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I recvd a conditional offer for Conductor Trainee Primary Recall what should i expect

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I recvd a conditional offer for Conductor Trainee Primary Recall what should i expect
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 8:11 PM
Hi and I am very new tro the board however I am in the process of becoming a BNSF employee. I took the test (over 110 people took the test) and they hired only 12. Well I got an email stating that with a favorable outcome of the pre screen process I will recv my final offer. The other day I took the drug test and on next week i go to take the physcal test. I was wondering how strict are they about the pre screen because I did get into a little trouble (probation) back in college (1997)however i did notify them about it at the time i submitted my application. I hear they just want to know about any thing Also what should I expect with this job. What will the first year consist of. Will i do any travelling at all? I am single 25 and no kids. Ready to work and excited! Please provide me with some feedback guys!

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 8:45 PM
Well,

It sounds like you'll be fine. Being HONEST is #1. We know people make mistakes and not everything should be held against them. I don't know how BNSF does training, but there's other BNSF employees that can hook you up. It also depends on your home terminal if you will be travelling or not. Some terminals there's mostly road jobs, so you'd be travelling to your away terminal and back, or catching a local. If your terminal has a lot of yard jobs you could be working the switchman's board and be home. It's hard to tell. Expect about 12 weeks of on the job training with a heavy dose of classroom instruction first thing. Just LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. Learn all you can and just take everything in. Don't try to change the world the first day on the job. Good luck and read the many posts about hiring out with the RR.
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Posted by MP173 on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 10:03 PM
Nate:

You moved yet?

How is the family?

ed
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Posted by csxengineer98 on Thursday, February 24, 2005 4:49 AM
go back through the other threads on this sight.... their are lots and lots of them that new or prospective railroad emplyees have askes questions in regards to what the job has in store for them..look for titels like "what is the job like"..or titles along the same lines... myself and many of my fellow brothers have posted many many many responces to rookies.....my fingers are tired of haveing to retype it in detail over and over and over agin...so to save my fingers and the other railroaders fingers ...try looking over the threads first...alot of information in their....
csx engineer
"I AM the higher source" Keep the wheels on steel
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 24, 2005 7:10 AM
Expect disturbed sleep, and no social life. You will become the property of BNSF.
Mitch
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 24, 2005 11:36 AM
Thanks for the replies.........But will I have any % of the job whereas I'll actually be on a train?
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 24, 2005 5:33 PM
You want to know what % of your life you'll be on a train??? If you work road service, it will be about half of your life. Just pray you have nice locomotives to sit on. But, you would work for BNSF, which in my opinion, has some of the best maintained locomotives in the freight industry. I wish I could say the same for my employer, but half the time I need a gas mask just to sit on one. I should just raise hell and refuse the power, but that only gets you so far.
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Posted by csxengineer98 on Thursday, February 24, 2005 6:43 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by n_stephenson

You want to know what % of your life you'll be on a train??? If you work road service, it will be about half of your life. Just pray you have nice locomotives to sit on. But, you would work for BNSF, which in my opinion, has some of the best maintained locomotives in the freight industry. I wish I could say the same for my employer, but half the time I need a gas mask just to sit on one. I should just raise hell and refuse the power, but that only gets you so far.
raising hell will only get you a mechanical department emplyee or a roadforman or trainmaster to come out with a can of air deotorizor... and orders to go....lol
csx engineer
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, February 24, 2005 6:48 PM
Ive raised many a hell from the depths of the earth refusing to drive a tractor that I believe ought not to be on the road.

Ended up either horsewhipped and delivering the load with the shakes and rattles included or out of productive dispatches and stuck on drag loads where there is no living to be made.

Now I believe if you have equiptment you can trust backed by a good shop you can go anywhere and do anything.

Good Luck!
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 04, 2005 8:02 PM
Well I took the strength test today........does anyone know of someone who did not pass???? I think I did ok.....And how long should it be before i hear something
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Posted by shrek623 on Friday, March 04, 2005 10:10 PM
Nupe2L,

First off, congrats on the job offer. Don't worry about the probation, if it was on your app then your ok. I'm not 100% sure what the low point to pass a strength test for BNSF is but I wouldn't worry about it. We had 20 people get offers in my class, 12 of which made it, 6 failed drug tests, and 2 turned down the offer at the last minute. The strength test is just to see if you can throw switches and such without difficulty, you'll be fine. They will inform you by email about a start date(which they might have done already) and then confirm it with a second email stating your prescreening went well. I had to call the HR guy to find out because I did not hear anything and my date got close. Suprising that the day after I left him a message asking he sent the confirmation email. When you start class, just take it easy and don't worry about impressing people, just take in every little bit of info you can. I have been taught good things from guys here 30 years and guys here 1 year so take it all in. DON'T act like you know everything because that will alienate you from these guys, I've seen it happen. If you are not sure ask questions, don't make a move if you aren't sure. I don't know what area you are hiring out in but should have between 15 and 19 weeks depending. 19 weeks(which is what I had) was for conductor, hostler, RCO, and suburban services training. You have to have 90% or higher to pass your exams, study and listen in class(which will test your ability to stay awake)and you WILL pass.

