• Possible to trade primary recall?

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

Moderator: thebigc

  by philofab
Is it possible to trade primary recall with BNSF?

I found a blog from a railroad wife that her husband hired on in Winslow, and then marked up and went to Needles. He was recalled later and then found a conductor in Winslow that had a primary recall of Needles and was somehow able to trade. I have no way of contacting either of them to follow up on this.

I recently cleared background and medical for Needles, CA primary recall only to be told the class was full. That class started two days ago so I think there is zero chance I will get a last minute call for it. I was however offered Winslow primary recall for October. I have no desire to move and my wife can not move without loosing a good job and also would have issues taking care of her father. Added to that we own a house here and I have zero interest in relocating. Being gone for 2.5 months for school is no big deal tho. That I can do. Also, two of my friends are in that Oct Winslow class so finding a room to rent / lodging is very likely possible and easy. They also applied to Needles and were told class was full, however they will be relocating.
  by Engineer Spike
You’d have to know someone who wants to switch. This person may or may not exist. The second thought is about your inflexibility to move. If nobody wants to trade, then what? Moving may end up in the cards for you at some point. I hired out in Aurora, IL. Back then there wasn’t any recall. About 6 months after hiring out, they closed a yard, and also scabbed out a couple of branches. I held on for a while by working yard jobs over on the Santa Fe side. I might have been able to continue this infinitely. That didn’t appeal to me. First, a basic yard rate doesn’t go far in Chicago. Secondly, there were more opportunities elsewhere.

There may be times that they are shorthanded elsewhere. They may force you there, since you are a junior man. If there is a slowdown, you will be one of the first to be cut. I don’t know your personal circumstances, but you have two choices. Either you can take a layoff, and wait for a recall, or follow your seniority to a place that you can hold.
  by philofab
Thanks for the reply.

I originally got a conditional offer for Needles, however after I passed my background and physical I was told the class was full. Rather than wait for another opening in Needles I accepted an offer in Winslow. I start class Oct 22nd.

My plan is to buy an old small house in Winslow when I mark up and then travel back there when I'm recalled. I'll just try to hold the boards in Needles as often as I can or hope to get runs from Winslow to Needles. Probably will be difficult as that is a very coveted run. Moving would be extremely difficult as Winslow houses all have tiny garages and I have a 2000 sq ft garage at my house in Mohave Valley, and my old lady takes care of her disabled dad and has a very good pharmacy job in Ft Mohave. Her dad shouldn't live in a cold climate due to his health anyway.

From what my friends tell me it's not difficult to hold boards out here right now due to how busy it is... I just have to hope the economy holds for another few years at minimum.

I have a couple of friends also in the Winslow class... I'm hoping to be able to split a hotel room with one of them as there seems to be very little housing in Winslow and what is for rent is ridicules in price. There doesn't even seem to be a safe RV park to put my motorhome. One of those friends is also planning on just marking up to Needles once he finished class.