NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

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

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Re: NARS Conductor Certificate/Degree

Postby jz441 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:23 am

SooLineRob wrote:

Jz441,

While BNSF (and BN prior) has a strong presence at NARS (JCCC), I'm curious to know one thing:

Who employs the classroom instructors at NARS?

NARS's website implies all instructors are railroad employees; which begs the question who pays them, BNSF of JCCC?


They were all BNSF engineers working as instructors... I don't remember any conductors, but that was in 2003 when I went through engine service. They are on BNSF's payroll.
BNSF railroad pumped a lot of money in Johnson County Community College, and in return got it's own wing (NARS)... By my opinion the best looking and biggest JC I have ever seen. It looks more like some high end university.
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Re: NARS Conductor Certificate/Degree

Postby matawanaberdeen » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:09 am

Ok BNSF might take guy and it might look better to other railroads but most are gonna still make you go through their own full training. Amtrak isn't gonna forgo their training because you went to NARS. Look if it worked out for you I say,AWESOME! I don't get it. I don't want to go through training twice that is for sure. From what I understand about how hard training is,once is enough. JC
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Re: NARS Conductor Certificate/Degree

Postby SooLineRob » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:21 pm

rwallace2fan1 and jz441,

Thank you for the replies.

I knew the instructors doing the Engineer Recertification process were BNSF employees (DSLE's).

I wasn't sure about the "NARS" instructors; the ones giving the classes to "civilians" paying tuition to attend.

So, it goes like this:

Student pays tuition to JCCC/NARS --> JCCC/NARS takes their "cut" and pays BNSF --> BNSF takes their "cut" and pays employees (instructors).
"If I don't have it, or can't get it, neither should YOU." - America today.
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Re: NARS Conductor Certificate/Degree

Postby jz441 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:54 pm

matawanaberdeen wrote:Ok BNSF might take guy and it might look better to other railroads but most are gonna still make you go through their own full training. Amtrak isn't gonna forgo their training because you went to NARS. Look if it worked out for you I say,AWESOME! I don't get it. I don't want to go through training twice that is for sure. From what I understand about how hard training is,once is enough. JC


NARS teaches "BNSF way of railroading" therefore it won't do you any good on any eastern (non GCOR) RR's. Whoever attends NARS and gets hired by BNSF, will still have to undergo the entire 13-15 week conductor training program. NARS allows BNSF to hand pick future train and engine employees.
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby hattrick » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:49 pm

I would not spend the money on that....especially right now with all the people furloughed. You would be better getting a degree and applying for a management trainee job. In the long run they will pay better and you will have more of a life.
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby jz441 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:01 pm

hattrick wrote: In the long run they will pay better and you will have more of a life.


Pay isn't better, unless you make it to VP level!
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby hattrick » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:36 am

jz441 wrote:
hattrick wrote: In the long run they will pay better and you will have more of a life.


Pay isn't better, unless you make it to VP level!


Once you get promoted one or two times the pay is better and most companies give bonuses, stock bonuses and match part of you 401k. Where I work the company also gives a management pension to people who are non-agreement. Plus you dont spend your first few years being cutoff during the slow times or sitting on the bump board trying to hold down a job for a day/trip just to have a little cash on your check the next pay half. Don't get me wrong, I was an engineer and conductor and enjoyed the work for the most part but it can be a tough road, especially when the economy sucks.
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby scoonie79 » Thu May 13, 2010 11:27 am

does anyone know if most the train and engine employees with bnsf have been called back to work yet and if bnsf plans on hire anymore conductor trainees this year like in the st louis area?
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Re: national academy of railroad sciences?