Part TWO,

WHEN you pass and go into the field, expect to feel as lost as you did on day one. You will develope a comfort zone so to speak when you are training and that comes crashing down when you start for real. Don't worry about it, it will get better with each passing day(speaking from personal experience here).
I am going to assume you are like me being stuck with 75% for brakeman's jobs. This is where you being single really comes into play. Look around for a terminal where they are hurting for people. I say this for this reason. I could hold the brakeman's board at best in Aurora, IL which mainly had me working yard or suburban jobs(75%). I recently transfered to Galesburg, IL. , where right now I can hold a pool turn or conductor extra boards(all 100%). Search it out, find a niche for you (whether it is yard, road) and find a place where you can hold what you want. I wanted the road so that is one reason why I came to Galesburg. Good luck and if you have any other questions feel free to ask. If I can't answer it (which is ALWAYS probable), the people on the forum are very helpful and will be glad to help I'm sure.Let us know how it goes.

'til next time,

Shrek
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 05, 2005 2:30 PM
Hey thx Shrek!
The initial email had an expected start date of May 16. Also will we be on the road during training? And are we responsible for providing our on gear such as coveralls and so forth......
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Posted by shrek623 on Saturday, March 05, 2005 8:37 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Nupe2L

Hey thx Shrek!
The initial email had an expected start date of May 16. Also will we be on the road during training? And are we responsible for providing our on gear such as coveralls and so forth......


Nupe2L,

Keep an eye on that date. If it gets into April and you haven't heard, call them. It depends on what terminal you are at for going on the road(I see you are primary recall so it must be former Santa Fe terminal). If your terminal has mostly yard jobs then you will spend most of your time in the yard. But if they do have road jobs(I'm sure they have some), they will probably send you on the road. We had two road pools, and I spent one week on each pool(3 round trips per pool). They will give you a radio, lantern, and assorted safety equipment like gloves and safety belts and such. They also will send you to get boots, of which they pay 80%, the other 20% will be deducted from your check. Clothing will be all your responsibility, so wear semi-loose comfortable clothes, as you will be climbing cars and what not.

P.S.-that primary recall could limit your movement for awhile as they can recall you for up to 5 years after hire back to your terminal of hire. Something to remember if you do transfer. Don't be shocked if down the road they call you back. I'm on the BN side so I was not subject to that.

Shrek
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 05, 2005 10:49 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by shrek623

QUOTE: Originally posted by Nupe2L

Hey thx Shrek!
The initial email had an expected start date of May 16. Also will we be on the road during training? And are we responsible for providing our on gear such as coveralls and so forth......


Nupe2L,

Keep an eye on that date. If it gets into April and you haven't heard, call them. It depends on what terminal you are at for going on the road(I see you are primary recall so it must be former Santa Fe terminal). If your terminal has mostly yard jobs then you will spend most of your time in the yard. But if they do have road jobs(I'm sure they have some), they will probably send you on the road. We had two road pools, and I spent one week on each pool(3 round trips per pool). They will give you a radio, lantern, and assorted safety equipment like gloves and safety belts and such. They also will send you to get boots, of which they pay 80%, the other 20% will be deducted from your check. Clothing will be all your responsibility, so wear semi-loose comfortable clothes, as you will be climbing cars and what not.

P.S.-that primary recall could limit your movement for awhile as they can recall you for up to 5 years after hire back to your terminal of hire. Something to remember if you do transfer. Don't be shocked if down the road they call you back. I'm on the BN side so I was not subject to that.

Shrek


Well supposedly we should hear something within 20 days........However I'm primary recall in Galveston Texas and I live in Houston which only about 45 minutes away....Most of they guys in the Houston terminal are primary Galveston so I'm not planning on doing any huge moves??? I hear we will do a little travelling while in training??
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Posted by shrek623 on Saturday, March 05, 2005 11:24 PM
Nupe2L,

I looked at Houston and it looks like you will do some road for sure. I personally like the road the most, maybe you will too, or maybe you will like the yard better. I don't know how many classes are going on right now ahead of you but they're hurting for people, so that's good for you. Hopefully there won't be too many more graduating ahead of you. Good luck to you and keep me and the others updated.

Shrek
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 05, 2005 11:58 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by shrek623

Nupe2L,

I looked at Houston and it looks like you will do some road for sure. I personally like the road the most, maybe you will too, or maybe you will like the yard better. I don't know how many classes are going on right now ahead of you but they're hurting for people, so that's good for you. Hopefully there won't be too many more graduating ahead of you. Good luck to you and keep me and the others updated.

