Training of an Engineer

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

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Re: Training of an Engineer

Postby COEN77 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:01 am

Ironman

I'm not the one who made the statement about whose "safer and more professional". I also didn't come from the steam era those who were my mentors were from that era. Every territory is different. I've seen people within 2 years sent to the REDI in Atlanta for engineer training. I don't know anywhere in this thread "power braking" was glorified. The person was asking a question. You're stating the test for promotion isn't done on the pod? Even if they use a standardized booklet test it's still not like it use to be. How can things be safer and more professional when you brought up the RCO and one person yard switchers? I retired two years I watched productivity decrease by at least 80%. Most of the RCO's were new hires with less than 2 years on the railroad. CSX only allowed two weeks training. I did hear at the union meeting last week some areas have increased training by 4-6 weeks. As for "hot dog" engineers they've always been around. I preferred using every method to run a train which ever was best at the time. I never ran up to a signal never came close once. All I was saying is when I went into engineer service we had to know everything about the locomotive. When I trained people I asked a lot of questions to make them think. I didn't want them to just go thru the motion but to know why they were doing it. I was seeing people going into dynamics at milepost such & such because that's what they've been taught by others. Tried to teach them every train is different they are no two trains alike. Everything must be taken into account from tonnage, length, the locomotives wether the power is good the dynamics are working ect....because in some situations committing oneself could be risky going in blind.
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Re: Training of an Engineer

Postby Ironman » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:34 pm

I'll admit I overreacted a bit.
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Re: Training of an Engineer

Postby COEN77 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:25 am

Ironman wrote:I'll admit I overreacted a bit.

Starting dialoge is a good thing. I wish things were like they use to be when a person spent 2-5 years as a brakemen the same went for a locomotive firemen. I'm not alone in thinking a new hire should spend a minimum of a year before promotion. I feel for people they have a short amount of time to learn the territory they'll work on. Which could encompass several subdivisions, yards, and even foreign lines. It's to much to absorb in so little time. On CSX in some areas they've pushed a lot of buttons with denying pilot request for conductors stating the LE will act as the pilot. That's all fine if the conductor never gets off the locomotive it doesn't help once they hit the ground. The only action would be to bypass work if the conductor doesn't feel qualified. Seems no one is willing to go the distance by challenging it. The only other answer to avoid insubordination would be to hog the train at the location in question. No easy answers.
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Re: Training of an Engineer

Postby slchub » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:15 am

COEN77 wrote:
Ironman wrote:I'll admit I overreacted a bit.

Starting dialoge is a good thing. I wish things were like they use to be when a person spent 2-5 years as a brakemen the same went for a locomotive firemen. I'm not alone in thinking a new hire should spend a minimum of a year before promotion. I feel for people they have a short amount of time to learn the territory they'll work on. Which could encompass several subdivisions, yards, and even foreign lines. It's to much to absorb in so little time. On CSX in some areas they've pushed a lot of buttons with denying pilot request for conductors stating the LE will act as the pilot. That's all fine if the conductor never gets off the locomotive it doesn't help once they hit the ground. The only action would be to bypass work if the conductor doesn't feel qualified. Seems no one is willing to go the distance by challenging it. The only other answer to avoid insubordination would be to hog the train at the location in question. No easy answers.
HA! Oh boy. I remember the time I was called for the local out of Valley (east end of Las Vegas, NV) with a new Conductor and Brakeman! They had NEVER worked the job or that yard before. I was having to climb off the motor to show them where to spot cars, etc. (see where the rust on the rail rail starts and the shiny part of the rail starts? spot it there!)
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Re: Training of an Engineer

Postby COEN77 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:06 am

One of my last trips on the road before I left to work a pusher job was working with a fairly new conductor. We were at a Busch brewery plant in Williamsburg, Va. We were suppose to pick up 15 covered hoppers. We got there in the siding was at least 40 cars with the local bringing up another 12 or so. The 15 on the work order were scattered it would of taken quite a few hours with this guy plus tying up the mainline. We were already short on time had one more stop after this one. I told the conductor you a few choices run the work or pick them all up seeing they were all empties then green sheet those not on the list. The local conductor decided to help him out by getting a new work order printed out with all the cars. I sat on the locomotive for a few hour waiting it shouldn't of taken 30 minutes at the most. I finally tied down the locomotives went into the office the local conductor stated that the work order for our train wasn't in the system. I looked at my conductor shook my head because the trainmaster ordered us to go with the work orders from the previous day so same train number different date. My conductor forgot that fact. Needless to say we hogged right there I had already called for a recrew before getting off the locomotive. I finally told him forget it we need to reattach to the train put it back on air and pull it up. I didn't want to make the recrew mad by having to do a line of road air brake test on the entire train if it had been off air for more than 4 hours and we were getting close. After that day and a few others it was time to get off the road. When my 30+ years experience didn't count anymore it was time to move on. I don't know what CSX enstilled in these guys but to many of them stated they were the conductor they were in charge it was their train not mine. I was more then happy to put it in their hands to figure it all out. lol.
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Re: Training of an Engineer

Postby supernova1972 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:43 am

I would have been screwed as a new hire if it wasn't for great engineers helping out. Hell they have guys who marked up 2 weeks ago who are idiots anyway trying to train you now. I trained with a couple "This is my train!" kind of guys, always thought it was pretty funny when the engineer let them work twice as hard as they should have because they didn't need any help lol.
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Re: Training of an Engineer

Postby slchub » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:56 am

That is why you "promote" up to hogger. So you can sit in the air conditioned/heated cab, eat a sandwich and drink a cup of coffee while the "head honcho" walks on the ground trying to figure out how to handle "his train".
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Re: Training of an Engineer

Postby gp80mac » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:54 am

Newbies training newbies.

Also happens on the management side. How cool is that?
Yep.....
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