When you aplly online to the posting it is for that crewbase that is listed. As a conductor on Amtrak you have national seniority which lets you move around the country at your own pleasure. You will start out as an Assistant Conductor (brakeman). After six months you will be eligible for promotion to conductor. You will start out on the extraboard and then as people retire and you move up the seniority roster then you can hold a regular position. It took me about three years on the extraboard before I could hold regular in SLC. To become an engineer all you have to do is apply, take the test, and get through the interview process. If you do well then they choose you. Could be as little as a year could be more. Depends upon if you want to move to another location and the number of positions and applicants. Hope this helps.
Also there are lots of crewbases across the country. Depending upon the train and state. If you want more info feel free to PM me.
Albinotrout: Fishing and Trains, what else is there?