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  1. #1

    Working for BNSF

    So I am from Portland OR wher UP has a fairly good sized yard. Across the river in Vancouver, BNSF has a yard also, I noticed they are hiring right now. Is BNSF a better company to work for then UP? Also is anyone here familiar with Vancouver yard? Would it be possible to be transfered anywhere around the US or would I be able to stay in the NW -
    Does anyone know if BNSF sends trains down south through OR?

    I must admit, I am not much of a model railroading fan - I do most of my playing with railroads on my computer. I am currently in a job that has me on the road 40 weeks or so out of the year, so I am not worried about time away from home. I would probably be home more working for the railroad then I am now although, I am sure you don't get frequent rail miles :shade:

    I have been lurking and reading for the past couple of days. Great forum and I look foward to participating.

    Brad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,646
    welcome Brad.

    You can get some answers to your query by reading the following threads in this page, "BNSF Testing??" and "BNSF NARS"

    IMO all railroads are the same to work for. The pay scales are the same,
    the conditions are the same. It all depends on what color locomotives you like to ride.

    IMO all railroads are far better employers than ANY airline.

    CT

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    San Diego
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    53
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    2,306
    Quote Originally Posted by TechRangerBrad View Post
    Is BNSF a better company to work for then UP?
    This week 125 people were furlowed off the transcon, and boards are being cut all over. If you are new and without seniority, then you will almost certainly spend your first few years without a paycheck.

    Does it look good for the future? Not really. All containers may need to be inspected at the foreign port. Expect container shipments to be down to a trickle if this happens, and containers mean BNSF. Also, coal shipments are in doubt because of CO2 regulations that will take a bite out of the powder river basin. That plus containers is the bulk of BNSF freight.
    Tony Burzio
    San Diego, CA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Cheney, WA
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    1,228
    Quote Originally Posted by TechRangerBrad View Post
    So I am from Portland OR wher UP has a fairly good sized yard. Across the river in Vancouver, BNSF has a yard also, I noticed they are hiring right now. Is BNSF a better company to work for then UP? Also is anyone here familiar with Vancouver yard? Would it be possible to be transfered anywhere around the US or would I be able to stay in the NW -
    Does anyone know if BNSF sends trains down south through OR?

    I must admit, I am not much of a model railroading fan - I do most of my playing with railroads on my computer. I am currently in a job that has me on the road 40 weeks or so out of the year, so I am not worried about time away from home. I would probably be home more working for the railroad then I am now although, I am sure you don't get frequent rail miles :shade:

    I have been lurking and reading for the past couple of days. Great forum and I look foward to participating.

    Brad
    I worked in Vancouver this summer when I could not hold Spokane and BNSF has a pretty big operation there. They acually have 5 yards, Vancouver yard and T-6 are the big ones, but they also have Willbridge yard which is small to medium sized and then they have East St John and the "W" yard which are really just 3 or 4 tracks where trains pick up and set out.

    The NW is its own seniorty distric and it is very hard to get in or out of it. It includes Vancouver BC and Vancouver/Portland, Seattle-Tacoma-Everett, Centrailia, Wishram, Bend, Kalamath Falls, Pasco Wenatchee, Spokane-Hauser, and a few other smaller stations. Your seniority is Division wide so you can work in any of those area's. For example my home terminal is Spokane but all I can hold there is the switchmans extra board so I am going to go to Wishram for a while to make a little extra money so I can aford to put in my yard.

    Good luck if you decied to apply. One other thing, traffic has really slowed down here in the past few weeks and it is getting pretty hairy. Spokane for example as added extra switchman and overinflated the switchmans board to try and hold everyone, but if it lasts to long they might have to start furloughing people.
    Kevin

  5. #5
    Thanks for all the information. I will not be applying - I can't afford to go with a paycheck. I have too many tech gadgets to pay for.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Cheney, WA
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    TechRangerBrad, I did not mean to sound so negitive. I have yet to go with out a pay check, infact on average I made the most in Vancouver per paycheck. One of the good things about the RR is the guarentee boards. The switchmans board is the bare minimum you can make and is 1,480'ish a half but I have only made guarentee twice since starting in March. If you have any questions fell free to Email me at BNPacificDiv@hotmail.com.
    Kevin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
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    The railroad was hard on me the first couple of years. Chased my job all over the system. Had to move in with the in-laws for a very short period of time:cry:. Worked at Wally World for a month so I could pay the rent:embarassed: The last few years they've kept the boards fat to keep the new hires working. They have no idea what it was like when I hired out. There's no need to sugar-coat, the fact is the first couple of years are hard. I've been running for two years and had to use my ground seniority after the first of the year. Didn't last long though, got forced assigned to a midnight yard engine.

    Better yet, when you go to engine service, it's like you hired out all over again.
    Joe Gartman
    Locomotive Engineer, BNSF, Bakersfield, CA
    My RP photos

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    Chicago IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by sp4009 View Post
    Better yet, when you go to engine service, it's like you hired out all over again.

    Tell me about it!!!

    CT

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Cheney, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Burzio View Post
    This week 125 people were furlowed off the transcon, and boards are being cut all over. If you are new and without seniority, then you will almost certainly spend your first few years without a paycheck.

    Does it look good for the future? Not really. All containers may need to be inspected at the foreign port. Expect container shipments to be down to a trickle if this happens, and containers mean BNSF. Also, coal shipments are in doubt because of CO2 regulations that will take a bite out of the powder river basin. That plus containers is the bulk of BNSF freight.
    That is really bad for the guys down there, I feel for them. They are trying very hard in the Northwest not to furlough anyone. In Spokane they are running full switch crews on 6 jobs and have the swithmans board expanded to cover everyone. Other places like Vancouver and Pasco are still starting new classes so they either know something the rest of us do not or are hoping the slowdown only last a few months.
    Kevin

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Burzio View Post
    Does it look good for the future? Not really. All containers may need to be inspected at the foreign port. Expect container shipments to be down to a trickle if this happens, and containers mean BNSF. Also, coal shipments are in doubt because of CO2 regulations that will take a bite out of the powder river basin. That plus containers is the bulk of BNSF freight.
    If these scenarios are true, it'll be worse than just for railroaders. It will stuff our economy in the dumper so fast, people won't believe their eyes.

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