Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters Career Information

If you like to traveling by railroad and have a good customer service skills then career as Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters could be the right fit for you. Conductors coordinate activities of train crew on passenger or freight train. Yardmasters coordinate activities of workers engaged in railroad traffic operations, such as the makeup or break-up of trains, yard switching, and review train schedules and switching orders.

Role of Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters

  • Adjust to variables on transportation routes
  • Apply loading and unloading procedures
  • Complete safety reports
  • Coordinate service workers
  • Explain traffic and transportation situations concisely
  • Follow established traffic and transportation procedures and railroad regulations
  • Follow safety procedures and inspect railroad equipment
  • Operate two-way radio
  • Perform emergency procedures in railroad setting
  • Perform safety inspections in transportation setting
  • Process records and maintain forms and files
  • Supervise employees

Skills of Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters

Communication skills: Conductors and yardmasters should have good communication skills so they are understood by locomotive engineers and dispatchers to prevent accidents and ensure that the train stays on schedule.
Customer-service skills: Conductors on passenger trains should  interact with customer politely and answer any questions a passenger has.
Leadership skills: On some trains, a conductor directs a crew. Yardmasters oversee other rail yard workers.
Speaking skills: Conductors on passenger trains announce stations and make other announcements. They must be able to speak clearly so passengers understand what they are saying.
Courteous & Patient: They must be courteous and patient. They may have to deal with unruly or upset passengers.

Work Schedule

Most conductors and yardmasters have full-time schedules, although they do not necessarily work a standard 9-to-5 workweek. Because trains run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, many conductors and yardmasters work weekends, nights, and holidays.
Conductors who work on long freight routes may be away from home for long periods. Conductors on shorter passenger routes and yardmasters have more predictable schedules.

Some Job Titles

Conductor, Engineer, Railroad Conductor, Yardmaster, Dispatcher, Agent, Brakeman, Freight Conductor, Trainman, Operations Manager

Where to study

A diploma in railway engineering or related qualification is required. Candidates from Physics and Mathematics background need to undergo training for final selection. To find a study programme go to University Hub

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