Guys, I know alot of you want to go to NARS to get a foot in the door. My advise, don't do it!!!!!!!!!!
I did it 2 1/2 years ago, and yes, I did get hired on with BNSF, but I've spent half my time being cut-off/furloughed. I have heard from numerous folks that it really doesn't matter to BNSF, because they really are concentrating on hiring local folks anyways.
Plus with the economy, and the job cuts ALL the railroads are doing, you are going to need at LEAST 3 years senoirity to even hold a job system wide.
Take a look at all the railroads, none of the are hiring for train service.
When I went to NARS, there where 75 of us at one time. Take that 9-10 times a year at 6k per person, you do the math.
The BNSF is making a killing off of guys whom in reality probably can't afford to quit there current job, and go to NARS to be givin the run-around. (some may be able to take a leave of absence, but most won't, not seven weeks!)
When I went to NARS, I had 5 different instructors for the six week course. Eveyone said there is more trains than people to run them. Now I know no one could predict the future about our economy, but even over 2 years ago when I was finished with training, guess what, go home, we will call you when we need you.
I also know location plays a part in it, if you will work steady or not.
Bottom line, the BNSF is making record profits, why help them by going to NARS.