Assistant Passenger Conductor Trainee Training

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Lew Archer, Jun 7, 2011.

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  1. Jun 7, 2011 #1
    Hi, I am looking to apply for a Assistant Passenger Conductor Trainee position and would like to ask what the training consists of? I read this is the job ad....

    "the incumbent will be required to successfully complete a seven- to eight-week training course including classroom instruction and fieldwork followed by extensive qualifying and on the job training associated with the assigned Crew Base"

    Would the seven to eight week training course be done in my area? Or is it someplace else?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jun 7, 2011 #2

    Acela150

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    The training is done in Wilmington, DE. You will need to qualify on NORAC which is a Book of Rules, Signals, and many other things. You WILL need to memorize it IIRC. Keep in mind Amtrak hires at 21.
     
  3. Jun 7, 2011 #3

    had8ley

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    had8ley

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    Also, depending on what zone you're in, don't plan on any regularity in your life as you'll probably ride the extra board for up to five or six years. :help:
     
  4. Jun 7, 2011 #4
    you will go to Wilimington Deleware for 2 months of classroom traning, all expenses paid by Amtrak. If you sucessfully complete your classroom training, when you get back to your asigned rew base you will have some "On the Job" training. Basicly you will follow around senior conductors and get time to pratice when you learnined in Wilmington and learn how all the books apply to real-life. If you sucessfully complete the OTJ training you will then 'mark-up' to the Extraboard for your asigned crew base. You will stay on the extraboard until your seniority is high enough to hold an asignment. Working the extraboard you will be owned by the railroad, forget dating, social event, and family life. You are on-call 24 hours a day6-7 days a week, and have to be able to make it to work within two hours of being called in. Good Luck

    -Nick

    Conductor, Sacramento, CA
     
  5. Jun 18, 2011 #5
    Nick-

    I see you are in Sacrament, I am too. I assume I will be working on the Capital Corridor and the Zephyr??

    Does that mean I would work from say, Sac to some stop east? Or Could I go as far as Chicago?

    Do you like working out of Sacramento?

    **EVERYONE**

    What is the pay once you are on the job? Can one obtain a copy of the study materials now and start ready before training? Two months of class room seems like a long time, what topics are taught. Is Amtrak a steady job to have (chances of lay-offs)?
     
  6. Jun 18, 2011 #6
    Zephyr is based out of Oakland, you would work the extra-board in sac, so Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin, and Coast Starlight primarily. Conductors are bound by hours of service, so you can only work a max of 12 hours before you have to be relived, layovers are San Jose, Kalamath Falls, San Luis Obisbo, and Bakersfield. Sacramento is a great crew base, chances are you would be hire for sac, but forced to mark-up in Oakland, it takes a bit of seniority to hold the extraboard in sac, most peolpe that get hired for sac get bumped off the board as soon as they mark up and wind up working the Oakland crew base. good luck

    -Nick
     
  7. Jun 26, 2011 #7

    Pete

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    Pete

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    Nick,

    So how many hours per pay period does one average while doing extra board? What is the pay scale for Assistant Passenger Conductor?

    Thanks!
     
  8. Jul 6, 2011 #8
    What does the extra board means?
     
  9. Jul 6, 2011 #9

    AlanB

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    AlanB

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    It means that you don't have a regular work schedule on a particular train. You only work when another conductor calls in sick, goes on vacation, or is otherwise unable to work. Amtrak will still guarantee you a certain number of hours each month, but you could end up working a full month or only part of the month depending on things.
     
  10. Jan 11, 2012 #10

    Heidi

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    Heidi

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    Could anyone offer me more information on the initial training session (Asst. Pax Conductor) in Wilmington? I was told at an orientation/pre-test meeting very recently that the training was ten weeks long. Really? Ten weeks at some hotel in Delaware? Or is it two months as I've read in other forums, with a couple weeks of training at home? Do we get a break or get sent home at any time? Weekends off to explore the region? I've worked several jobs in the airline industry and was never subject to such lengthy training away from home!

    I'm in Shelby, Montana and would be working the Empire Builder. Does anyone know, roughly, how many hours I could expect each month if I were on the Extraboard?

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
     
  11. Jan 11, 2012 #11

    rrdude

    rrdude

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    Can't offer any knowledge on time spent in DE, I can however offer unsolicited advice on typing "too much" info about where you are, and what routes you will be working.

    Hang on, I'm no "Identify Theft" paranoid-psycho, just offering advice to a new hire, that, some, and I stress "some" at the RR you will be working for, might not like the fact that you are posting...........

    There are still some oddballs out there, and they only need some made-up reason.....
     
