Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters

OCCUPATION DESCRIPTION

Coordinate activities of switch-engine crew within railroad yard, industrial plant, or similar location. Conductors coordinate activities of train crew on passenger or freight trains. Yardmasters review train schedules and switching orders and coordinate activities of workers engaged in railroad traffic operations, such as the makeup or breakup of trains and yard switching.

SKILLS & REQUIRED SKILL LEVELS
Core Skill Levels Required:
  • Monitoring: 4
  • Coordination: 3.88
  • Critical Thinking: 3.62
  • Management of Personnel Resources: 3.5
  • Time Management: 3.5
  • Complex Problem Solving: 3.38
  • Reading Comprehension: 3.25
Supplemental Skill Levels Required:
  • Speaking: 3.12
  • Active Listening: 3.12
  • Operation and Control: 3.12
  • Operation Monitoring: 3.12
  • Judgment and Decision Making: 3
  • Systems Analysis: 3
  • Systems Evaluation: 3
  • Active Learning: 3
  • Instructing: 3
  • Persuasion: 3
  • Social Perceptiveness: 3
  • Quality Control Analysis: 3
  • Writing: 2.88
  • Learning Strategies: 2.75
  • Service Orientation: 2.62
  • Mathematics: 2.62
  • Troubleshooting: 2.12
  • Negotiation: 2.12
  • Operations Analysis: 1.62
  • Management of Material Resources: 0.88
  • Management of Financial Resources: 0.75
  • Science: 0.5
  • Programming: 0.5
  • Technology Design: 0.38
  • Equipment Maintenance: 0.12
CORE TASKS
  • Signal engineers to begin train runs, stop trains, or change speed, using telecommunications equipment or hand signals.
  • Receive information regarding train or rail problems from dispatchers or from electronic monitoring devices.
  • Direct and instruct workers engaged in yard activities, such as switching tracks, coupling and uncoupling cars, and routing inbound and outbound traffic.
  • Keep records of the contents and destination of each train car, and make sure that cars are added or removed at proper points on routes.
  • Operate controls to activate track switches and traffic signals.
  • Direct engineers to move cars to fit planned train configurations, combining or separating cars to make up or break up trains.
  • Receive instructions from dispatchers regarding trains' routes, timetables, and cargoes.
  • Review schedules, switching orders, way bills, and shipping records to obtain cargo loading and unloading information and to plan work.
  • Confer with engineers regarding train routes, timetables, and cargoes, and to discuss alternative routes when there are rail defects or obstructions.
  • Arrange for the removal of defective cars from trains at stations or stops.
  • Inspect each car periodically during runs.
  • Document and prepare reports of accidents, unscheduled stops, or delays.
  • Confirm routes and destination information for freight cars.
  • Verify accuracy of timekeeping instruments with engineers to ensure trains depart on time.

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