Train service training at BNSF

Kevin M Mar 28, 2006

  1. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

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    Well the past 4 days I have been working with veteran crews. From what they have told me I have been doing pretty good for a FNG and after several days the switch lists finally makes sense and I have gotten pretty good at pulling pins. I did try and run the engine through a switch today and the forman gave me some crap for it but they know that we will make mistakes and they just want us to learn from them. Anyways they have us on a 6 day schedual and after being on a industry local for the past 2 with lots of walking I am pretty tierd. I will post updates whenever I get a chance or a spare moment.
    Kevin D Mumaw
     
  2. Kodiak67

    Kodiak67 New Member

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    Its been a learning experience here in Sioux City. The first week was part classroom and learning some basics over in one of the smaller yards. The second week was all classroom work going over some GCOR and doing the HAZMAT. Then the last two weeks we have been working various shifts in the yard on different jobs. We have this week yet out in the yard then we start going on road trips for two weeks heading up to Willmar, MN. and Mitchell, SD.. After that we go back to the classroom again for another week of GCOR.

    One thing I learned the other day was to pay attention to which direction the Switch Engine is facing when you need them to take it ahead or bring'em back. I needed a pin the other day and told the engineer to slack'em back and next thing I noticed was the pulling away from me, so I stopped the engineer and thats when when I noticed which way the engine was facing.

    We also just got done with 3 days of rain. I learned alot over those days as being the FNG on the crew I got to do alot while the rest instructed me from the cab of the Engine.

    As time goes by I will try to give another update.
     
  3. Adam Woods

    Adam Woods TrainBoard Member

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    It's happened to all of us.
    Adam
     
  4. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

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    I also have made the wrong way mistake. I have also learned that even though the SD9's we use in the yard look cool and seem neat, they are some of the biggest plies we have, if you couple them to hard the remotes shut down, there a pain to kick cars with cause they can not handle speeding up and stopping quick enough, and they seem to be falling apart. Next week I get to do a couple road trips so I am looking forward to that.
    Kevin
     
  5. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

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    hint for you new guys....(remember I was a trainman too!)
    Forget directions (N,S,E,W) unless you are absolutely certain. The engineer should always know where you are and he should know where
    he is. If you need pin slack, just tell him"slack my way". Same if you want to make a joint... #1234 bring 'em 3 cars my way to a joint"

    ALWAYS,ALWAYS,ALWAYS(did I say ALWAYS?) give "big" hand and/or
    lantern signals. As an engineer I cant see your signal if your hand is too
    close to your body and what looks like a lantern signal may be your lantern jiggling while you are trying to lite your smoke!
    Dont be ashamed and dont let other guys tease you about it! Give BIG
    signals. If you are controlling the move, it is YOUR call, tell the other guys to "stuff it".

    Kevin, dont worry too much about the switches. Most of them are
    "floppers" and believe me, you WILL flop more than just a couple in your
    RR career. Same with derails, you may luck out and just jump the derail
    without going on the ground. Dont intentionally do it and dont think that
    you can get away with flopping a switch. It WILL happen! That's just the way it is. Every engineer will most likely get past a red board at least once in his career, hopefully it wont be a flagrant violation or a
    fatal one!

    Charlie T
     
  6. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have found that the very thing us modelers revere, the actual prototypes are far from it in the Prototype world. I once talked to an old hand about Alcos, RS3's in particular. He hated them and always tried to get an EMD on his assignment. I've talked to a few Engineers on BNSF and a lot of them hated the GP60M's, poor ride bad layout of the "desk" and a $##@ poor switching engine, exactly what some are used for now. Railroads are known for keeping dinosaurs on the road as long as they can still earn their keep.

    If the new BNSF ES44's and SD70ACe's were starships, they would be the Enterprise E, then your SD9 would be the original Enterprise:teeth:
     
  7. doofus

    doofus TrainBoard Supporter

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    Last I heard, if you use the terminology "my way" or "your way" you will get an efficiency test failure!!! It will also be considered a "Level S " rules violation!! The ONLY ACCEPTABLE choices for directions are "Ahead" and "Back Up". This was mandated by the FRA in conjunction with SOFA!! (Switching Operations Fatality Analysis).
     
