Amtrak Boston Crew Base Questions

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Amtrak Boston Crew Base Questions

Postby enterprise11 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:56 pm

I am currently a qualified conductor for another passenger railroad and looking to possibly apply to Amtrak.

The crew base I would apply to is Boston zone 1. If there are any conductors, A/Cs, engineers, or other Amtrak employees familiar with Boston train service operations, I would love to pick your brain.

1. How are the jobs structured--are they mostly guarantee/40 hour jobs, or are there more with built-in OT? On that end, how is the OT there for A/Cs and conductors?

2. How long can a newly marked up A/C expect to be on the extra board before holding a regular job? Is there a requirement to stay on the board?

3. When are new hire A/Cs sent to promotion to conductor class?

4. How is the overall morale? Do most employees like their jobs? Is the equipment in good working order?

Please feel free to PM me if you don't want to post publicly. Any advice or answers would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Amtrak Boston Crew Base Questions

Postby AmtrakLocomotiveEngineer » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:50 pm

1) All yard jobs are 40 hours over a period of 5 days. Road jobs vary from 10 to just shy of 12 hours, depending on whether you work to NHV, or through to NYP. The average Acela job to NYP is 11'20". There are also AC jobs that turn in NHV and may work closer to 12'.

2) It's all about timing and seniority. I'm seeing newbies holding regular AC spots within a year or so, but it varies depending on the crew base as well as the time of year. You can bid a regular whenever you want.

3) Unfortunately Amtrak seems to send people out to qualify and promote to Conductor rather quickly sometimes. I believe it's close to one year as an AC. Once you qualify on your territory and mark up, in most crew bases you "owe them" 6 months on the Conductor extra board.

4) Boston is a great crew base. Like any railroad, every crew base will have the crazy one, the miserable one etc. The majority of the people in Boston are very good people and welcoming. The morale overall is pretty high, at least it was when I worked in the crew base.
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Re: Amtrak Boston Crew Base Questions

Postby enterprise11 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:41 am

Thank you!
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Re: Amtrak Boston Crew Base Questions

Postby enterprise11 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:13 pm

Another question: are new hires out of Boston ever forced to New Haven? Or do you stay with the crew base you hire out with?

Also, in your opinion is now a good time to come over? With regard to the political climate, any possibility of furloughs?
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Re: Amtrak Boston Crew Base Questions

Postby AmtrakLocomotiveEngineer » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:40 pm

enterprise11 wrote:Another question: are new hires out of Boston ever forced to New Haven? Or do you stay with the crew base you hire out with?


Engineers have been forced to NHV in years past if they can't hold Boston. However, in the past year or so, the carrier has made extra spots on the extraboards to keep the junior guys in Boston due to over hiring. They're lucky.

enterprise11 wrote:Also, in your opinion is now a good time to come over? With regard to the political climate, any possibility of furloughs?
If you think you want to make the jump, don't hesitate as the quicker you make the move, the higher you'll be in seniority. In the event of cuts, furloughs etc, one notch on the roster makes a HUGE difference. I've never seen anybody not hold Boston as an AC.

PS, an advantage of AC's is there are more jobs.
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Re: Amtrak Boston Crew Base Questions

Postby enterprise11 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:22 am

Thanks again for answering my questions!
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Re: Amtrak Boston Crew Base Questions

Postby 8th Notch » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:57 am

Furloughs are not common on passenger railroads, let alone along the corridor. Ive herd of a few people take the furlough out of Albany however even then with the national roster you still have options even though you may not be in the best position to exercise.
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