Just hired on/Need advice

SocalBNSF Aug 25, 2011

  1. SocalBNSF

    SocalBNSF New Member

    3
    0
    6

    Hi Brothers! Just joined BNSF SO Cal district #600 and looking forward to starting a new career with the Rail Road!

    I wanted to get some advice as I'm finishing up my Safety/Training program and getting ready to be assign to an area to work for a while.

    I’m focusing on going out and learning this job and doing it right.

    But at the same time and I want to get on a gang where a rookie like myself can make some money with Overtime, but also I want to jump on a gang that will be working through November and December (the slow time) if that is possible.

    Any advice from experience Brothers that have gone though the system and can shed some light

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

    1,900
    156
    38
    Did you hire on to a track gang?

    Charlie
     
  3. SocalBNSF

    SocalBNSF New Member

    3
    0
    6
    No not yet, tomorrow I find out where I'm going. They will assign me to a gang and I have 30 days in the field, then I start bidding on jobs. So that's what I'm trying to figure do I want to try and get on a Regional, Mobil or try and get on a Section, etc...

    Thanks
     
  4. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    11,124
    255
    135
    Welcome aboard.

    Charlie
     
  5. JASON

    JASON TrainBoard Supporter

    1,870
    5
    36
    You "start bidding on jobs"? How does that work?
     
  6. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

    1,900
    156
    38
    The carriers publish a list of boards and particular jobs or slots that are open. If you have low to no seniority, you place your name on the bid sheet(or computer screen) for each and every job. Maybe you will get something, maybe not.

    The key is to bid a job whether you think you can hold it or not. EVERY railroader will tell you of jobs they "lost" because they didn't bid on it. Most of the talk you hear on the railroad is just scuttlebutt.
    That is why guys(or girls) dont bid certain jobs, they hear that they wont be able to hold it so they dont bid. BIG MISTAKE! I held a durn good job as a commuter trainman with relatively low seniority. I held that job for the better part of 3 years. A lot of the "old heads" were amazed that someone with my seniority could hold the job. I held it because nobody(or darn few) people wanted the job. It was a worker!! It also(depending on the time of year) was the third or fourth highest paying job on the commuter lineup. I made damned good money on that job. When I finally was set up as an engineer, in reality it amounted to a pay cut for me.

    Charlie
     
  7. SocalBNSF

    SocalBNSF New Member

    3
    0
    6
    Well I was assign a section job about 40 miles from my home. Doesn't seem like alot of over time out of this office, but the experience I'm gathering is great! Alot of the guys that work out of this office have 25+ years, I will be here for 30 days. I plan on getting my CDL and will try to get on a Mobil Gang when its time to bid.
     
  8. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

    1,900
    156
    38
    Work safely!
     
  9. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

    2,035
    18
    37
    Does a CDL really make that much of a difference with the RR? I have had a CDL for about 7-8 years now, and have NEVER done anything as far as a job goes. The reason I got my CDL was incase my parents ever wanted to go on vacation I could drive the truck for them, which I have done a couple time. I would LOVE to go work for the RR someday. Would having a CDL as well as a clean driving record and 18 years at my current job give me any type of advantage? Or is getting in with the RR kind of like a 'good ol' boys club' where you have to have family or know someone in order to get your foot in the door?

    Good luck with the NEW job! I am jealous. And WELCOME aboard!
    Ryan
     
  10. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

    1,900
    156
    38
    In Socal's case, he was hired to the Track Dept. He will need a CDL since he will be required to drive fairly heavy trucks. I can tell you right now that a clean driving record will be in your favor as will your long term employment with the same employer. You will be required to take a "substance" test.
    a "clean & sober" result will be expected from that. Railroads are DAMN serious about alcohol and substance use/abuse. If you fail a random test during your probationary period, you will be sent home and told not to come back on the property. If you have passed your "derail" period and are a union member, and you fail a substance test, you will be fired and your union may or may not get you your job back.You MUST have a high school diploma or GED. If you have a degree or some college to your credit, that will also be a plus. You will be required to substantiate EVERYTHING you put on your employment application. The BNSF was the only employer that required me to prove that I had served in the military(I had to bring a copy of my DD-214) and that I had attended college(I had a sealed grade transcript provided to them).
    If you are interested, go to any railroad website and follow the prompts.

    Charlie
     

Share This Page