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Auto req ID 4395BR
Posting title Train Operator (Freight Conductor) - Canada
Position profile

Simplified application process for Train Operators/Conductors in Canada.
Click on the link to learn more:

Train Operators/Conductors supervise train operations as well as move, switch, inspect, couple and uncouple railcars. They prepare reports and at times, they deliver and pull customer goods.

Critical performance areas include the following but may vary depending on location and circumstances:

  • Responsible for the operation and administration of the train and assume responsibility for the freight carried on the train.
  • Carry out switching activities, which include coupling and uncoupling railcars, getting on and off moving equipment, climbing ladders on railcars, operating switches and other track components, as well as operating remotely controlled locomotives.
  • Switch trains in accordance to rules, regulations and clients' needs.
  • Understand and adhere to operating and safety rules, policy procedures and regulations.
  • Provide, prepare and receive verbal and written communication concerning the movement and placement of railcars, as well as for the operation of trains and locomotives.
  • Observe, interpret and relay signals concerning train and locomotive movement.
  • Operate switches, derails and other components to change locomotives and railcar routes.
  • Inspect trains and equipment and ensure they are in proper condition for operation.
  • Operate various devices on railcars, such as the uncoupling levers, handbrakes and bleeding rods to separate and couple railcars.
  • Occasional lifting and carrying.
  • Complete paperwork and interpret orders.

Working Conditions:

  • Irregular hours, including nights, weekends, holidays, and overtime.
  • Work outdoors in varying weather such as snow, rain, extreme temperatures and environmental conditions.
  • Work away from home for long periods of time, including overnight, associated with train trips
  • Work shifts up to 12 hours in duration where required.
  • Comply with safe work procedures and policies.
  • Perform repetitive physical activities during the course of a shift.
  • Frequent ladder climbing/balancing on railcars, grasping and working at heights of 4-8 feet (1-2 meters) off the ground and elevations, bending, stooping, squatting, kneeling, performing overhead work, lifting/carrying up to 50 pounds (22 kg) and occasionally up to 85 pounds (39 kg).

Employment Requirements:

  • Must meet medical fitness for duty requirements for the position, including requirements for Safety Critical Positions established by the Railway Association of Canada medical guidelines.
  • Possess or ability to obtain a valid passport allowing entry/re-entry to the U.S. and Canada in certain specific locations.
  • Reliable and predictable attendance.
  • Valid driver's license.


  • High School diploma or equivalent General Education Diploma (GED) or higher
  • Completion of college or vocational/technical school and/or Freight Conductor experience.
  • Previous experience as a Conductor for a freight railroad
  • Training or certification in Railroad Operating Signals.
  • Relevant work experience in similar working conditions or regulatory/safety environment.
  • Basic computer skills

Work location:

Basically, there are two types of assignments: road and yard service. When assigned to road service, candidates must travel and may be absent from their home terminal for periods in excess of 24 hours, and they may not know exactly when they will return. In yard service, shift assignments are in the yard or home terminal and shifts are approximately eight hours per day.


Newly hired Train Operators will take part in seven weeks of training including five weeks in the classroom and two weeks in the yard under the guidance of skilled instructors. Once the seven weeks of training are complete, candidates will complete a minimum of 45 to 60 trips as an extra person on a crew to enhance their knowledge and skills. Successful completion of the training course is mandatory in order to work as a Train Operator.

The ideal candidate profile:

  • Ability to work autonomously, adapt to different situations and manage stressful situations.
  • Demonstrate good teamwork approach and maintain positive interactions with others.
  • Good English verbal and written comprehension and writing skills.
  • Constantly alert and prepared for unexpected conditions or circumstances.
  • Conform to operating rules and safety procedures and maintain a high level of safety awareness in the work environment.
  • Dedicated to getting the job done while meeting established standards of quality, safety, productivity and client satisfaction.
  • Common sense and good judgment.

Average Salary: In 2012, Canadian Conductors earned an average salary of $85,000.

City Melville
Country Canada
©2015, Canadian National Railway Company
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