National Application Center :: career details :: Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters
Career Details :: Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters
Conductors coordinate activities of train crew on passenger or freight train. Coordinate activities of switch-engine crew within yard of railroad, industrial plant, or similar location. Yardmasters coordinate activities of workers engaged in railroad traffic operations, such as the makeup or breakup of trains, yard switching, and review train schedules and switching orders.
A minimum of two to four years of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
- Observes yard traffic to determine tracks available to accommodate inbound and outbound traffic.
- Reviews schedules, switching orders, way bills, and shipping records to obtain cargo loading and unloading information.
- Documents and prepares reports of accidents, unscheduled stops, or delays at completion of train run.
- Records departure and arrival times, messages, tickets and revenue collected, and passenger accommodations and destinations.
- Coordinates crew activities to transport and provide boarding, porter, maid, and meal services to passengers.
- Operates controls to electrically activate track switches and traffic signals.
- Collects tickets, fares, or passes from passengers, answers questions concerning train rules, regulations, and schedules, and provides destination information.
- Instructs workers to set warning signals in front and rear of train during emergency stops to warn oncoming trains.
- Inspects or supervises workers in inspection and maintenance of mechanical equipment to ensure efficient and safe train operation.
- Charts train movements to estimate arrival times.
- Verifies accuracy of timekeeping instruments with engineer to assure station departure time complies with timetable schedules.
- Directs and instructs workers engaged in yard activities, such as switching track, coupling/uncoupling cars, and routing inbound/outbound traffic.
- Signals engineer to begin train run, stop train, or change speed, using radiotelephone, lantern, teletypewriter, or hand movement.
- Inspects freight cars for compliance with sealing procedures, records car and corresponding seal number, and confirms route and destination information.
- Observes lights on panel board to monitor location of trains.
- Confers with traffic control personnel, engineer, and other workers engaged in transporting freight to receive and convey instructions.
- Observes and communicates with passengers and instructs workers to regulate air conditioning, lighting, and heating to ensure passenger safety and comfort.
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- Public Transportation Inspectors
- Railroad Inspectors
General Work Activities
- Monitor Processes, Material, Surroundings
- Getting Information Needed to Do the Job
- Coordinating Work & Activities of Others
- Communicating With Other Workers
- Scheduling Work and Activities
Frequent Work Context
- Job-Required Social Interaction
- Responsible for Others' Health & Safety
- Consequence of Error
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results
- Supervise, Coach, Train Others