A Locomotive engineer in a new enviroment

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A Locomotive engineer in a new enviroment

  • Hi Folks , i am a Locomotive engineer with about 6 years experience in the United Kingdom , used  to work for South west trains , the Toc based at London Waterloo St , but my home depot was Farnham  ( Member of Aslef , http://www.aslef.org.uk/ ) ; i have been invited for a hiring session here in the Usa for Up ,  for Bill , Wy , Is there anything that i should Know or be Aware of ?  , the Rules , Traction and Union Agreements are of course diffrent in here  , but i will like to hear from the real people on the site.



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  • I can't comment on the job as I don't nor have any ever worked for a railroad but I did see an article somehwere on Bill Wyoming.  there isn;t even a building there yet.  It is a brand new crew change point that is about as remote as it gets.  eventually they will build a hotel and dining hall there.  The manager is commuting some huge distance to the site.  As I recall house trailers are currently being used.  If you like wide open plains scenery and want to get away from current urban life stress then you will probably love it.  Bring your own free time diversion because there isn't anything there.  No pub, supermarket, restaurant, people, anything.
  • here is a link to another forum with the article about Bill Wyoming and some pictures.


  • Thanks for the inf. ndbprr , i do actually like open spaces and woods  , but i do have a family as well , so  i will look into it , there ia a town not so far away i think ! , its call Douglas , i'll check it ; here in the Usa the distances are huge , so better know for sure , i am actually in Dallas so the move in Hrs only is around 20 + !



  • I've been to Bill, and I don't remember there being much there, but Douglas is quite big, and there are nearby towns that are quite noticable in neighbing South Dakota.
    -Michael It's baaaacccckkkk!!!!!! www.youtube.com/user/wyomingrailfan
  • Hi wyomingrailfan , I look at your pics , and i got a question for you ; on the pic of the two locomotives at Little Rock there is a Main aspect signal to the right of the pic on the floor  , in England we use only signals on the floor for shunting or for passing loops or if visibility is reduce from the normal position or associated with  a main aspect if permissible workings are permited ( wich means that more that one train can be at one time on a platform , ussually for coupling or perhaps because the " Top " train is leaving early and it is of a short formation )

    Going back to the Pic i do not know why there is a main aspect signal on the floor ? , is that train on a reversible rd ? On the wrong direction ? and to be honest i assume ( i do never assume anything on the job though ! ) that that signal on the left ( floor as well ) is a shunting signal , but why there is one on top of another ? one apply to the location and one is what we call a distant signal ?

    i know it sound strange , but i am used to the Rules in the Uk , so to get on the railroad in here is a big challenge for me , i need to erase all my rules knowledge and replace it with the railroad rules that i may work for in here.

    i have also notice that the trains in here travel at a considerable less speed that what we do in europe , leaving London is 75 Mph , but once in the country we do 125 mph , but only for passenger though.

  • It's an odd signal that is used for that siding(we locals call it the Amtrak siding), there is another one out of sight behind me on a curve. The light colors are(top to bottom):Green, yellow, blue, and red. Not sure what the blue is for, but I think it is used for a "stop" that is used only for Amtrak.

    I have seen it for all of my life and yet now I relize I don't know what to call it, but I think it's a type of dwarf signal(one to left in pic you mentioned)

    -Michael It's baaaacccckkkk!!!!!! www.youtube.com/user/wyomingrailfan
  • Bill offers steady employment, LOTS of coal trains.  Down side is that you are in the middle of nowhere.  If you like open you will like Bill.  If you like woods, you won't be as excited about Bill (its located in the Thunder Basin National Grassland).   Casper is the largest "city" around but its probably too far for you to live and make calls.  On the other hand, on the other side of the state is Yellowstone Park and some of the most beautiful scenery in the US.  If you like skiing you are just a couple hundred miles from lots of slopes.

    Be prepared for the weather.  Lots of blowing wind, lots of snow, lots of cold.  Snow doesn't really fall in Wyoming, it blows sideways.

    Dave H.

    Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

  • It will be like starting all over again. I dont know what size trains you run but coal is 16k+. Our locomotive contols are going to be different, signals will be different, operating procedures everything. Having prior railroading experience will be to your advantage though. As I mentioned everything will be different but the fundamentals of train handling etc will be to your advantage. Dont worry about being an engineer though. You will have to be a trainman (Conductor, Brakeman, Switchman) before you become an engineer. Once you become a trainman you submit a bid to become an engineer as classes open up. When you have enough seniority to get into one then you start the Locomotive Engineer Training Program. It takes about 6 to 9 months to complete. I work for the BNSF and it was 3 weeks of class, 4 and a half weeks of running trains, and 3 weeks of class including final exams. 3 parts written 1 part train simulator. If you dont pass you are fired, period. If you are an engineer already you shouldnt have a problem though. On the UP they may do their engineer program a little differently as far as scheduling and time to complete the program, but the tests are the same. The conductor trainee program is about 4 months long from what I remember. When they interview you, its all about safety working all hours and being available. If you have any more questions feel free to ask because I have been through it all. Dont worry about where you are going to live yet, gotta get a seniority date first then see where it takes you.
  •   If you like the woods, you won't like eastern Wyoming, lol.  High desert/plains as far as the eye can see.

      Also very dry, low humidity compared to what you're used to.

      I spent 25 years in Wyoming, and while it wasn't with the railroads, I wouldn't move a family into that part of Wyoming.

      The towns are mostly all energy boom/bust towns with all the associated problems.

      Also, regarding train speed in the PRB, I remember reading once a guy said he topped out at 13 mph once at that was flying there. 

      Faster once they leave the PRB of course, but not like you're used to.

    "Realism is overrated"