New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

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New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby notonedime » Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:38 pm

I'm going to make this as short as I can. First, I appreciate you guys. If it weren't for your contributions, we'd all be a lot less educated with the real happenings out there. If anyone can help me out here, please, I implore you that I encourage and need your input.

I just received an invitation to test with NJT in December for locomotive engineer. For those of you who not familiar with NJT testing, here are the general requirements as they were printed on the invitation.

1. Ability to read and comprehend technical written material such as, operator manuals, bulletin orders, air brake and train handling rules and instructional manuals, electrical operations instruction manuals and operating rule books.

2. Ability to perform basic math calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

3. Knowledge of basic mechanical principles such as, the theory of operation and terminology of engines and engine components, gears and the basic principles of pneumatics.

4. Knowledge of theory and terminology of basic electrical principles such as magnetism, electromagnetism, simple DC circuits, relays, switches, transformers and circuit breakers. This item is desired but not critical.

5. Ability to read and understand technical drawings such as diagrams, simple schematics and flow charts.

6. Ability to receive and process complex information.

7. Ability to commit large amounts of information to memory.

8. Ability to accurately perform multiple and sometimes unrelated tasks at the same time.

My questions are:

1. Can anyone give details of their experience interviewing with NJT either for the engineer function or another job?

2. What should I wear to the interview? Since this is not a freight operation, are jeans with a dress shirt still acceptable?

3. I come from an extensive technology background but I'm not really much of a heavy mechanic or experienced electrical engineer. Is there anyway I can study for these topics above to grasp basic principles and knowledge? And if so, with what materials?

4. Does anyone know how long it takes to get hired if selected and placed into the 18 month training program?

5. If you have any other suggestions, man I sure would appreciate them.

Thanks guys.
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:08 pm

notonedime wrote:My questions are:

1. Can anyone give details of their experience interviewing with NJT either for the engineer function or another job?


Just read this forum regarding interviews. The experience is no different.

2. What should I wear to the interview? Since this is not a freight operation, are jeans with a dress shirt still acceptable?


Dress to impress. Like you were interviewing for a job. Or going to court.

3. I come from an extensive technology background but I'm not really much of a heavy mechanic or experienced electrical engineer. Is there anyway I can study for these topics above to grasp basic principles and knowledge? And if so, with what materials?


What kind of engineer are you applying for? They want you to drive 'em, not to build 'em. They will train you in what you need to know about air brakes and other mechanical operations when the time comes. Right now you're interviewing for the opportunity to get the job and be trained.

4. Does anyone know how long it takes to get hired if selected and placed into the 18 month training program?


Be patient, don't quit your day job.

5. If you have any other suggestions, man I sure would appreciate them.


Most of the things you are asking about are extensively discussed here. You may also want to read up...

http://railroad.net/articles/columns/ho ... 060602.php

http://railroad.net/articles/columns/ho ... 060715.php
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby CSX Conductor » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:19 pm

Don't take it too lightly if you are accepted. I heard that the NJT locomotive engineer program has a pretty high failure rate. :(
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby jz441 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:04 pm

BNSF also has pretty high failure rate, but if you take it seriously you will pass.
Our last class had a 50% failure!
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby haamster » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:11 pm

I thought you tested in July. Your post was one of the things I used to keep hope alive that I would get called!

Well I did get called and I'm a few months into the program, so here's what I've got:

1. The testing is basic, but no joke. They're testing pattern recognition, vocabulary, simple mechanics, spatial orientation, short term memory and following directions. (Careful on the audio portion of the test and follow directions exactly!)

2. Interview questions were prepared standardized questions like "Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with a coworker" or "Tell me about a situation where you had to handle an emergency". I wore a suit. I figured it couldn't hurt.

3. Be early for everything, including the medical, orientation, class, whatever. If you're late even once, you'll be lucky to get through the door, and even if you do you'll have drawn much unwanted attention to yourself.

