How far did you travel/move to become a Conductor?

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How far did you travel/move to become a Conductor?

Postby John215 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:23 pm

Or to take on any other railroad position? I'm thinking about starting to apply further and further away from home. How common is this?
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Re: How far did you travel/move to become a Conductor?

Postby SurlyKnuckle » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:55 pm

"Booming" used to be pretty common, and now with larger seniority districts, moving out of your currently location means you don't usually have to give up much. I've never moved, but I have been furloughed. When I was furloughed, they offered permanent transfers to far away places like New York and Louisiana. I declined them, because they were permanent, and I would have to have given up the seniority I hired with.

More recently, a friend of mine who was a new-hire couldn't hold any work, so he was able to travel to New York and work for a bit, until he could hold better down this way. He did it without even leaving his seniority district, which just a few years ago, he would have been. It certainly cuts down on the red tape.

Moving a far distance is a big life decision, further made complicated by age, whether or not you have a family, and other reasons. Even if you move to a larger city, or terminal, there is never a guarantee of work. Something to remember. I know of a few folks who have moved between 100 and 200 miles to be closer to work, but I personally have stayed put.
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Re: How far did you travel/move to become a Conductor?

Postby jogden » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:59 pm

That depends, for me. I originally grew up in New Hampshire, but was living in Utah when BNSF offered me a job. I took the job and moved from central Utah to eastern Montana, a distance of about 800 miles.

I worked with BNSF for two years, and then decided to take a job with Alaska Railroad. Now, I had lived in Alaska before, and my wife is from Alaska, so in a way, it was more of a move home, but a move none the less. That move was definitely the more challenging, being a drive of about 2,700 miles, but we both think it was well worth it. Of course it is even farther from New Hampshire, although compared to eastern Montana, it is far more accessible as far as commercial flights are concerned, so in some ways it feels closer.
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Re: How far did you travel/move to become a Conductor?

Postby ljpierce1965 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:18 pm

I applied to just about every Conductor position throughout the US with BNSF, CSX, and NS. The only one that gave me any traction was CSX for New Orleans, LA, and BNSF up in Minot, ND.

I took Minot due to the Bakken Oil Boom and from everything I've read, there are no furloughs or lay-offs being done up there. Heck, last I read there are 40 open conductor slots on the boards there and they're bringing people in from all over the area to run the trains.

I'm due to start up there on March 17th, 2014 and will be moving from Dayton, NV directly to Minot, ND (about 1300 miles one way). I'm fortunate in that my wife is from a railroader family as her father is an engineer with UP out of SLC. So she's quite used to the life.

As for the cold weather, I prefer the cold over the heat. With the cold, you can bundle up will you look like the Michelin Man and be warm. With the heat, you can only legally take off so much and still be miserable. No thanks. I think Minot will be great. And I've already located some decently priced property to live on.
Peace, Through Superior Firepower
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Re: How far did you travel/move to become a Conductor?

Postby Spooky » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:21 pm

ljpierce1965 wrote:I applied to just about every Conductor position throughout the US with BNSF, CSX, and NS. The only one that gave me any traction was CSX for New Orleans, LA, and BNSF up in Minot, ND.

I took Minot due to the Bakken Oil Boom and from everything I've read, there are no furloughs or lay-offs being done up there. Heck, last I read there are 40 open conductor slots on the boards there and they're bringing people in from all over the area to run the trains.

I'm due to start up there on March 17th, 2014 and will be moving from Dayton, NV directly to Minot, ND (about 1300 miles one way). I'm fortunate in that my wife is from a railroader family as her father is an engineer with UP out of SLC. So she's quite used to the life.

As for the cold weather, I prefer the cold over the heat. With the cold, you can bundle up will you look like the Michelin Man and be warm. With the heat, you can only legally take off so much and still be miserable. No thanks. I think Minot will be great. And I've already located some decently priced property to live on.


I, like you, applied to all of the major railroads. The last one I applied to was BNSF, and they are the only ones who have given me any attention. The same day I applied, I was invited to an interview session for a position in Glasgow, Montana. The next day, I was invited to a session in Aberdeen, South Dakota. After a little research, I decided not to go with Glasgow due the remoteness of the town and my family's needs. I'm flying out of San Diego (where I live) to go to the Aberdeen session on Tuesday (3/18). With any luck, they'll hire me. The drive from here to there is a little over 1,650 miles one way.
BNSF
Aberdeen, South Dakota
Applied: 03/13/2014
Interview Session / Job Preview: 03/19/2014
Conditional Job Offer: 03/21/2014
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Re: How far did you travel/move to become a Conductor?

Postby Thunder » Wed May 07, 2014 12:02 pm

I am a boomer, Been with 4 railroads so far. Lived in Denver for a bit with one, moved back home,then moved to Chicago. You guys have me beat though. Good luck on the Northern Tier! I almost went to Edgemont as an engineer, kinda glad I didnt,but sometimes I wish I had done it.
I've been everywhere!
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Re: How far did you travel/move to become a Conductor?

Postby Marnos » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:28 pm

This is interesting to me.

At the one conductor interview I had with NS, the hr lady was highly concerned with the fact that my current residence was two hours away from the yard, and seemed cynical regarding my insistence that relocating would not be an issue. Having worked an on call schedule the last four years, I had gone to the event with the mindset that if offered, I wanted to move preferably to within 15 min drive of the place. I am of the impression that I didn't get the offer because I was unable to convince them that relocating wasn't going to be an issue for me.

At another NS event I attended east of Cleveland, OH, a different hr person threw a fit when discovering that two people had come there from states far west of the Mississippi River.

That's kind of perplexing and frustrating to me. I don't have a wife or kids, or an abundance of "stuff" so moving is fairly easy. I am of the mindset that I am willing to relocate to wherever the opportunities are.

I moved from Ohio out to Colorado to take a job in the oilfields and when layoffs came, I moved from Colorado out to Pennsylvania on two days notice as things were still going strong there at the time.

Once more, I have been careful to not apply to positions that would take me farther away from family than I am willing to drive. My parents are older, so these days ideally I want to be no farther than 10-12 hr drive away from where they live, so I can be there to help them when needed.

I don't know, I guess I am just venting.
Buckeye born, Buckeye Proud.
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