Working at UP?

vagabond Jun 12, 2005

  1. vagabond

    vagabond TrainBoard Member

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    Hi! I'm a new member who is considering applying for one of the train service positions I see posted on the Union Pacific website. Does anyone know what exactly that job entails, what a typical shift consists of, rate of pay, working conditions at UP...that sort of thing? Or maybe know of a website that would have that info? Thanks! P.S. I'm really enjoying reading through the topics posted here!
     
  2. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  3. vagabond

    vagabond TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Flash, thanks a lot...really appreciate it! Those links were very helpful...gave me a good overview.

    Leads me to another question. I've been fascinated with trains for a long time, but admittedly, haven't researched the industry until now, so forgive me for what is probably an ignorant question. What are the duties of a conductor on UP? I interviewed with Amtrak a while back for an Asst. Conductor position, and it, of course, involved a lot of passenger interaction. Since there are no passengers on UP trains, what would that position consist of? Also, the posting I was interested in for train service with UP is in Eugene, Oregon. Any idea what the run out of Eugene would consist of...how far, what cities, etc?

    Again, sorry for asking such basic questions! Thanks for the help!

    [ June 13, 2005, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: vagabond ]
     
  4. jollysanta

    jollysanta TrainBoard Member

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    hey vagabond, if you work in a yard you work with the remote engines (locos controlled by a box, no engineer) or with a engineer maiking switching moves or on the mainline you get the power onto the train and once enroute just inform engineer of slow and other things and take care of problems enroute (break-in-twos) and making pickups enroute (not many of those left)
     
  5. vagabond

    vagabond TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, jollysanta! Sounds interesting...I am going to pursue it. I'm noticing a real "love/hate thing" with railroading on all the message boards, though, so I'm curious as to whether those who are working in the industry, or who have retired from it, would recommend it to someone like me, who is looking to break in? (By the way, I am 42, single/no kids, so the long hours and time away from home doesn't bother me.)

    [ June 16, 2005, 03:38 PM: Message edited by: vagabond ]
     
  6. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

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    Vagabond,

    Since you are single, willing to move I'd go for it. Not all yards run with RCL's, I'm an engineer in Sparks NV running a yard goat. RCL will come to Sparks soon but at the moment the engines are still manned. UP is like any other BIG corporation and you are a number in system. I love my job but the industry as a whole isn't employee friendly. I've watched crews of four men go down to two on the road. In the not too distant future the road jobs will have just one. Any unforseen problems will be taken care of by a roving attendent or two in a truck. Currently we are looking at a huge retirement in the next 10 years. Reduction of personal needs on the trains is one way to post pone the man power shortage. Now is the time to get on.

    Good luck,
    Greg Elems
     
  7. Family Lines System

    Family Lines System TrainBoard Member

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    Geez, and I thought working in todays airline industry sucked.. [​IMG]

    Mike C
    PHX
     
  8. vagabond

    vagabond TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, Greg...that's really helpful info. It's a shame the industry is heading in that direction, but I guess that's the harsh reality of the corporate world these days. Sounds like Mike C is seeing it in the airlines, and I'm experiencing it in the manufacturing sector. All things considered, I'm going to take your advice and try to break into railroading. It does sound like the time is right.
     
  9. vagabond

    vagabond TrainBoard Member

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    I've also been wondering exactly how it works for conductors and engineers when they take a train out. Do they travel as far as they can during an 8 or 12 hour shift, then lay over for 8-hours, before taking another back over the route they just covered, or do they lay over, then continue on with the same train? Can a crew end up travelling the length of the UP rail system, or do they primarily work in a single region? (Sorry to ask such lame, Railroad 101-type questions here on this board. Everyone seems so knowledgeable about the industry, and this is probably a boring thread, but I don't personally know anyone working in railroading that I can ask. Sure appreciate everyone's thoughtful responses so far!)
     
  10. jollysanta

    jollysanta TrainBoard Member

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    you have an assigned route like mine is Chicago, IL to Clinton, IA which will take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours, FRA mandate requires no actual working after 12 hours. Then when we get to Clinton another crew gets on and goes to Boone, then we go to a hotel and wait to be called again after 10 hours maybe up to 20 hours then head back to Chicago on a different train and then get to go home, and when you are Away from Home you can do whatever, so I guess if you lived close enough you can go home. Hope that helps
     
  11. vagabond

    vagabond TrainBoard Member

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    Hey jollysanta, that's really helpful...thanks again!!! By the way, is there ever any variety in what routes you run? Do you ever head south or east out of Chicago, instead of west? Or are you locked into the same run, day after day, year after year?

    [ June 21, 2005, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: vagabond ]
     
  12. jollysanta

    jollysanta TrainBoard Member

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    with low senority like I have I am locked into it for awhile and if you want to go on another route you have to have senority and then get quailfied on those runs too
     
  13. vagabond

    vagabond TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Jolly Santa, I'm not real familiar with your part of the country, but I dusted off my atlas and checked out your route, from Chicago to Clinton, IA, and noticed it was roughly 150 miles. Does it take six to 12 hours to complete because you are stopping along the way, or do you have to run slow because you're passing through populated urban areas? I also noticed the next crew's route, from Clinton to Boone, is a little longer...just under 250 miles. Do they have a longer run because they're running through more wide open Iowa farmland?
     
  14. jollysanta

    jollysanta TrainBoard Member

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    mostly takes that long because we have to get the train out of yard, no we do not slow down for towns. We stop alot along the way also, because there are many trains running (10 pounds of potatoes in 5 pound sack.) The other crews go farther because they can run farther since the train is already on the main so no time to get out of yard.
     
  15. esprrfan

    esprrfan TrainBoard Member

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    Think that's bad I'm a conductor for NS and one of the runs I draw often is 51 miles and yes I've had to be recrewed due to DOL

    [ July 14, 2005, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: esprrfan ]
     
  16. bigpine

    bigpine TrainBoard Member

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    Do the railroads of today still run an EXTRIA BOARD??
    When I worked for the S.P. you could make good money on the extria board.!!
    JIM
     
  17. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

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    Yes we still have Extra Boards. The extra boards have a Guarantee now, but UP keeps them short enough to not pay the guarantee so good money can be earned. Currently it doesn't take that much seniority to hold a regular pool job if you like on the trainman’s side.
     
  18. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

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    I am about to apply for a Train Service position in Spokane Wa. My question is how bad and reliable or unreliable are the working hours for these kinds of job on UP. I am married and about to get out of the Marine Corp and the money and bennifits would be nice while my wife is in school, plus with the hiering craz right now and the continued growth of the US RR industry right now I am hoping it will be a steady job for years to come.
    Kevin D Mumaw
    LCPL USMC
     
  19. vagabond

    vagabond TrainBoard Member

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    At the risk of sounding really ignorant (again), what does DOL mean?

    And just out of curiousity, what cities make-up that 51 mile run?

    [ July 26, 2005, 03:39 AM: Message edited by: vagabond ]
     
  20. Ed Pinkley#2

    Ed Pinkley#2 TrainBoard Member

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    DOL is tying up under the hours of service law.We can only perform service for the railroad for 12 hours.After that we can no longer do anything that pertains to train duties.But it seems we can babysit as long as they want us to.Espeerrfan do you ever go to Peru IN.?
     

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