• Unsure and Slightly Frustrated (Amtrak)

  • 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 tundraboomer
I don't know what to tell you but I share your frustration. I have tons of work experience, including two railroads, one of which I'm currently employed with and have current 242 certification for both freight AND passenger service. Still, I haven't been able to get a nibble on any Amtrak applications I've submitted over the past two years.

I've been applying up and down the west coast for just about every AC and engineer trainee position that comes up. I'm assuming with my work history they are estimating my age, and that is working against me. But I was hoping my experience, squeaky clean safety record, and references would overshadow my age. I still have well over 15 years left in me before I'll have to hang up the lantern (or reverser).

I wish I knew the secret formula that Amtrak HR people look for in a resume/application. Whatever it is, I apparently don't have it. I've been told repeatedly from people I know who work there that military service is highly prized, but other than that, I don't know the answer. You would think railroad experience, GCOR experience, including passenger service and dealing with the public, would be golden. Apparently not though. But I'll keep trying.
  by Engineer Spike
Amtrak jobs ads seem to prefer class 1 engineers. Much of the training process is therefore unnecessary. Maybe the some goes for train service.

Some friends who work there say that they have been over hiring. Many of the baby boomers are reaching retirement age, but since passenger is mostly daytime, and shorter runs, why give it up. Therefore, HR sees X number of guys who will be eligible to retire, but X-y actually go.

You might have to look further afield. The class 2 might be getting burned out class 1 guys, but who knows. Maybe you need to try the class 1 lines. Pay your dues, and wait for something at Amtrak, or a commuter line to open.
  by 8th Notch
Amtrak is very hard to break into, took me 3 tries and I had a Class 1 license with another RR! The thing is you have a ton of people applying for 1-2 open slots so your chances are already very slim to begin with.