I hear all the negatives but they have to be some that like it.
I hear all the negatives but they have to be some that like it.
its ok the training period sucks but its like any other job it has its ups and downs
Love the job hate the company! All my buddies felt the same and are now working for BNSF or UP. From the time we all started CSX has been nothing but headaches! This is just railroading for the most part. This is the only job you will ever have that they spend all this money and time on you and then the day you mark up as a promoted conductor they are trying to can you for the 30 years or however long your career is. I myself am right now trying to get a job at NS. Back to CSX- I have engineer friends that I have made since I have worked for CSX, that after 6-8 years being with the company and after 2-4 being sent to engine school are still forced to live in apartments! Some have familys others don't. A couple of them theres more to it that that but my point is I don't recomend CSX. Michale Ward-CEO of CSX just made a guest appearnce in Richmond, and somebody asked him why they (CSX) had hired so many new men and why they are now furloughed (layed off). Of course he gave some B.S. little sentence about nothing and then tried to change the topic. The rest of the speech was about how CSX is such a transportion leader (more like nightmare) and how CSX is paving the way towards one man crews. More to come, just me a sec.........
I was to work with a Class 1 when I got out of the military (which I won't. After 20+ years in the military I, nor my wife, am not going to want to work extraboard.) I would go with NS. I'm sure they've got their own share of BS (what employer doesn't?), but I've heard alot more good about NS than I have about CSX. That being said, if I do get into railroad after retirement its gonna be with a shortline working a few times a week.
Now if any conductors or engineers are reading this, the first thing you are going to say is "The Unions will never let it happen" Well news flash the RR unions of today are just payed off squibs, and to top it off CSX and NS have a little booster in being able to test all the FRA safety parctices that will have to be implemented to make one man crews possible. One note worthy example would be Conrail. Why you ask, because Conrail had something called CABSIGNALS, one of the major components of the FRA's Have-To-Haves that was mentioned in a Progressive Railroading Article. The other big boost is on the CSX side of the playing field. It's called the RF&P sub. See the RF&P went above cabsignals and along with those put in train control. For those of you who might be lost-train control governs train speed with respect to what type of signal your currently operating under. Example-Running on a clear and your next signal you go through is a aproach. Well the train control makes to get down to 25-30MPH within a few short minutes. This solves the need for the conductor, if the engineer falls asleep (like that never happens ) and he fails to control the speed the train control will dump the air in the train line and the train comes to a stop. Problem solved? CSX sure thinks so!
Bottom line is I know i've been doing a lot of ranting and raving but my point is- After all the B.S. and hardships and thinking to myself "Why did I ever choose this line of work", I stop and tell myself oh ya!, I love trains and I wouldn't be doing anything else. If you do choose railroading as your lifesyle, and I do mean lifestyle, one of the coolest first moments will be seeing that railfan trackside all full of envy on his face wishing he was where you were up in that loco cab gliding down the rails hauling that freight. I know it was for me! I think all of us at some point have seen a conductor or especially a engineer doing his job and wish we were him. If you really can't see yourself moving because your attached to your city or home and the wife or kids really don't want to move either and the only choice in your erea is CSX, than by all means apply and I hope you get a job because contrary to the RR's thoughts that railfans don't make good employees, the fact is they do. We love what we do! I was down in Folkston, GA almost 3 weeks ago with some buddies. Four of us were CSX employees, and the other NS, and people we talked to could not believe that we worked for railroads and then on our free time were still watching trains! This is because when your at work you are actually that, at work! I scared myself one time because I saw an MRL SD45-2 in Richmond, VA! Meanwhile I had RR cars coming towards me almost ready to make a coupling! Needless to say I almost welded the cars together and my engineer wasn't happy with me for the rest of the night! I only did this once, I scared myself pretty good and now I just concintrate on my job.
Sorry almost done, Being a conductor is still the most interesting job I have ever done because I have always been a hurry up and get it done kind of person and this type of thinking and actions will only get you hurt or killed, and nothing happens to fast out there. Alot of your time spent out there is hurry up and wate. Also I know I only forgot my rain jacket one time! Whats fun for me is I don't like having someone looking over my shoulder watching me work. For the most part your out there by yourself and it's up to you to make good decisions and come back home the the family un-hurt.
I think the same way, too! Is hard to be a railroad worker, but, if you love what you do, nothing else matter!
@ Train Guy: Great speach! 10X
Excess is good because the power is always there when you need it.
I have heard negative things about both employment on CSX and NS in the past. Of course all of it comes from personal perspectives. When I was growing up in Chateauguay, Quebec I got to know all of the guys on a bridge gang (out of Watertown, NY)that was doing repairs and painting on the NYC bridge over the Chateauguay River over the course of the summer. I remember that when they were laying new ties there was a Division Super (or whatever) named George Lee who came through one day. The gripe among some of the guys on the bridge gang was that George Lee still thought he was driving slaves in the South. I was a kid and would have given my...hmmmm, bicycle to work on the NYC, but loving railroads and working on them are often two different things.
I went on to work as a brakeman on the CN for a time. I was the youngest brakeman in the St. Lawrence Region and hated just about every minte of it. Perhaps because I hadn't been away from home. Perhaps because "some" railroad people weren't as nice as all the crews I had known on the NYC. Not because CN was different, because that's the way people are...some are extremely nice and some are nasty. If you're going to work as a new guy on the railroad get used to snarling engineers complaining about being stuck with inexperienced "newbies". But also you'll meet very patient great people such as a conductor I sometimes worked with out of Ottawa who always took the time to explain things to the young, new guy. Or like the fireman that did my ground work for me when I had a badly cut finger (not a work related injury) and had trouble closing my hand completely. Not to mention the enginer that let him do it. I was fireman for a day. That consideration sometimes makes up for the impatient engineers and conductors that can't wait to get off their train and go home and don't consider training as part of their job description. I think that training new crew members is somewhat better now, but thn it was four trial trips and you're on your own buddy. Nothing like having to do switching at 3:00 a.m. in a place like Coteau Junction when you have no idea of the layout.
So, working and watching are two different things. The engineer that waves at you when you're 12 years old, "might be" the same one that gripes about your inexperience when you're 18 years old.
A man named William H. Davis, Jr. posted a thread about the Georgia Northeastern Railway a while back and talked about how he almost went to work for GA northeastern, but ended up becoming a conductor for CSX (he now is an engineer for CSX), and he talks about how much he loved it, doesnt say one bad thing the entire time he talks of if and said he has been w/ CSX for 9 years now. I tried contacting him to talk to him about working for CSX because I live right where the GA Northeastern starts in Marietta, GA, but had no luck in reaching him...maybe someone else might can get a hold of him (search forums for: "Georgia Northeastern Railroad", it is the 1st thread on the list)
CSX Transportation, L&N Tennessee Consolidated Trainman's District #2, W&A subdistrict (Atlanta, GA to Chattanooga, TN)