  8. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

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  9. Adam Woods

    Adam Woods TrainBoard Member

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    From what I understand the whistle thing is becoming a level S rule violation (the 9th deadly sin maybe). And it will be the whole crew, a bumb rap for a brakeman if you ask me. Guess you'll have to fight your conductor for the button on that side or stand behind the engineer and make sure he/she does it right.
    Adam
     
  10. SDP45

    SDP45 TrainBoard Member

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    Kevin,
    I was at the Havana St. crossing of the railyard at Yardley today in Spokane. There were a few trainees out in the yard between 10:30-11:00am. Were you one of them?
    The switcher today was an odd combination of an old extended cab BN GP50/SW1000. Very odd to hear them rev up at different rates.
     
  11. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

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    Dan, yesterday I was in Pasco on my first road trip, I went down there monday night and got back this morning.
    They have been running that SW10/GP50 combo around yardley for nearly a week, it does not make sense to me, I do not see why they don't put a GP38 or GP39 with it and use the GP50 for locals.
    Kevin
     
  12. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

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    It has been a while since I posted a update but here goes....
    I am now in week 13, week 13 consists of RCO and Hostler training with a pass or get fired test as the end of the week! I have finished all of my road trips now with 2 to Whitefish and Wenatchee, and 6-8 to Pasco.
    Whitefish was definitly the most senice and even though it is the longets run at 250 miles I still had my fastest trip of them all with a running time of 5.25 hours. Wenatchee was also a cool run and on a Z train you could really zip along out there. I did the most trips to Pasco because that is the run I will do the most if I can even hold a road job. It took anywhere from 6-12 hours to make the run with the most time being taken up just trying to get through Spokane and Lakeside Jct, sometimes up to 6 hours.
    All in all it was alot of fun and very interesting but now I need to buckle down for the next 3 weeks and study, study, study.
    Kevin
     
  13. Mike Hackbarth

    Mike Hackbarth E-Mail Bounces

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    Good Luck. I'll be starting at N.A.R.S next monday so hope to be adding any tips I can come up with also:teeth:
     
  14. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

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    Well I am done now, we took our final test a week and a half ago and it went a lot better then I had planned. Everyone form my class passed and I got (accidentally) the first 100% anyone in Spokane can remember. So that was cool. Then this last week I got my RCO qualification. Now we are in extended training and when we are done with that we will be off to all points in the NW because they overhired in Spokane but can not hire enough on the coast. My wife is not happy about that and either am I but hopefully some jobs will open up soon.
    Kevin
     
  15. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Great job, Kevin!!!
    Good luck with your new career--keep us posted,a nd pics are always welcome. Good to hear from you again!

    Mike H,
    How'd your training turn out?
     
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Glad to know you've passed! Good luck with your new career!

    :D

    Boxcab E50
     
  17. sp4009

    sp4009 TrainBoard Member

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    It's hard having to bounce around after you hire out, but you'll get used to it and like me probably enjoy it. It will give you a chance to learn things from different groups of rails. After I hired out, I worked out of seven different terminals on and off over two years until I could hold year round in Bakersfield. The first winter that I didn't have to chase my job I actually missed it.
    If you make it over to Hauser, tell JT James, JE Pfeifer, CJ Davis, TL Williams and JE McKeen that Joe from Bakersfield says "Hi".

    Congrats and good luck,
     
  18. Charlie

    Charlie TrainBoard Member

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    Congratulations Kevin, I hope you don't get bounced around too much.

    I've been burned by that demon "forced" a few times. I didn't like it, but
    its part of the seniority process. I"forced" myself to Galesburg once, but
    came back as soon as jobs opened up in my regular home terminal.

    Hang in there!

    CT
     
  19. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Kevin, congrats on making the grade! Please keep us informed, I'm looking into BNSF myself.

    Charlie, Galesburg is where I would like to be, no opening right now though.
     
  20. Mike Hackbarth

    Mike Hackbarth E-Mail Bounces

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    Started GCOR training this week. Already done with yard. 100+ degrees for the week we were out there. Of course wouldn't you know it, it cools down to the 80's-90's after we come back to the classroom. Passed the hostler exam. Interviews are on thursday. My final (for GCOR) is on the 3rd of August. Two classes have already had their GCOR test. One class had an almost 50% failure rate.:eek:mg: Claims it's from a stuttering teacher that couldn't teach worth $hit.:angry: That teacher is in Oregon this week. So if your from there and run across him..... BNSF is watching him from all the complaints. So far I've had teachers from TX, KS, and now La Cross WI. Next week we have another teacher. All of them have had to go to Gillette WY to teach up there for a week.:unsure8ao: Most teachers have been pretty good. Well that's it from NARS for now......
     

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