• Working as a Driver in Canada

  • 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 PaulM
Hi everyone

I'm currently qualifying as a passenger driver abroad. However, my wife is Canadian and would like to return to Quebec to care for her ill mother. I am keen to know more about railway job opportunities over there. I have full Canadian working rights and am bilingual French/English. We would be prepared to live as far west as BC if necessary.

How easy is it to find work with GO, STM, VIA etc? I am training in both locomotive and high-speed railcar operation. Is it possible to find freight work that does not entail crossing into the United States? (An old DUI in Florida makes it difficult, though not impossible, for me to travel there.) What are wages and conditions like? Here, USD 140K is pretty standard for a newly qualified driver, though I imagine that's unrealistic in Canada.

I'd love to know everyone's thoughts. Thanks!

  by mdvle
I don't know that foreign training is going to help you much. With the freight railways I would guess you will need to start as a conductor and work you way up to being an engineer.

Bilingualism will be beneficial, particularly with VIA.

It will also be many years I would guess before you would have any sort of predictable work hours.

There is a sort of overview here:

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/lists-a ... -engineer/

In terms of jobs, you would need to check with each railway. CN, CP and VIA all list job openings on their websites, and CP at least seems to want the ability to cross the border for most positions. GO Transit has its trains operated by Bombardier so the job openings are listed by Bombardier. Be aware that buying and even renting can be on the expensive side in the Toronto area so consider that in any decisions.




  by PaulM
Thanks - what a useful, comprehensive reply.

From the websites you provided, as well as my own research, it seems that working as a driver in Canada isn't a good option for someone in my position. We're mostly driver-only over here, which may be why the job pays so much better. We also get permanent seven-hour shifts, which doesn't seem to be common in Canada.

It looks like I'd be better off either going part-time (3 months on, 3 months off) at half-salary and travelling to Canada, or keeping my family here.

Again, I really appreciate the effort you put into your response.