Postby freightfan » Mon May 24, 2010 10:21 am

RAILROADTRAINING wrote:I was wondering, since I want to work for bnsf as a conductor very badly, and I really want to go to the national academy of railroad sciences very badly, I was wondering which is better:
1. getting a conductor certificate, and joining a short line railroad for experience or,
2. getting a conductor associates degree and joining a short line railroad.

just wondering which one you would recommend, and also I would also like to move into higher positions such as management, and director, so will an associates degree help, also, when you obtain your conductor associates degree, do you get a conductor certificate as well?

by the way the certificate is provided by nars, and the degree is provided by jccc(the college in which the nars campus is held on)


I have been following the Class I job boards for several years now and it seems like BNSF used to recruit conductors exclusively from NARS. However, recently (Apr-May 2010), I have see job postings for Conductors and Conductor Trainees from BNSF with no reference to NARS (it used to be a requirement that you had to be a NARS grad or currently enrolled at NARS). I figured BNSF was saving money on training, by having candidate pay their own way, then hiring them.
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby freightfan » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:37 am

Tuition increase - 2 increases this year alone!

Non-Residents went from $5,980 to $6,092 (for July 5th class) and then to $6,204 for the Conductor's program.

All tuition rose (for Residents too).
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby drewg350 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:37 pm

I was considering going to NARS until I found this forum and read all the information. I also came across the following article at the link below concerning NARS. After reading it, I'm real clad I didn't choose to go. I realize this is one person's opinion in the article, however he comes across very measured, intelligent, and not vindictive. He's obviously upset, and from what he states he's gone thru, I would be too. If what he states is accurate, especially the issue concerning NARS's guaranteed placement and their guaranteed BNSF interview, I am with him and believe it's a complete "ripoff". From what he states the guaranteed BNSF interview is an absolute joke. As with all things, there's always "two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle", but after reading this, I'm convinced I made the right decision not to spend upwards of $7500.00 to attend NARS. I'll take my chances applying off the street.


National Academy Of Railroad Sciences (NARS) RIPOFF! School claims high priced course will virtually guarantee you a high paying job with the railroad. SCAM!

http://www.ripoffreport.com/trade-schoo ... -439ed.htm
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby SeaSalt » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:05 pm

Does anybody have any info about the diesel mechanic course at NARS?
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby Trainman Tim » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:36 am

Should people go to NARS Conductor class? It depends where you want to work. Currently, BNSF is hiring conductors for Minot, ND or for graduates of NARS. If you want to be hired at other than Minot, you currently need to go to NARS or wait for another job posting on BNSF website.

I'm not sure Minot has system wide seniority. In any event, one would have to work there three years before transferring if they wanted to move elsewhere.
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby rch » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:45 pm

Trainman Tim wrote:Should people go to NARS Conductor class? It depends where you want to work. Currently, BNSF is hiring conductors for Minot, ND or for graduates of NARS. If you want to be hired at other than Minot, you currently need to go to NARS or wait for another job posting on BNSF website.

I'm not sure Minot has system wide seniority. In any event, one would have to work there three years before transferring if they wanted to move elsewhere.


Minot does not have system seniority. If you want to transfer to Minot from elsewhere in the company, you have to give up your seniority and vice-versa. For those who wish to hire out in Minot, be aware that housing is in short supply in Minot with the balck gold rush that's taken over North Dakota in the past few years.
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Re: NARS - National Academy of Railroad Sciences

Postby Desertdweller » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:18 pm

I have graduated from the NARS SLE program. I was not a BNSF employee. I was sent by the holding company that controlled short lines I worked for (North American RailNet).

It was an excellent course, in my opinion. The campus was also new and clean, and the food was excellent!

The course is taught with an eye toward following GCOR rules. These are the rules BNSF operated under, so what else would you expect? It is very much a BNSF operation, operated in partnership with Johnson County Junior College. I left the course not only knowing more than when I arrived, but with the feeling I had been taught by real experts.

If you go to work for BNSF, or for a smaller railroad that works under BNSF rules, this class could save your employer quite a bit of effort. Even if you work under other rules, it will give you a great background. If I were starting in the industry, I would consider the $6,000 well spent. When it comes to rules (and a lot of other things), railroads are more alike than different.

Les
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