Questions on starting out

General discussion about working in the railroad industry. Industry employers are welcome to post openings here.

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Re: Questions on starting out

Postby Engineer Spike » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:58 am

There are many variables in all of these questions. You may be on the extra board when you start. Some guys like it for the variety. Sometimes it is the highest paid position, if it is turning fast. When you start, you may well get forced onto a job which went no bid. It might be something like a night job with midweek days off. As low man you get forced because no one else wanted it.

The days per week can vary too. If you are on the board, then it all depends on the vacancies. Summer has guys marking off for family functions etc.They may add work trains. If it is of short duration, then it may be called extra. A hard winter can cause trains to not make their destinations. This will cause extra crews to be called to relieve the train. In these cases you may work right up to your limit. Under the new hours of service laws you can work 5 straight days. If you did not have 24hrs. off at some point, you are required 48 hrs. off after 6 starts. You can work 7. This can happen if you went out of town on the 6th. day. You can work home on the 7th., but you must have 72 hrs. off.

That is the best situation. On the other hand, you may sit home and collect a guarantee. Some places have this, while others don't. It all depends on your agreements. If there is none, then you must live on your savings.Too many men collecting too much guarantee means a cut. If you are junior, you might end up unemployed for a spell.

For the first several years it is advisable to live simply. Save as much as possible for the dry spells
"Welcome all ye who enter; the show that never ends. Tingfield Sperminal Railway." (Graffiti on the entry to Mohawk Yard Office)
Engineer Spike
 
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