  12. Jan 11, 2012 #12

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    Lol Delaware is one of the most boring state in America if you ask me. Not much to do. Very little history. The history is 20 minutes north by Amtrak in Philadelphia. Just my opinion.
     
  13. Jan 11, 2012 #13

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

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    What is great about Delaware is that it's not far from big cities, history, beach/shores, mountains, etc. without the pains of living in these areas.
     
  14. Jan 11, 2012 #14

    OBS

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    OBS

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    IIRC, for a portion of the time, you will be in class 6 days a week. But I have had groups of students traveling on the weekend to/from other cities in the corridor just to get away for the day.
     
  15. Jan 12, 2012 #15

    Heidi

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    Heidi

    Guest

    Thanks for the advice, rrdude, although I'm not sure I completely understand the need for discretion... I'm simply trying to do a little info-gathering.

    As for Delaware, I'm sure I'll be able to find something or somewhere nearby to entertain myself. I was more curious about the actual length of time in class and what kind of free time we had in the 8 or 10 weeks away from home. Thanks all!
     
  16. Jan 12, 2012 #16

    VentureForth

    VentureForth

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    Working on the Empire Builder route is very prime pickin's. I would think that newbies would be relegated to the NEC or somewhere considered "low" on the totem pole. Higher seniority ACs could pitch a fit and cry foul.
     
  17. Jan 12, 2012 #17

    OBS

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    When you are hired, it is for a specific crew base location. I personally would have NEC very high on my totem pole, where 99% of the time, I would be home every night vs spending 3 days or nights a week

    in a hotel room. jmho
     
  18. Jan 13, 2012 #18

    AlanB

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    Agreed! :)

    Someone is hired for a specific crew base, where you are then low man on the totem pole.

    And the NEC would be considered by many to be a prime location. In addition to your reasons, one also gets higher speed running and one doesn't have to contend with freight dispatchers that consider you to be a low priority. One only deals with Amtrak dispatchers, who of course know what the priorities are.
     
  19. May 3, 2012 #19

    Daniel

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    Daniel

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    I'm just looking into this...where do I apply?
     
  20. May 3, 2012 #20

    Daniel

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    Daniel

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    I'm looking for a career change, getting out of medicine. Is this something that I can accomplish since I am already middle aged?
     
  21. May 9, 2012 #21

    Mike

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    Mike

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    Do u get your own hotel room in DE?
     
  22. May 9, 2012 #22

    OBS

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    OBS

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    yes
     
  23. May 9, 2012 #23

    Shortline

    Shortline

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    I can't speak for Amtrak specifically, never worked for them, but it's common in the Industry to hire people with life experience. Something to think about, depending on what career track you follow-I'm not sure if On Board Service personnel fall under Railroad Retirement or not like a Conductor/Engineer does. RR Retirement is absolutely fantastic (assuming Congress keeps their hands off of it) but does have some drawbacks for those starting later in life-Generally hile you only need 5 years of service to be vested in the program, to gain full retirement bennefits, you need to have 30 years of service with the railroad. With 30 years of service, you can retire and draw on it beginning at age 60. If you won't have 30 full years in before you plan to retire, you will not earn the full retirement, it will be a decreased rate. If you already have other retirement plans, or investments, may not be that big of an issue for you. You typically cannnot draw RR Retirement AND Social Security. At full retirement (60/30 or greater) you will not get any Social Security in fact (the RRB programs are sort of combined with, but separate from, SS), but if you retire with less than full retirement, you will get either SS or RR Retirement portion of the greater of the two. (Note-I'm NOT a RR Retirement expert, check with the RRB for full details on how you will be affected!) The cool thing about RR retirement, is if you are married, even your spouse will draw a retirement, roughly equal to about 40% of what your retirement comes to, give or take. I am curious though, if the OBS crews pay into and get RR Retirement? EB OBS, can you answer that?

    As to your age being a problem, I think you will find the opposite is actually true-Railroads typically want to hire people who have generally settled down, are responsible, are more concerned with working than partying, and bring their experience with them. They especially like to hire ex military, police, paramedics, etc who are used to change, can easily adapt to the shift work/on call work, etc. I would think coming from the medical field, may be a plus for you depending on what you did. If you worked high stress volitile areas in medicine, like the ER, ambulances, night work as an X ray tech and on call type stuff, be sure and emphasize that in your resume.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2012
  24. May 9, 2012 #24

    OBS

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    OBS

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    Yes, OBS employees are covered by RR Retirement.
     
  25. May 9, 2012 #25

    Shortline

    Shortline

    Shortline

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    Good to know, thanks!
     

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