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punkrawker4783

Amtrak Conductors in Los Angeles

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I am curious if anyone on here has any experience working for Amtrak in Los Angeles.  I have noticed there are two postings for ACs in LA, when searching the zip codes, one includes LAUS (Amtrak Crew Base) while the other includes the Metrolink yard just north of DTLA.  Are ACs hired for Amtrak OR Metrolink, or are they interchangeable based on needs?  Anyone know what work schedules are like for both sides, which side you prefer?  I understand a new AC would start on the Extra Board, but knowing typical schedules helps make a deciding factor, like are a lot of ML schedules split shifts?  Are most Surfliner schedules one day trips? Etc.  Anyone with info or experience your info would be appreciated.  I am looking to apply with Amtrak in LA soon, and I know getting a hold of anyone in HR to ask these questions is nearly impossible.  Thank you in advance!

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I know you asked for people that work out there to chime in but I can fill you in on a couple of minor details.  There are three work zones out of Los Angeles. There is a crew base for Metrolink, a crew base for Los Angeles north/south/northeast  (towards Oakland/San Diego, La Junta )  and a crew base for Los Angeles southeast (towards Texas).

Metrolink is generally self contained and doesn't normally borrow employees from the Amtrak side (or vice versa). In case of disruption or manpower shortage, the two Amtrak crew bases can borrow a qualified employee from each other assuming that all qualified employees in the work zone have been exhausted or there isn't a qualified employee within reasonable distance within the work zone. Such incidents do not occur often. 

While I do not know anything about the work load, I do know that Metrolink is self contained and their Los Angeles crew base can not only cover Los Angeles, they may cover  Moorpark and Lancaster under normal circumstances. If push comes to shove, they may even protect the San Bernadino crew base.

In any case, the conductors have a nationwide roster. There is nothing stopping someone from bidding to other work zones after they complete their allotted lock in period (if applicable.)

With Metrolink, you are likely to be home every day. If you work the other zones, you may not be so lucky, particularly if you head out on the Sunset Limited route. You are also subject to potential set backs and major delays that occur on the long distance network. However, it also isn't commuter service so there isn't as much hustle and bustle.

Hope this helps a little bit.

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Well as of 1/14 3 openings for Conductors are posted for LAX. I’m going to take a gander that all three crew zones are up for hire.

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On 1/12/2019 at 7:10 PM, Thirdrail7 said:

I know you asked for people that work out there to chime in but I can fill you in on a couple of minor details.  There are three work zones out of Los Angeles. There is a crew base for Metrolink, a crew base for Los Angeles north/south/northeast  (towards Oakland/San Diego, La Junta )  and a crew base for Los Angeles southeast (towards Texas).

Metrolink is generally self contained and doesn't normally borrow employees from the Amtrak side (or vice versa). In case of disruption or manpower shortage, the two Amtrak crew bases can borrow a qualified employee from each other assuming that all qualified employees in the work zone have been exhausted or there isn't a qualified employee within reasonable distance within the work zone. Such incidents do not occur often. 

While I do not know anything about the work load, I do know that Metrolink is self contained and their Los Angeles crew base can not only cover Los Angeles, they may cover  Moorpark and Lancaster under normal circumstances. If push comes to shove, they may even protect the San Bernadino crew base.

In any case, the conductors have a nationwide roster. There is nothing stopping someone from bidding to other work zones after they complete their allotted lock in period (if applicable.)

With Metrolink, you are likely to be home every day. If you work the other zones, you may not be so lucky, particularly if you head out on the Sunset Limited route. You are also subject to potential set backs and major delays that occur on the long distance network. However, it also isn't commuter service so there isn't as much hustle and bustle.

Hope this helps a little bit.

It does, a little.  I didn't realize the Amtrak routes were split in LA like that, in Seattle and Portland the Cascades, Starlight and Builder all fill off the same board.  In Portland, two of the bids is Starlight one way, Cascades the other (at least it used to be).  Being away from home one night is ok.  There are pros and cons to each, Metrolink is mostly commuters, better clientele, but commuter service tends to have a lot of split shifts, look at Metra, Sounder, etc, while the Surfliner is likely a round trip in the same day, but it can pick up some winners.  The LD runs can pick up some *real* winners!!  There is so much Amtrak has changed over the years that used to be helpful in providing info on the jobs to help make these decisions, but now it seems the interview is the only opportunity and there are questions you *shouldn't* be asking in an interview (your supposed to sell yourself, and looking needy with all these questions that cater to me, well....). Thanks for the info.

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9 minutes ago, punkrawker4783 said:

It does, a little.  I didn't realize the Amtrak routes were split in LA like that, in Seattle and Portland the Cascades, Starlight and Builder all fill off the same board.  In Portland, two of the bids is Starlight one way, Cascades the other (at least it used to be).  Being away from home one night is ok.  There are pros and cons to each, Metrolink is mostly commuters, better clientele, but commuter service tends to have a lot of split shifts, look at Metra, Sounder, etc, while the Surfliner is likely a round trip in the same day, but it can pick up some winners.  The LD runs can pick up some *real* winners!!  There is so much Amtrak has changed over the years that used to be helpful in providing info on the jobs to help make these decisions, but now it seems the interview is the only opportunity and there are questions you *shouldn't* be asking in an interview (your supposed to sell yourself, and looking needy with all these questions that cater to me, well....). Thanks for the info.

Not quite sure how it worked in Northern California back when Amtrak was contracted for Caltrain operations.  I do remember talking to quite a few conductors on Capitol Corridor who said they used to work Caltrain, and that maybe in the future Amtrak would bid again.  Mostly they said they wanted to stay in the area and maintain their seniority rather than go to work for the new operator.

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10 hours ago, punkrawker4783 said:

It does, a little.  I didn't realize the Amtrak routes were split in LA like that, in Seattle and Portland the Cascades, Starlight and Builder all fill off the same board.

Amtrak splits things into work zones. It is possible the Cascades, Starlight and Builder all are part of the same work zone. Los Angeles has three work zones attached to it.  Places like Chicago, New York, Washington and Harrisburg have multiple zones attached to them.

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