DEV Community

Discussion on: I used to be an engineer on the railroad, now I engineer software, Ask Me Anything!

theringleman profile image
Sam Ringleman Ask Me Anything

Oh thank you so much!

So typical day is pay attention to the phone constantly. When called head in to work. Get the paperwork, and hop on the train and take it to its destination or switch cars in the yard. The hours were 24/7 on call. Brutal.

You have your home terminal, depending on if you can hold it due to seniority. As a younger engineer or conductor, you typically worked the extra board so you would go on any route that left the home terminal. If your seniority is low, it is very common to be bumped out of a terminal and you would have to go elsewhere that you can hold.

I was in Denver, small towns throughout CO, Lincoln, Kansas, Wyoming. All over the midwest.

But you hop on your train, take it to your destination, go to a hotel. Wait for the next call, hop back on a train and go home. Repeat for 40 years and you have a good retirement.

I got bored to fast, and tired of getting laid off. I am soooooo happy I made the switch!

bmitch profile image
Bill Mitchell

Thanks for the insight. That's really interesting. Being a conductor always seemed to me like a dream job but I guess the reality is that it is a very tough job.

Definitely a cool item to have on your resume though!

Awesome work on making the transition!