Amtrak training timeline and details

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Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby tundraboomer » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:26 pm

Questions about Amtrak's training process. This is for a locomotive engineer trainee. I have already been through training on two other carriers so this isn't about rules exams and such, more about the timeline and what to expect if I am offered a position. Anyone with knowledge, especially those who did this recently, would be very much appreciated. If I do this, I am on the West Coast just for context.

1. Once you receive a job offer, how long do you normally have between accepting the offer and having to report to Delaware for training?

2. Does Amtrak provide transportation from your hiring terminal to Wilmington or are you on your own?

3. Does Amtrak provide a hotel room during training or other benefits such as local transportation or a per diem?

4. Would it be a benefit to have my own wheels there?

5. How long is the classroom part of the training program (before OJT)?

6. How is seniority ranking within your class determined? Is it test scores or something else?

7. Is classroom training 5 days a week or something else?

Anything else a new-hire should know? Any and all replies are appreciated.
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby 8th Notch » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:11 am

tundraboomer wrote:Questions about Amtrak's training process. This is for a locomotive engineer trainee. I have already been through training on two other carriers so this isn't about rules exams and such, more about the timeline and what to expect if I am offered a position. Anyone with knowledge, especially those who did this recently, would be very much appreciated. If I do this, I am on the West Coast just for context.

1. Once you receive a job offer, how long do you normally have between accepting the offer and having to report to Delaware for training?
I think that varies on your location, I found out I was selected about 3-4 weeks before I was due to start class.

2. Does Amtrak provide transportation from your hiring terminal to Wilmington or are you on your own?
They provide a travel voucher

3. Does Amtrak provide a hotel room during training or other benefits such as local transportation or a per diem?
It was the extended stay suites about 2 years ago and 1 van is assigned for the whole class. I believe per diem is $20-30 per day.

4. Would it be a benefit to have my own wheels there?
Of course

5. How long is the classroom part of the training program (before OJT)?
Can’t speak for West Coast because you guys don’t have electrics however 7-10 weeks.

6. How is seniority ranking within your class determined? Is it test scores or something else?
There are a number of factors, re entry engineers are first, prior Amtrak employees, then outsiders by physical date and time

7. Is classroom training 5 days a week or something else?
It was 5 days a week however the last few classes have done 6
Anything else a new-hire should know? Any and all replies are appreciated.

Study, ask questions, and be prepared to learn!
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby tundraboomer » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:07 pm

Thanks all for the replies, both posted and PM'ed. Very helpful.
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby MrAdvice » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:13 pm

1. Once you receive a job offer, how long do you normally have between accepting the offer and having to report to Delaware for training?
Normally 35-45 days.

2. Does Amtrak provide transportation from your hiring terminal to Wilmington or are you on your own?
They can provide a travel voucher. Just be sure to ask.

3. Does Amtrak provide a hotel room during training or other benefits such as local transportation or a per diem?
Yes, and a $25/day food stipend.

4. Would it be a benefit to have my own wheels there?
Depending on how far you live, it may be in your best interest to drive. I say this only because a lot folks chose to go home for the weekends.

5. How long is the classroom part of the training program (before OJT)?
It never ends.

6. How is seniority ranking within your class determined? Is it test scores or something else?
Based on how well you do on the interview.

7. Is classroom training 5 days a week or something else?
5 days per week, M-F.

Anything else a new-hire should know? Any and all replies are appreciated.
Do not bother to apply unless you can work ALL holidays, weekends and nights for the first 5 or so years of employment. But then again, I've met several engineers who saw their first weekend off after 10 years of climbing the seniority roster.

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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby Acela150 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:59 pm

I actually believe that seniority is by your physical date and time. Awarding seniority by interview performance doesn't make any sense.
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby 8th Notch » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:22 am

Seniority has nothing to do with interview, it’s based on physical for externals.
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby Acela150 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:27 pm

That's exactly what I thought. Giving seniority off of interview performance is BS and doesn't make sense, not to mention the BLE and UTU would be all over that.

How do they award seniority on internal hires? e.g. Conductor to Engineer?
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby 8th Notch » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:40 pm

When I went through training it went prior class 1’s, Amtrak Train crews, other Amtrak employees based on property time, then externals by physical date and time.
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby Acela150 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:42 pm

Thanks. I'll guess they give Class I's more seniority over internal hires cause they're already certified.
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby MrAdvice » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:14 pm

Acela150 wrote:I actually believe that seniority is by your physical date and time. Awarding seniority by interview performance doesn't make any sense.


Why would the hiring managers leave a decision as impactful as seniority up to the medical facility? Candidates ARE ranked on how well they demonstrate their customer service knowledge during the interview. That's how it has always been.
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby 8th Notch » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:04 pm

MrAdvice wrote:
Acela150 wrote:I actually believe that seniority is by your physical date and time. Awarding seniority by interview performance doesn't make any sense.


Why would the hiring managers leave a decision as impactful as seniority up to the medical facility? Candidates ARE ranked on how well they demonstrate their customer service knowledge during the interview. That's how it has always been.


I don’t know which RR you work for but that couldn’t be any more incorrect in this case. First off the medical facility has nothing to do with it aside from reporting physical date and time back to Amtrak who then uses the info to establish seniority for external candidates! This has been how all major class 1’s determine seniority, it’s in any BLET or UTU agreement, the carriers just hire and abide by the rules!

Rule #3
http://bletamt.org/downloads_pdf/BLET-A ... %20CBA.pdf
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby Acela150 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:22 am

8th Notch wrote:
MrAdvice wrote:
Acela150 wrote:I actually believe that seniority is by your physical date and time. Awarding seniority by interview performance doesn't make any sense.


Why would the hiring managers leave a decision as impactful as seniority up to the medical facility? Candidates ARE ranked on how well they demonstrate their customer service knowledge during the interview. That's how it has always been.


I don’t know which RR you work for but that couldn’t be any more incorrect in this case. First off the medical facility has nothing to do with it aside from reporting physical date and time back to Amtrak who then uses the info to establish seniority for external candidates! This has been how all major class 1’s determine seniority, it’s in any BLET or UTU agreement, the carriers just hire and abide by the rules!

Rule #3
http://bletamt.org/downloads_pdf/BLET-A ... %20CBA.pdf


The quote in bold and red font is what I was referring to. You can't award seniority off of interview performance. That wouldn't fly with the unions. Cause that would leave train masters up to deciding seniority and that's non sense. Deciding seniority off of who gets their physical done first is fair.
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby AmtrakLocomotiveEngineer » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:46 pm

Regarding establishing seniority: If you already have a Class I certification, your seniority date on the National Roster is the date that you report for your physical. Otherwise, your seniority date is THE LAST DAY OF CLASS. Many people have gotten screwed over the past year or two because Labor Relations and others have been misinformed. It's in our contract in black & white.
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby tundraboomer » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:26 am

AmtrakLocomotiveEngineer wrote:Otherwise, your seniority date is THE LAST DAY OF CLASS.


How are students in the same class ranked? If there are, say, 5 people in a class all marking up the same day, how is the seniority among those 5 determined? Where I am now it's based on total test scores (combined written test score and field evaluation, or "check ride" score).
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Re: Amtrak training timeline and details

Postby 8th Notch » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:30 pm

If the 5 people have Amtrak service then it goes by who has the earliest seniority date, if they are externals then it goes by date and time you took your physical.
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