Getting a Locomotive Engineers' licence

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Getting a Locomotive Engineers' licence

Postby abc8251 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:49 pm

Hello. I was wondering the best way to get certified as an Engineer in my spare time. I get 2 days off on my job now. The only thing I can think of is to possibly volunteer at a tourist railroad on my days off. I would like to be paid something though, as it does take quite a bit of time and dedication. Thanks for any ideas.
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Getting A Locomotive Engineers' License

Postby Jim1348 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:09 pm

There is a guy that I know that did just that. He was living in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul MN area and would drive to the Wisconsin Dells area pretty often to volunteer and get his license. He did eventually get a paying job, but he had to move to Illinois to do it.
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Re: Getting a Locomotive Engineers' licence

Postby Acela150 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:49 pm

It's better off to hire out on a Freight Line as a CO put your time in go to LET school and get your time in. Only freight line hiring these days is NS. Truth be told you could be waiting a while to go to LET school too.. I'd honestly try Amtrak. When qualifying the NEC last year many of the throttle jockeys left for Amtrak when Conrail merged.. They said they have never looked back or thought of looking back. They also encouraged me to make the jump too.
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Re: Getting a Locomotive Engineers' licence

Postby gp80mac » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:46 pm

abc8251 wrote:Hello. I was wondering the best way to get certified as an Engineer in my spare time. I get 2 days off on my job now. The only thing I can think of is to possibly volunteer at a tourist railroad on my days off.

That's a pretty good way. Probably take a little time- most tourist railroads aren't going to let you jump in the seat and get a license right away (although there are probably some exceptions). Not like learning to run a a train is hard, but getting good at it takes time.


abc8251 wrote:I would like to be paid something though, as it does take quite a bit of time and dedication. Thanks for any ideas.


Well, um, then you need to get a regular job with a railroad. I know you've been trying for a while, but I doubt anyone is going to just let you go get a license on the weekends and pay you for it as well. Doesn't quite work like that. Otherwise every railfan in the country would have an engineer's license. I'm guessing you're trying to get one as an aid to get a railroad job? I doubt just having a license without the relevant experience is going to help you much. It's like that whole MODOC thing again...
Yep.....
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Re: Getting a Locomotive Engineers' licence

Postby qboy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:31 pm

So you would like to volunteer at Railroad Museum or Tourist Railroad, and get paid something while doing so to get Engineer License part time. If it can or could happen it may take a few years to achieve doing so. I'm sure training to get a license ain't cheap on their end either, or U may have pay for that I'm not sure. Where I work there are several guys that Volunteer and the Illinois Railroad Museum...granted they already have their licenses. Even they didn't get to run some of the equipment right away they had to start at the bottom because they are volunteering their time and experience. You could learn a lot volunteering, but it may not be the best way to go about becoming a engineer. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this but your best bet is get on with freight or commuter/passenger RR in preferably transportation side, but mechanical or MofW side, and transfer over when the opportunity is there. Sometimes its just being in the right place, right time, right location trying to get on with the railroad. Even if you were to succeed going this route whoever you get hired by is most likely gonna make you go through all their training anyway. Kinda like that Modoc cert you have...but license may look a little better maybe.
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Re: Getting a Locomotive Engineers' licence

Postby Engineer Spike » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:28 am

The application of a tourist line ticket elsewhere would be limited. A shortline may pick you up, but your chances with a larger company may be limited. Most class 1 and 2 companies like to teach their own methods. It's much different running a touris train, or shortline train at 25mph, with 10-20 cars, vs. running 100+ cars at 60 mph. Even the rules are more complicated where there are many movements, as opposed to a few. I know that some shortlines use NORAC, or GCOR, but you may not see many aspects of the rules used on mainlines. Some small roads just have their own rules, which just cover their very basic operations.
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