It sounds like you've been talking to disgruntled employees.
NS has a reputation of being strict on rules compliance. Follow the rules and you won't have any problems.
If a conductor has an engineer's license then he can run if the engineer allows him to. As far as sleeping on a moving...
Busy day on the Scenic sub. An EB empty coal had DP problems in the tunnel and things snowballed from there. Lots of dead trains and dogcatches. The loaded grainer made it up and over Stevens without any problems (I was on board.)
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