Conductor Training Class

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LES1117
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:39 am
Location: New York, NY

Conductor Training Class

Post by LES1117 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:32 am

Im starting class in a few weeks and I would like some advice on what to expect during the 7 month course. and to any conductors on here how did you make it through the course. I woud appreciate any feedback and thank you for your time.

RearOfSignal
Posts: 2553
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:31 pm

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by RearOfSignal » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:35 pm

This can be moved to the employment forum, or merged with the already existing thread there...

I didn't go through the 7 month "straight through" course that we have now; it was 2 months AC class and a year or so later another 4 months for conductor promotion when I did it. Here are my thoughts nevertheless...

Be prepared to memorize a bunch of facts and procedures. Stations on each line(stations includes passenger stations, interlockings and grade crossings), you'll have to know these all on each line you qualify. As well as physical characteristics for the line(s) and yards you qualify on(rules in effect, platform lengths, track numbers). Then there is the entire rulebook which covers a ton of things which you must have a very good handle on. Signal aspects and indications need to be memorized verbatim. Fare rules, which is a bit convoluted in practice must be well understood. Those are the facts and figures aspect, you'll also have to do air brakes and troubleshooting, which takes some thinking out of the box when it comes to real life practical application.

The majority of class will take place in the training center in GCT. You can expect several days of field trips to the various locations around the railroad as well.

You'll be going over all these things little by little, and back again. It's not necessarily A then B then C. It's more like 50% of A, 25% of B, 25% more of A, 5% of C, 25% more of B, the rest of A, etc. Try to remember what you have learned on week 1 because it will come up again on week 25.

Every few weeks or so you'll go out into the field on OJT(On-the-Job Training). There you'll work with conductors on real trains, with real problems and real people learning how to apply what you've learned to real life. You should make the most of these opportunities. Ask each and every question that comes to mind, some things will only be briefly covered in the classroom. See how to actually make a reverse move from a Genesis engine, come in for a hitch, how to open a electrically locked switch on the main. The only dumb question is the one that isn't asked. The conductors and engineers you will eventually work with want to know that you know how to do YOUR job, so if you're ever unsure of something ask before you do it. That being said you should eventually get to know the job well enough not to have to ask how to do every little thing. Use your time in OJT to find out those things. Even still, some things you'll only learn once you're out here for real and that's to be expected.

OJT will take place over the all parts of the railroad: passenger service, yard service, flagging. OJT will also be early morning, midday and late night. Once you mark up, you will be expected to work anywhere your seniority will allow you. Many newer guys(and gals) are working 60 miles from their homes. Guys in Connecticut having to work in Croton-Harmon, because they can't hold New Haven, Stamford, GCT or NWP.
Hurry up and wait at the signal!

LES1117
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:39 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by LES1117 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:17 am

Thank you RearOfSignal.

MTASUPT
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Location: Grand Central Terminal

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by MTASUPT » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:03 pm

Just as RearofSignal stated, if you are not sure, Ask. Say you are not sure, don't try to flub your way through it.
"Intelligent management of Railroads must be based upon exact knowledge of facts. Guess work will not do..." VPO NYC 1963

Clean Cab
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Location: South Dennis Massachusetts

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by Clean Cab » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:51 pm

MTASUPT wrote:Just as RearofSignal stated, if you are not sure, Ask. Say you are not sure, don't try to flub your way through it.
It can't be said enough times...................if you don't know the answer ASK SOMEBODY!!! It's better to be a little embarrassed than to be sitting at home saying "why didn't I ask?"
I'm stuck on a sandbar on Cape Cod, and I couldn't be happier!!!

LES1117
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:39 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by LES1117 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:58 am

MTASUPT wrote:
Just as RearofSignal stated, if you are not sure, Ask. Say you are not sure, don't try to flub your way through it.

It can't be said enough times...................if you don't know the answer ASK SOMEBODY!!! It's better to be a little embarrassed than to be sitting at home saying "why didn't I ask?"


