I will break it down for you fellows. Week one is classroom work covering mostly safety rules, hand signals, radio procedure and certain characteristics of your subdivision. Weeks two, three and four are all field work, either on the road with a conductor or in the yard with a switch crew. Your first few weeks in the yard will be overwhelming trying to learn what switch to throw when and then figure out what track you are in. It is a very large puzzle with very large pieces. Don't sweat it though, switching is an art that will come to you in time. Weeks five, six, and seven are classroom work. These weeks you will take a hazmat test (no pass/no fail) and a hostler test. The hostler test is only 60 questions, but you must pass with a 90% or better. This portion of training is taught by a rules teacher from Kansas City who will bring you in tune with your rule book or railroad bible.....The GCOR. It is so damn big it has it's own breifcase to carry it in. The remainder of these weeks is filled with homework. YES homework, and a lot of it. By the time you are done with class, you will think you just took a bar exam to become a lawyer. Weeks eight through fourteen are once again field work. This is the time to really pay attention and learn the yard and industries you switch in. No matter how much you hate it, LEARN TO SWITCH. Even if you do not plan to stay where you hired out, learn the yard and learn to switch, because that is where you, as a new hire with no seniority, will spend alot of your working time. The yard is a dangerous place, so pay attention and learn from the guys you will be working with, because in a few short weeks, you will be a promoted, marked-up conductor making the moves you were taught to do just a short time ago. Last but not least..... week fifteen..... All classroom review, usually mon. tues. wed. and test on thurs. The review and test is again handled by a rules teacher from Kansas City. The final promotion exam is 280 multiple choice questions and must be passed with a 90% or better. The End. You are now a promoted conductor on the BNSF Railway. This is a basic rundown of the training program. Some training coordinators may stray from this a bit, but it is still the same stuff. Also, some subdivisions now include two weeks of Remote Control Operator training into the conductor training program. It is no big deal, just one more test you will have to pass with a 90% or better. The only real advice I can provide is as follows.... Have an open mind, a sense of humor and always know where you're at. The railroad is like nothing you have ever done in your life. It is not a career change but a life change. It is real easy to grow complacent walking a cut of cars, looking at your list, not paying attention to the fact that you are walking between the rails of five track and your helper just kicked two loaded hoppers down five rail. Always know where you're at. It is hard to get hit if you are in the clear. Pay attention in class, apply the rules you learn and be safe. Good luck in the field many of us have chosen.