4. CSX Conductor said it best: take it seriously. Everything. Some people think they're taking it seriously, but really they're spending too much time talking about taking it seriously and neglecting to prepare for the next quiz-test-day-whatever and then they're gone.

Speaking of which, I've got to get back to studying the locomotive air brake...

Hurry up and get hired! I need SOMEONE to be junior to me :-D
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby CSX Conductor » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:51 pm

haamster wrote:Speaking of which, I've got to get back to studying the locomotive air brake...

Hurry up and get hired! I need SOMEONE to be junior to me :-D

You in school for NJT as well?
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby notonedime » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:14 am

thanks for all the feedback.. you guys have been helpful.. thanks for the links too.. i am definitely going to consider and apply all the pointers given.. you guys are great.. ham, check your pm.. ive messaged you..
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby haamster » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:56 pm

CSX Conductor wrote:You in school for NJT as well?



Yep. So far so good.
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby GE-RULES » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:40 am

haamster wrote:Speaking of which, I've got to get back to studying the locomotive air brake...



I'm guessing you guys recently got through NORAC and are beginning 1-A since you are studying air brakes? Good job but wait, the fun has only just begun...1-A is the toughest, longest, and most intense level with the highest amount of quizzes and given you are now NORAC qualified you're fair game for any un-announced quizzes on that! There will be days you'll be begging for a few signal quizzes to get off warning or probation.

1-B isn't much better with the level of mechanical, trouble-shooting, air brakes and NORAC you get into but you are a little more prepared for it after getting through 1-A. Stay on top of your studying and most of all KEEP STUDYING NORAC!! KEEP STUDYING NORAC!! KEEP STUDYING NORAC!! I can't emphasize or say that enough and I'm sure you will keep hearing it from your instructors!! Knowing your rules among several other things will be what's going to keep you in service so don't let it slip. If there is something you don't understand, get clarification, even if it means staying a little later in class. It may seem like an inconvenience to you now but you will be damn glad you did it later!

Good luck, be confident and KEEP STUDYING NORAC!!!
Last edited by GE-RULES on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby Jtgshu » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:19 pm

Words to live by -

EVERYTHING IS A TEST -

EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take it seriously, consider it your mission for the next year and a half, and come hell or high water, you are gonna get through it. Yes, your "regular" life is put on hold..........its sucks, its not easy, but thats how it is.

It sounds horrible, but you have to look around and figure 1/2 the folks that start the class aren't gonna finish. Thats about average. You have to say to yourself, and convince yourself, that you AREN'T going to be one them!!!!!

Good luck!
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby ohboy » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:33 am

what about compared to septa? i engineer there and am thinking about crossing the border
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby Jtgshu » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:48 pm

Can't really compare what NJT would be like compared to Septa, cause Ive never worked for Septa, but NJT has a lot of folks in lots of crafts that came over from Septa, and live down in Septa territory.
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby newjackRR » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:09 pm

NJT compared to SEPTA is not much diffrent same lower management style, but my quality of life has improve being that I dont have to work six days a week and can hold a pretty decent job with good days off here.
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby ohboy » Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:50 am

yeah at septa the norm is 6 days, pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew. our class is only 10 months, we only do mu's , diesel and aem/alp is later, they dont want you to leave. well i pretty much made up my mind when i sent the resume off, and we are ble, so i guess as long as i apply myself i will be ok (given i get through the interview).
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Re: New Jersey Transit.. test session approaching.. please help!

Postby thebigc » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:48 am

notonedime wrote:I'm going to make this as short as I can. First, I appreciate you guys. If it weren't for your contributions, we'd all be a lot less educated with the real happenings out there. If anyone can help me out here, please, I implore you that I encourage and need your input.

I just received an invitation to test with NJT in December for locomotive engineer. For those of you who not familiar with NJT testing, here are the general requirements as they were printed on the invitation.


If you get the chance, find your way over to Hoboken and just spend some time in the engineer's room. You'll find damn few Rhodes Scholars up there. It should put your mind at ease and help put things in perspective.
"You Fly - I'll Buy!"
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