WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

For discussion of the various Class III Lines of WATCO Companies. Class II holdings should be discussed in the relevant separate forums above.

Their website is here: http://www.watcocompanies.com/
A list of their holdings is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watco_Companies

WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby Brakey » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:24 pm

Hi all!

Just got hired on as an Engineer for the new Grand Elk Railroad in Michigan, which is part of WATCO Companies! Happy to come out of relative unemployment for almost 2 years!

I was just wondering if anyone knew what kinds of benefits WATCO offers it's Shortlines. I know we are getting benefits, but nothing has been given to us yet (waiting for March 9th start up date). Already know rate of pay and what not, just wondering what the benefits were.

Thanks for any help!

Brakey
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby BR&P » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:52 pm

What did they tell you about radios? I was told that at least some WATCO lines require their crews to furnish their own radios. I'm picturing hand-helds but was told even the engineer has to have his own. If you have a full-size AAR radio it can't be fun to swap ends and lug the thing 3 or 4 units. That's NFG! :-D
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby Aa3rt » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:48 am

Brakey-I've moved this topic to the "General Discussion-Employment" forum where you are more likely to get a response.
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby jerichofan » Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:44 am

March 9th Start Up Date?? I read April 1 for start up. Is that for employees or the across the board takeover of the entire line from NS? Please let me know here and via. e-mail Tkthews@aol.com

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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby Brakey » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:19 pm

Hmm, haven't heard anything about the radios yet. Not sure what anything is yet though either. Start up for some (training classes and so forth) for some is March 1st, not sure when everything goes "live" though. Will try to keep you updated when I can!
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby e.sillery » Wed May 06, 2009 5:01 pm

I'm not sure about Grand Elk but in Tuscaloosa they provided the radios. They had one per set of engines. When you switch ends you take the radio with you. It was no big deal was a cheap Radio Shak radio. with a magnetic base antenna on the roof. The conductors had hand-helds with out mics. All of their equipment is old and barely passes FRA inspections, when they actually pass. We ran from Tuscaloosa, AL to Artesia, MS on track that was rated at 15-25 MPH. Talk about long and boring!

Benefits.... Our engineers topped out at 17.50 an hour. The medical inns. was so high most could not afford it. We got a GM that was about 26 years old that was a foamer. Had wet dreams at night about trains. I resigned my position at NS and went to work for Watco so I would have time at home with my son. Big mistake. After 13 months of being screwed and almost being killed due to them not enforcing safety rules I cut my losses and left.
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby throttlebender » Mon May 11, 2009 11:52 am

Sounds like a nightmare! Are there ANY good shortlines or regionals that are good to work for that pay more than 18/hr?
How are WSOR, TCW, DMVW, NPR to work for?
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby jz441 » Wed May 13, 2009 11:53 pm

Florida East Coast pays $27/hr, Pacific Sun RR (Oceanside, CA) also $27/hr, Pacific Harbor Lines (Long Beach, CA) about $25/hr... :wink:
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby throttlebender » Thu May 14, 2009 10:25 am

Wow thats pretty good money for a shortline!
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby Brakey » Tue May 26, 2009 10:13 am

Yea, its doing good here on the Grand Elk Railroad.

Our salary ranges from $18-19/hour. 40 hour paid guarantee.

Insurance isn't too bad, but not like the big railroads.

Have radios (brand spankin new!) in all the engines, no need to swap back and forth in switching ends. Conductors and switchmen all have brand new handhelds with mics also.

Over all, not too bad considering the current economy.
Brakey
 

Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby VicVega » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:59 pm

Last i heard, the Iowa Interstate pays 21.22/hr for conductors. 40hr guaranteed per week. All assigned jobs work 5 on 2 off. Not sure, but i remember the pay on the TC&W was pretty much in the same range.
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby throttlebender » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:23 pm

What about Engineers on Iowa Interstate? Good benefits? I've heard good things about the outfit
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby VicVega » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:03 pm

throttlebender wrote:What about Engineers on Iowa Interstate? Good benefits? I've heard good things about the outfit


Same pay for engineers and conductors
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Re: WATCO (Grand Elk Railroad)Benefits?

Postby matawanaberdeen » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:09 pm

Who are these losers spamming the dam board!
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