(Contributed by Rick Leggett, ARR General Roadmaster)
It's not my job to run the train.
The whistle I don't blow.
It's not my job to say how far,
the trains supposed to go.
I'm not allowed to pull the brake,
or even ring the bell.
But let the damn thing leave the track,
And see who catches hell!
Seriously though, I am responsible for all track maintenance, construction,
snow removal, avalanche control, etc. etc. for the entire system. I
have four District Roadmasters who report to me and are responsible for their
respective territories. I am also responsible for all heavy equipment
operators and heavy equipment mechanics. We have approximately 115 employees
in Maintenance of Way during the winter and increase to +-200 in the summer.
Last year, MOW completed 16 million dollars worth of track and roadbed improvements.
This is in addition to a 7 million expense budget. I started working
for the ARR when I was 20 years old and have been here for 23 years.
To oversee the safe operation of the train and supervise the Train Crew, Must be experienced in the operation of heavy equipment.
Railroad Car Mechanic
To maintain safe operation of the train and perform maintenance of railcars in accordance with Federal Railroad Administration regulations. Welding experience and prior railroad experience required, preferably as a railcar carman or inspector.
Directs and coordinates activities to obtain efficiency and economy of operations to maximize the profits of the Railroad. Hiring and supervising of the managers and staff, including training, assigning and directing work, appraising performance, disciplining, and resolving problems. Submitting annual business plan, and analyzing monthly performance of the railroad to determine changes in operations required to stay on plan. Establishing and maintaining the railroad's credibility with its customers. Establishing the railroad within the community it serves, especially relations with connecting carriers, local suppliers, local, state and federal politicians and governmental agencies, and the business community. Representing the railroad within industry trade associations. Other duties as assigned by the Regional Vice President and RailAmerica executives.
The baggage handlers duties were to load and unload baggage from inbound and outbound trains. In small towns, the telegraph operator or station agent usually did this. The baggage handler had to make sure the baggage was placed on the right train, or was transferred from an inbound train to the right outbound train.
Prior to 1888 when Westinghouse developed a reliable air brake, stopping a train or a rolling car was very primitive. Iron wheels, located atop cars, were connected to a manual braking system by a long metal rod. The brakemen, usually two to a train, would ride on top of the car. On a whistle signal from the engineer, the brakemen, one at the front of the train and one at the rear of the train, would begin turning the iron wheels to engage the brakes. When one car was completed, the brakeman would jump the thirty inches or so to the next car and repeat the operation to apply the brakes on that car. The brakemen would work towards each other until all cars had their brakes applied. Tightening down too much could cause the rolling wheel to skid, grinding a flat spot on the wheel. When this happened, the railroad would charge the brakeman for a new wheel. New wheels cost $45, which was exactly what a brakeman earned a month. In good weather, the brakemen enjoyed riding on top of the cars and viewing the scenery. However, they had to ride up there in all kinds of weather - in rain, sleet, snow and ice, as well as good weather. Jumping from one car to the next at night or in freezing weather could be very dangerous, not to mention the fact that the cars were rocking from side to side.
Today, a train brakeman assists the conductor by throwing switches, hooking the train cars together and ensuring the safety of the train, passengers, and freight.
Supervise the switching, loading/unloading, breaking or making up of trains. Travel with the train on its assigned route. Inspect all equipment on cars prior to departures. Assist and instruct crews to couple and uncouple cars, throw switches, and make minor repairs to rail cars, including replacing heavy couplings or air brake hoses. Requires walking long distances over uneven terrain. Receive and review instructions from dispatchers, yard masters, and station agents and discuss with locomotive engineer and train crew. Ensure all train orders, signals, and railroad rules and regulations are complied with. Prepare required reports, including train bulletins, switch lists, time slips, delay and accident reports, industry work order, etc. Utilize onboard computer systems to process payroll and other information. Must complete annual training and successfully pass safety and operating rules examinations. Federal regulations require periodic testing for drugs and/or alcohol. Work hours vary in length and schedule, including being on call 7 days a week, 24 hours per day. Conductors are exposed to various safety hazards and are required to wear protective equipment such are hearing protection, safety glasses, etc. Most work is done outdoors, year around.
A train engineer operates the train, using a throttle and braking system to move it forward and back.
A train fireman is a job title from the steam era. Originally, firemen stoked the fire that heated the steam powering the engine. Now the fireman assists the engineer, operating the train when the engineer needs a break.
Senior Railroad Bridge Engineer
Position will be responsible for preparation of designs and plans for railroad structures. This position will have active involvement developing new work as well as serving as a Project Manager or Project Engineer on small to large projects.