Railroad Laborer....any do this?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by WEATHERBY460, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. WEATHERBY460

    WEATHERBY460

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    I am in the process of being considered for a railroad laborer posistion....pay I think will start at $20 an hour.....

    Does anyone have experience with this job? Is it a good thing to get into? Is it hard work? Thanks
     
  2. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

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    Not sure how old you are, but the railroads are a good field to get into. I don't think you would be "stuck" in that position forever. They actually have retirement plans that are pretty decent.
     

  3. WT

    WT Millennium Member

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    Yup, about 45 years ago.

    It is a very tough job.

    Best job I ever had.
     
  4. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Friend did it for a while, and that was pretty much his sentiment. He did it for.. I think about 3yrs. He said for about the first 10yrs, you can expect to work all holidays, etc.. until you gain enough seniority to get those days off. Overtime out the wazoo, if you like that sort of thing.
     
  5. Spiffums

    Spiffums I.C.P.

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    Sounds like it would be more track repair, installing crossing bars and lights, stuff like that. Probably be a really good job.
     
  6. RichJ

    RichJ

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    A guy who lived down the street from me did that. He liked his job and he looked to have been making decent bank.
     
  7. WEATHERBY460

    WEATHERBY460

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    What can I expect for pay now and in the future?
     
  8. humanguerrilla

    humanguerrilla

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    ......
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  9. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    Gandy dancer. My guess is that there are more machines and more automation than there was say a century ago. I am led to believe that a huge amount of freight including trailers move by rail. For much of our history working for a railroad was considered a good or great job. I would think that even now it would be difficult to have the tracks and right of way maintained by foreign workers in a foreign country. Good luck - I hope you get the job.
     
  10. *ASH*

    *ASH* FURBANITE

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    this, my uncle retired from the rails long ago , but he was busting his ass back when it was all blood ,sweat and tears . he moved up to executive but talked bout how hard it was
     
  11. jknight8907

    jknight8907

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    An ex-employee went to work for BNSF doing track maintenance. He gets laid off for 3 months a year, during the winter. Other than that and lots of travel, it's a good gig.
     
  12. humanguerrilla

    humanguerrilla

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    It can be a very hard job depending on what you do and who you work for. They are maintenance of way and do everything from operating on track equipment, laying and welding rail, dumping ballast, cleaning away fallen trees and obstructions, maintaining switches and rail, maintaining some railroad mechanical devices. You may have to travel to work major curfew maintenance projects in other parts of the country some months of the year. You likely will have to respond to emergency call outs/ derailments etc. at any time. You will have to work out in the heat, rain and snow (depending where you live) often in very remote locations. It is a very safety sensitive job. One track worker I know is overwhelmed documenting self safety briefings for everything everytime he gets out of his vehicle.

    Today at Class I railroads get used to being watched and tested while you work constantly by a safety officer/superviser who is awarded for firing you at anytime for rules violations. There are plentiful rules for everything. The officials (roadmasters, trainmasters etc.) are unlike any industrial safety officers encountered in other industries. There is no "Don't get distracted. That might not be the safest way to do that." or "Hey buddy, don't forget." There is only "You are fired".

    The railroads often overhire for all positions and hire and train to fill future vacancies. You will likely spend sometime furloughed until you build your seniority.

    Railroad retirement is very good but you pay a considerable amount more into it. Railroads have some of the best union health benefit plans.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  13. BEANCOUNTER

    BEANCOUNTER Millennium Member

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    Three generations of my family, including me for a short time a long time ago, worked for the railroad. My dad spent his entire working life on the railroad and my grandfather the majority of his.

    Much of railroad work is hard. Railroads run 24/7, 365 days a year, in good weather and bad, in daylight and dark of night. And working on or around railroad equipment can be dangerous. Railroads take safety very seriously.

    Dad loved his work. I liked my job, too, working in communications and signals. The pay was good. The people I worked with seemed to like their jobs, too.
     
  14. bush pilot

    bush pilot

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    Rent Blazing Saddles, that will show you the life of a railroad laborer.
     
  15. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    And Petticoat Junction. I would love to go across country on one of those pump hand carts. :cool:



    /
     
  16. clancy

    clancy Oh, for a muse of fire

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    This is exactly what a buddy of mine who works for the railroad told me. He makes about $100K plus, a year with his overtime, and has little tiem to spend it. He says that's a good thing, because when he started he was told to save as much money as possible because the likelihood off being fired for any infraction is ever present. He also said it is damned near impossible to keep any kind of relationship going, due to the hours. Wife or kid sick? Tough. Family member die? Hope there isn't an emergency somewhere, because if there is, you won't be allowed to go to the funeral if you want to keep your job.

    I decided not to tke the job. He is still there, and hates it, but he made close to $130K last year, and that is hard to walk away from.
     
  17. WT

    WT Millennium Member

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  18. humanguerrilla

    humanguerrilla

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    Laying concrete ties
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mj8QuwfIYM"]Ever seen a train lay its own track VIDEO - YouTube[/ame]

    Ballast Cleaner
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCu12MZ5qbA"]LORAM "BALLAST CLEANER" Another extreme machine! 1995 - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9iTr5Lu4lM"]CSX Track Maintenance in Action - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0_Kl319UCA"]M.O.W Crews Repair and Replace Rails as Trains Pass By at The Junction [HD] - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T70Qvj59aCU"]Norfolk Southern Maintenance of Way Parade - YouTube[/ame]

    Loading a work train
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA1po0ufKjE"]csx mow pt 3: loading the train - YouTube[/ame]

    Tie gang
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqz2OXQS_7Y"]2008 A & B Tie Gang Part 5 - YouTube[/ame]

    Maintainer checking defect detector
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MCbfQ_5hzg"]Me and Elton Testing the Defect Detector (February 24, 2010) - YouTube[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  19. The Fed

    The Fed

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    I have a friend who's a conductor. He stages container rail cars in a rail yard. I don't think he likes it. He told me you no longer get a special pension - that it's now akin to Social Security.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  20. humanguerrilla

    humanguerrilla

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    He is most likely still paying into Tier I and Tier II railroad retirement. It's a lot better than social security, especially vested a full 30 years. There has been talk for a long time of raiding it and lumping it with social security which would totally screw railroaders.

    Yard conductors make a good deal less money than road conductors but actually have something of a schedule and a life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013