Shrek



Thx Shrek......
Actually the day I took my strength test I ran into a woman who remembered me from the initial written test back in February (She was there taking her strength test too)....She told me that she knows someone who is starting a class on April 4th and then I guess our class begins on May 16th...is it likely for BNSF to have multiple classes?
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Posted by FThunder11 on Sunday, March 06, 2005 12:31 AM
What exactly do you do during a strength test? Do you like have to lift weights or something?
Kevin Farlow Colorado Springs
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Posted by spbed on Sunday, March 06, 2005 10:19 AM
If hired please keep us informed of your progress. Thanks

Living nearby to MP 186 of the UPRR  Austin TX Sub

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Posted by shrek623 on Sunday, March 06, 2005 11:43 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Nupe2L

QUOTE: Originally posted by shrek623

Nupe2L,

I looked at Houston and it looks like you will do some road for sure. I personally like the road the most, maybe you will too, or maybe you will like the yard better. I don't know how many classes are going on right now ahead of you but they're hurting for people, so that's good for you. Hopefully there won't be too many more graduating ahead of you. Good luck to you and keep me and the others updated.

Shrek



Thx Shrek......
Actually the day I took my strength test I ran into a woman who remembered me from the initial written test back in February (She was there taking her strength test too)....She told me that she knows someone who is starting a class on April 4th and then I guess our class begins on May 16th...is it likely for BNSF to have multiple classes?


Yes very much so. Up by me in Aurora they had one class just graduate and they still have three more ongoing. I think about 40 people or so still training. Depends on how hardup they forcast their terminal to be in the near future. Aurora is still pretty old.

Shrek
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Posted by shrek623 on Sunday, March 06, 2005 11:51 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by FThunder11

What exactly do you do during a strength test? Do you like have to lift weights or something?


FThunder11,

Picture a solid arm and leg bar attached to a computer. they strap one arm or leg in at a time and you have to do ten reps up and down as hard as you can. The harder the pressure you put, the harder the machine fights you. The computer then measures your torque output. This is what they use to determine if you are strong enough to throw switches and so on. Because the machine "fights you" when you do it, you feel like you were the weakest person on the planet when you're done. It's easy to feel like you didn't pass.

Shrek
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 8:57 PM
Well I finally recvd the confirmation and i report to class on May 16th @ 8AM
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Posted by edblysard on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 9:20 PM
Congrats...
Hope you know what your getting yourself into....if its what you really want to do, you will know about a week into it...
Keep your head cut in...
Ed
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, March 31, 2005 12:50 AM
shrek,

I love the way you explained the comfort level in training and then being cut loose on your own. I remember that time so very well. I was becoming confident in training and then my first trip alone I'm terrified hoping that I don't make any mistakes or tick off my engineer.
Now, I get to experience that all over again when I start qualifying on new territory next week. I'll be working out of Indianapolis on former Conrail lines, which use a different signal system and some operating rules are different as well.
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Posted by spbed on Thursday, March 31, 2005 6:52 AM
Good luck on your new routes. I'm sure you will pick up the new signal system easily. [:o)]


QUOTE: Originally posted by n_stephenson

shrek,

I love the way you explained the comfort level in training and then being cut loose on your own. I remember that time so very well. I was becoming confident in training and then my first trip alone I'm terrified hoping that I don't make any mistakes or tick off my engineer.
Now, I get to experience that all over again when I start qualifying on new territory next week. I'll be working out of Indianapolis on former Conrail lines, which use a different signal system and some operating rules are different as well.

Living nearby to MP 186 of the UPRR  Austin TX Sub

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Posted by arbfbe on Thursday, March 31, 2005 10:58 AM
You will have to buy your own Carharts. Sorry, Osh Kosh only makes kiddy clothes now. The railroad will provide your lantern, radio,gloves and safety glasses. They may provide boots or subsidize the cost. DON'T BUY the cheap Wal-Mart "work" boots. Buy high quality footwear since you may have to spend lots of time on your feet in rough terrain. Canvas or cloth coats are a better choice than nylon when fussee slag is falling on you from one of your hand signals. A hat may not be fashionable and it will leave you with hat hair but it is far healthier than going without.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, April 01, 2005 2:36 AM
The one thing that you should be aware of for a Primary Recall position is that during your first five years of employment with BNSF, if you transfer to a different terminal, you can be recalled (transfered back) to your original terminal at your own moving expense and with very little or even no warning at all (like "show up for work tomorrow morning" even though you now live five states away). Just be prepared for that if you transfer to another terminal in your first five years.

Good luck and please keep us posted.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, April 11, 2005 1:59 PM
I just recieved a call from the NS on April 8. I passed the medical and background check and I report to the terminal this Wednesday at 9AM and report for training at McDonough, GA on the 18th.
Good luck on the BNSF and be safe out there Nupe!

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