Thanks thats very true. Do you know how long OJT is?

Steamboat Willie
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Location: Iron Highway

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by Steamboat Willie » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:13 pm

They split the week up with classroom time and field training (OJT.) You can expect OJT on the trains about a month or so after your first hire out.

LES1117
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:39 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by LES1117 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:46 am

Thank you all for your advice. I start class this wednesday im excited :-)

TDowling
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Location: West Point, NY

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by TDowling » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:06 pm

How often are these courses held and how does one sign up?

RearOfSignal
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Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:31 pm

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by RearOfSignal » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:22 pm

TDowling wrote:How often are these courses held and how does one sign up?
It's a training program for those who have been hired to be conductors on MNR. You don't just sign up.
Hurry up and wait at the signal!

DooziePots
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:29 pm

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by DooziePots » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:07 pm

Hi Everyone,
I have been applying to metro north for the last 2 years and for the first time on thursday, i recieved an email to take the conductors test. I have been reading this forum for the last month or so and this is my first post. I know there is a long stretch of tracks ahead of me before im hired. Ive been in a job for the last 11 yrs and the future doesnt look as bright as it once did when i was a teenager, theres really no room for opportunity and im tired of trying to draw blood from a stone. My metro north friends tell me this is the place to be! Im excited about the testing opportunity as well as being super nervous!! Next weeks test cant come soon enough!
As far as my questions, does anyone know what the upcoming training schedule for conductors looks like? Ive also heard that metro north is planning for a mass exidous in 2013...could this be a right place right time situation? Again, I understand im a long ways from employement, just wanted to get an idea of what to expect over the next few months.
Thanks
Doozie

truck6018
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:31 pm

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by truck6018 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:06 am

DooziePots wrote:
As far as my questions, does anyone know what the upcoming training schedule for conductors looks like? Ive also heard that metro north is planning for a mass exidous in 2013...could this be a right place right time situation? Again, I understand im a long ways from employement, just wanted to get an idea of what to expect over the next few months.
Classes are started every month or two it seems with about ten students per class. This is of course on an as needed basis. There is guess work involved on the part of the company regarding what will be needed as who ever starts class now won't be marked up for approximately seven months.

The "mass exodus" of 2013 is true to a point as anyone that worked for Metro North upon the inception of the company in 1983, will have the 30 years eligibility to retire at an earlier age.

LES1117
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:39 am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by LES1117 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:50 pm

They want 5 more classes of 14 this year. My advice would be to be patient, make sure all your background history is 100% accurate, do your best on the test. For me from the time I took the to when I had my interview it felt like forever but its really not it took 5 months exactly. I took the test in august got the results in september that I passed, recieved an email mid december for an interview a few days later got another email to take the PAT and Medical in early january started class a few weeks later. So far so good in training. I feel like my life has changed alot. I do alot of studying and reading outside of class time, wake up early just to get there in time. Failure is not an option neither is being late. I still have alot of learning to do and look foward to making the best out of it and having a healthy prosperous career.I wish anyone persuing that position good luck and if you got an invite to take the test your lucky. you made it past.10,000 people

EddieR
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:04 am

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by EddieR » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:08 am

Hello to all! I am also new to this site. I have been invited to also take the test. I am going Feb 11th . I am very nervous because I want it so bad. I will keep you posted on results.. Wish me luck

DooziePots
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:29 pm

Re: Conductor Training Class

Post by DooziePots » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:59 pm

Thanks LES.
Im pretty nervous about the test, Since ive waited this long and its the first step in the process. Im sure if i pass the test the interview will be just as nerve racking since i havent had an interview in 11 years. Any pointers besides what others have posted. Application has been filled out completely, a copy of the application has been made, My suit is ready, my pencils are sharpened and my pens are full of ink.
Everyone please say a few kind words to the railroad gods for me..Test at 8am Friday!
Thanks
Doozie

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