will save you the tuition fees.

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As I metioned before, it's not a good investment, it doesn't give you a better chance of getting in anywhere. You are best off to apply directly to the railroads or Bombardier. They will train you in house and it will save you the tuition fees.

I was looking on the Bombardier website and they say you need to be certified before being hired into a Locomotive operator position.

Dont Trust Community Colleges and there advertisement schemes, thats all I have to say, also alot of employers mistrust colleges graduates and rather hire and train there own for verious reasons.

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I was looking on the Bombardier website and they say you need to be certified before being hired into a Locomotive operator position.

...which they (and CN) offer after being a conductor for 2 years.

Dan

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...which they (and CN) offer after being a conductor for 2 years.

Dan

Yeah,

I changed my mind on going down that route with being a conductor for CN, I dont think I can handle being on call 24/7 and being away from home for 2 days :/

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A question regarding the railway conductor program at George Brown College, I know this was covered slightly in the GO Transit section of this board but I just wanted to hear a few more opinions. As it stands now, my current job was just made redundant after 5 years, andI have been exploring the option of taking this program in at the beginning of January. A new program initiated by Employment Canada allows individuals to go back to college or school and pays for up to 27, 000 dollars tuition (through unemployment). Now if I decide utilize this progam, would it be a wise investment? (making inquires like this are all part of the process btw...)

Could you send me a link to this program?

I don't see how it wouldn't be a wise investment.

Doesn't it display initiative?

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Could you send me a link to this program?

I don't see how it wouldn't be a wise investment.

Doesn't it display initiative?

http://www.georgebrown.ca/Marketing/FTCal/caet/T151.aspx

If you are planning on hiring on with one of the big boys - CN, CPR, VIA or Bombardier/GO - than it is useless, as they have their own training programs that they require all new hires to take. Basically, you would be out almost $10K and with no advantage of Joe Blow walking in off the street.

The only way that this would help you is if you didn't plan on working for one of the big boys and instead hiring on with a shortline such as GEXR or SOR.

Dan

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http://www.georgebrown.ca/Marketing/FTCal/caet/T151.aspx

If you are planning on hiring on with one of the big boys - CN, CPR, VIA or Bombardier/GO - than it is useless, as they have their own training programs that they require all new hires to take. Basically, you would be out almost $10K and with no advantage of Joe Blow walking in off the street.

The only way that this would help you is if you didn't plan on working for one of the big boys and instead hiring on with a shortline such as GEXR or SOR.

Dan

So if they had two resumes. one with the course completed and the other without, they'd choose the one without?

I find it difficult to believe.

Is there a link to that employment canada site?

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So if they had two resumes. one with the course completed and the other without, they'd choose the one without?

I find it difficult to believe.

No, not necessarily. But completing the course wouldn't have any bearing on whether someone was hired on or not. It simply doesn't matter to them.

It would be like applying, and having a culinary arts diploma on your resume. It might be nice to have, but in the end it doesn't matter.

Dan

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No, not necessarily. But completing the course wouldn't have any bearing on whether someone was hired on or not. It simply doesn't matter to them.

It would be like applying, and having a culinary arts diploma on your resume. It might be nice to have, but in the end it doesn't matter.

Dan

Makes sense. But does that mean one should never spend the dough and take culinary arts or any other course because it may not have any bearing on weather they're hired or not.

I think the course would be a cool primer and I think it would not be a total loss to take it if one wanted and not get hired than to wait around applying everywhere (and still probably not get hired). But that's just my opinion.

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Makes sense. But does that mean one should never spend the dough and take culinary arts or any other course because it may not have any bearing on weather they're hired or not.

I think the course would be a cool primer and I think it would not be a total loss to take it if one wanted and not get hired than to wait around applying everywhere (and still probably not get hired). But that's just my opinion.

Don't get me wrong - a buddy of mine has a diploma in culinary arts. Just because he became a firefighter doesn't mean that it doesn't come in handy from time to time, or that he didn't enjoy it. But at the end of the day, it didn't have any bearing on his ability to become a firefighter.

It just happened to be the first example that came to mind.

Dan

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Makes sense. But does that mean one should never spend the dough and take culinary arts or any other course because it may not have any bearing on weather they're hired or not.

I think the course would be a cool primer and I think it would not be a total loss to take it if one wanted and not get hired than to wait around applying everywhere (and still probably not get hired). But that's just my opinion.

If you want a small taste of what it might be like, why not try volunteering at somewhere like the York Durham Heritage Railway or another railroad museum. You don't have to spend the money, and if you are interested and want to learn a little, they are always looking for new people to help out.

I'm just passing along what I've heard through various people in the industry and people that have taken the course, that it hasn't given them any advantage. When you are sitting in a class full of conductor trainees and you're the only one who spend the money on the course, you'll understand why.

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If you want a small taste of what it might be like, why not try volunteering at somewhere like the York Durham Heritage Railway or another railroad museum. You don't have to spend the money, and if you are interested and want to learn a little, they are always looking for new people to help out.

Sounds like a plan.

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Yes, thank u for the advice, the whole volunteer route never entered my mind!

Just remember that spending part of your SUMMER volunteering on a nice, short, tourist railway with a bunch of other railfans and like-minded volunteers, where you have some say in your hours and working conditions is NOT really a valid basis for comparision for sitting on the spareboard for the rest of your natural life, 2 hour calls for drag freights in the middle of the night (when the lineup said you were going to work at 1400 so you've had zero sleep...), walking 10,000 feet in snow and freezing rain up to your ankles to carrying a knucke over your shoulder becase your over-tonnage-under-powered train broke apart after your third oversiding meet of the night, all the while having some idoit Trainmaster calling you to be in his office first thing the next morning for a statement explaining what all the delay was. Also beware that both of the big roads are in the habit of hiring large clases, weeding out the ones they don't want (and the G-B and SAIT courses don't necessarily help...), then, if they decide to keep you, laying you off at the next dip in traffic. This, by the way, is the answer I give when some co-worker asks "if you like trains so much, why not go be an engineer?".

What I'm saying is, do a lot more research before you make this carrer choice - including having some heart to heart conversations with some full-time railroaders - if that lifestyle is for you, all the power to you. I count among my closest friends several running trades employees, and while almost of them will say they enjoy railroading in general, they will also tell you it's not a job, it's a lifestyle choice, and the lifestyle can be rewarding, but it can also really suck.

Off the proverbial soapbox now.....

-D.

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