Any Amtrak engineers on here?????

SteveM76 May 17, 2007

  1. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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    Hemi,
    One thing you have to be able to do is seperate the job from the hobby. When I started at NJT,I wasn't back in the hobby,yet. At the time,I didn't know the difference between a dash 9 & an SD-80. Mind you it was a 25 year vacation from trains. Work is work. Its the best job I've ever had. Remember I had my own KW's & reefers running all over this great country.I was a great boss:shade: .
    Anyway,You can't even think about the hobby at work or anything else except work related stuff.There's so much happening,it must be giving you utmost attention. Speed restrictions, O/S tracks,etc. If you can seperate your feeling,you'll never look back.
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  2. SteveM76

    SteveM76 TrainBoard Member

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    oh so true:teeth: . It has also given me a whole new perspective on railroading and my modeling. I'd rather see a long train on a mainline run on my layout than have "prototypical operating sessions" anyday. I get more than enough of the switching and rulebooks while I'm at work. When I'm home I just want to relax and watch trains run.
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  3. SteveM76

    SteveM76 TrainBoard Member

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    I've even tried explaining this to a certain individual on this board. He wants to be an engineer after high school and I told him to just go on to college and continue watching trains from trackside. I love what I do for a living but there are many downsides to it. The bad thing is that once you're hired in you are trapped. Forget about finishing college or making ANY plans which require a schedule. I went to school to be an airline pilot but with the state of the airline industry I think I made a good choice. The cool thing is going to my doctor and he says, "Wow! You run trains? That sounds like the coolest job!!!" Kinda funny coming from a doctor!
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  4. SteveM76

    SteveM76 TrainBoard Member

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    Oh yeah, Hemi, I have a wife and 3 kids. It is extremely difficult trying to find time to rest and spend with the family. There have been quite a few times when I have been away 4 days. I made a lot of money but I would trade it anyday to play baseball with my son or even have a tea party with my daughters.
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  5. Adam Woods

    Adam Woods TrainBoard Member

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    Great advice, I got my degree and worked in that field for a couple of years before I hired out on the railroad. It gives me something I can go back to if I want to get off the railroad, it also allows me to see the upside of being a conductor vs. being in a "normal" job (both have there upside and down side). The other "problem" of hiring out right out of high school 40+ years on the railroad before you can retire.

    Adam
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  6. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

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    As some of us have said repeatedly, railroading is NOT a family-friendly
    occupation. I am willing to bet, based on my own personal knowledge,
    that about 50% of operating dept railroaders have been divorced at
    least once.

    CT
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  7. SteveM76

    SteveM76 TrainBoard Member

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    It sure does take one heck of a woman to put up with it. She needs to be very independant and kind of have her own life. You just join up with her whenever you're home. Honestly if I could find something making remotely close to what I make now I would jump on it in a heartbeat. My problem is that I have school age children that are always having school functions so my wife is now a stay at home mom. If I quit my job to go back to school there will be no income.
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  8. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

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    Railroading was my 3rd career. To reiterate, it was the easiest work I've
    ever done, it was the most money I ever made, I had the best benefits
    of any employer I've ever worked for.. When I worked as a travel agent,
    I went to work tired, and came home exhausted. I would fall asleep, standing up, on the crowded "L" train. Dont think that doesn't get some reaction from fellow commuters! LOL

    CT
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  9. LehmanNWMS

    LehmanNWMS TrainBoard Member

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    I worked in the cube enviroment, and it drove me nuts, i always kinda enjoyed trains but its a definate seperation of work and hobby for me. I do admire them when the time is slow but i dont show it and the only one that will know is the rails hehe... My future wife is very supportive, she doesn't like me being gone but she knows when im not at home, im making money. I didnt make much in a cubicle, and now i have made more than i can dream.... sure i went to college but i found that this is a fairly easy job, sure theres lots of things to know, but it does require a brain, and a little bit of physical labor, but I can burp fart and curse with out getting a dirty look from an uptite person, move when i feel free to, not be micro managed and just have fun. The benefits are amazing, and i couldnt be happier.

    Also it is pretty funny when people ask me what i do for a living and these are the 3 most common reactions:
    1. Trains still exist?
    2. Wow, i heard they make really good money
    3. So you like drive the train? how do you steer? (funniest one)
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008
  10. SteveM76

    SteveM76 TrainBoard Member

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    There are some extremely oblivious people out there aren't there?:eek:mg: The general public has no idea.
    Copyright 2008 Jerry DeBene
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2008

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