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Thread: Conductor Training -- Toronto

  1. #11


    Right now on CP's website they show as looking for condr trainees at:

    St Paul, Glenwood, Enderlin, Harvey, Calgary, Edmonton and

    In the US (at least) you will still have to go through the CP training program and OJT if you come from a railroad training school. Might as well save your money.

  2. #12


    Don't waste your money.What they teach you has nothing to do with actual on the ground training.You will still have to go through a rules class be it CN or CP and then follow that up with on the job training.The railways are having a tough time these days finding employees that stick around and if you do remember you give up your life and get treated like well you know...
    Think long and hard as its not as glamorous as one thinks.You just get to sleep its 2300 and the phone rings with that 2 hr call.One thing you've been up all day and you were 7 times out before you called it a night.
    Your body cycle goes into a tail spin as you try and figure out what time or day it is.

  3. Default

    whoa. im thinking of taking the course at GBC in the fall but now im having 2nd thoughts...

    i dont wanna take the course to learn stuff, i just wanna do well in the class, kiss arse and get my job. thats it. i know theyll be way more training afterwards anyways and OJT, which is a million times more useful.

    so....anyone have anything ok to say about the program? or good hiring rates? those who didnt get hired, what were they like? those who did get hired, what were they like?

    basically im lookin for info on the hiring rates cuz if i drop 10k onthis thing, bust my arse and get no job---im off to the oil fields to pay it off and with a 2 yr old son, thats not good.

    seriously, alot of the info u guys have said is helpful....any more is much appreciated.

    i dont wanna spend 10k on a course but if it means a 50k gig outta school then i have no problem hacking it, the lifestyle etc...any of it.

  4. #14


    Don't spend your money and waste your time on the course! CP doesn't give a rat's ass if you are a smart cookie or not. They want a military mentality, people who will do what they are told without question - a sort of robot if you will. You might make friends in the course, that is the only positive. Yeah sure lots of guys get a job after the course, but it likely won't be where you want. Hire on off the street and save your money - CP is so short of men they are desperate, they are starting to learn that young guys aren't gonig to put up with their sh*t for $20 an hour to start. The job used to be a well paying job because of the lifestyle, but now it is just a mediocre job with semi-decent pay for a anything but a normal lifestyle...
    Do we have a clearance, Clarence?

  5. Default

    if u have no mechanical skill, how will u get hired though off the street? ive applied countless times and i know without the course i prolly wont get in.

    mikey, at CP, how many of the new recruits went to GBC, NAIT,SAIT etc...how many guys ui know being hired off the street? im just curious, i even know guys with forklift licence, etc...guys who have worked tough jobs but who still cant get hired. i know one guy hired off the street and its cuz his uncle is an engineer with CN with 25 yrs exp. nepotism.

    i dont mind taking the course if i get a job outta it, but if its some bunk program where 25 students, 8 hired and the rest on the street then screw it, u know?

    its a huge gamble...financially.

  6. #16


    The last four classes that have all been started by CP Rail out of Sutherland have had no students from any of the schools. And a lot of the new hires come from all walks of life - some are heavy equipment operators, one was a chicken farmer, one is a farmer's daughter, one worked in a warehouse, one was a salesman, one worked for a potash mine, some as truckers, some as construction workers...

    It is really all based on the aptitude test and the final interview. The union reps and local manager ask questions that are tough but are really important. From these few questions they will know if you are going to be a failure or not. So out of the last 80 men that were hired, only about 40 remain because either they failed too many tests, were politely asked to leave, or quit because of the crap that comes with the job.

    And when it comes to hiring from SAIT and stuff, the fortunate students are offered a job by CP where CP Rail wants them to be. And when you move, the odds are you might be laid off because the company is just getting stupid. So my advice would be to hire on with CN, they have it figured out. When CP lays off, CN hires fully qualified conductors that need one week of rules training and then two weeks or so of familiarization, plus a little sign on bonus.

    Taking the course does not by any means promise you a job. About 8 guys in my class were rejected by CP and CN, most of them hired onto short lines and after that I don't know. But of the 8 that were rejected lots of them had prior mechanical knowledge and had an indirect relationship to the railroad.

    Like I said before it all depends on the aptitude tests, your interview and surprisingly, your resume has a huge part in the hiring process. Of the 40 new hires up North here, there are an additional... 15 or so that came from the courses. Some from SAIT and some from that goofy Ontario one. The guys from Ontario were all promised jobs, if they moved to Saskatchewan without any financial help of any sort from CP.

    So the ball is really in your court, I just am adamant that these courses are such a waste of time and money. They really just go after your money because they can simply because the railroads are going to go through a huge turnover in the next 8 years. So my question is, will the course be around after the next five years promising the same hiring rates as it does now?
    Do we have a clearance, Clarence?

  7. Default the schools...

    ok... finally done the arduous and boring (sometimes) 5 months of training. Now I am on the night spareboard and most likely going to be collecting the spareboard guarantee... All the guys I work with tell me what a great paying job this is... When? The next class is going to be 16 guys ( ours was down to 8 by the end...) so at least I have a seniority buffer so as to avoid layoffs... and no we are still not getting guys from the schools... CP won't be hiring forever so anyone wanting to get in on the action had better hurry! I can see them running a few more classes over the next year or two and then locking it up like they have in the past... I guess I will have to change my username now that I am no longer a trainee... I work with a guy from the sait program in calgary and he's well versed in the rules but no practical exp... Good guy nonetheless. but he did get hired so... Make up your own mind. If you can't get hired at an orientation odds are you won't after you've taken the class. Then again I am not a manager.

  8. #18


    The course is not worth it. In manitoba pretty much as long as your a farm boy or have some farm experience it seems like your in,

  9. Default

    I've taken the George Brown program, and quite honestly I have to agree with what is being said here.....nobody should bother to waste their time, energy and especially hard earned $$$ on this piece of crap class. A lot of good reasons why have already been mentioned.

    I must add that it is my understanding that CN thinks that the George Brown course is a f*@king joke for whatever reason (the instructor is an ex-CN conductor, makes ya wonder what's going on there).

    Plus, there is absolutely no support at all from either George Brown or the instructor when it comes to trying to secure employment. Once you're out the door, neither GBC or the instructor could care less what happens to you, they've got what they want (your money).

    Like I said, anybody who wants to take this course should avoid it like the plague. It's not gonna do you any good at all.....about the only thing it's good at is making you poorer.

  10. Default

    Well I use to be a railroader over 10 years ago, applied a few times in the past few years for Conductor position at both CN and CP. I never get the job. They seem excited to learn that I use to work for CP as a hostler, but after the interview I never hear from them again. There are some gaps in my job history but that can easily be explained if they only asked- they didn't. I always wanted to be a Conductor since I was a kid. They don't seem to care and treat me as though I applied for a brain surgeon position. I get the infamous "Yeah we heard that line before..." look from "skinny know it alls" who are wrestling with that time of the month. Who cares? Just give me what I deserve and have waited so long for and I'll be on my way.

    I'm almost 40 now and couldn't work on the RR's in the mid to late 1990's because both companies were laying off people and if they hired anyone it was only experienced personnel (those on lay off). Based on what I'm reading here, if a Conductor school won't guarantee you a job, what's the point of even spending that kind of cash if they would just find something else wrong with the applicant? Almost all railroads, by what is stated on the Net, are facing some kind of controversy when it comes to their hiring policies and interviews. It's pretty nasty.

    The Conductor school guarantees you an interview?? Woopie do... I get interviews without the school. There should be a law which makes it mandatory for graduates to get hired- impossible and preventable for HR to lick their lipstick covered chops and sink their talons into the applicant like some sadistic rogues. What's worse is that they're hiring boys fresh out of high school over me or some others. If that isn't a slap in the face, I don't know what is. I heard that the railroads aren't the problem- their HR staff is the problem. One HR lady pissed me off by side stepping me so badly at the interview, I wanted to and would have buried my foot up her ass in pink slips if I still worked for the RR or knew a head cheese or WAS a head cheese on the railroad. She could use the weight gain anyhow- her anorexia was showing. I could see the RR HR staff end up in serious big trouble and on the news in the next few years, based on the climbing controversial reports on the Net. Okay...

    Something is drastically wrong if I keep getting interviews, acing their exams and end up dead in the water. It seems to me that there are only two options remaining. The only two options left would be to know some big cheeses on the RR to get you on regardless of what might be said of or thought of you, or to just flip them the bird and move on thus giving them a very bad write up. The RR's need people badly and HR is pissing around with selections and petty hiring practices. If a young boy out of high school or another young boy in his prime gets hired over me and some other men who have worked more years on the RR than I, then the "fat lady" has indeed sung. I want to make it work, they don't, so what now?. Do you think I could get some help to get back on?
    Last edited by railwayman; 08-15-2008 at 02:43 PM.

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