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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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BNSF Railway

Here's to anyone who may be looking for a job. It's with BNSF Railway. Excellent pay and benefits. Listed as the 9th best company to work for in the DFW area, and highly ranked in employee satisfaction with their jobs.

Click this link: https://secure.recruitingcenter.net/...nviewjobs.cfm?

Then click "View All Positions" If you have any questions about a specific job that can't be answered from the website, PM me and I'll tell you what I know. Between myself and the 4 other people in my family that work/worked there, we've held about every position.

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 08:10 AM
 
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ive been applying there for about 4 months now, heard it takes a while to get on if you dont know someone or dont go to NARS. Finally got my first orientation/testing....
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 05:01 PM
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I know 4 people that work for them ...my dad worked for them for 36 years

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-13-2006, 04:18 AM
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Be careful on tickets, i went in and took the test and interveiw and the interveiw went great and the guy even told me i was the best interveiw out of all of the others, but because they make you list your traffic tickets i did not get the job b/c i have had 1 ticket every year for the past 4 years. That sucked so bad b/c none of them were on my record and its only 4 tickets. I wish now that i would not have put them b/c their is no way to find them since their not on my record.


But good luck to ya
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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They're hiring a ton of new train dispatchers, which I heard of yesterday when I talked to the hiring guy. You'll be making $75k to $80k a year, about $275/day. You work 40 hrs a week, sometimes saturdays (anything over 40 is time and a half here). You can only work 9 hours every 24 hours. You get 1 or 2 holidays off to start with.

Training is really intense. You must have 30 college hours, take a class at TCC (after talking with BNSF) which automatically places you in BNSF. You train for quite a few months until you get 60 on-your-own shifts completely. You train with a dispatcher next to you for quite some time and everyone now and then you are on your own. Drug test is a hair test with an extensive background check. If you screw up once in this job, you're pretty well fucked for a while since you'll probably have killed a few people. If you're serious and meet the qualifications, check out the website.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 11:15 PM
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B..ut
N..obody
S..aid anything about
Furlough

By the way what do you do for BNSF Im a conductor myself for UP. You can't spell stupid without UP.

TRAIN TRASH it's like WHITE TRASH but with money.

My other vehicle is a Locomotive.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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I'm interning right now with the Finance Technology Mgmt department. Just finished up yesterday actually. Will probably be back in the economist's dept. doing forecasting and planning in the spring as well. I'm a 4th gen. on the Santa Fe side so I've grown up with it my whole life. 5th in the family to work there, dad retired from there and my mom works in tech. services.

My cousin is actually a hog head on the Winslow, AZ to Belen, NM route. What route are you running for the UP? Grandfather and great grandfather did switchman, conductor, and brakeman for the Santa Fe.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreightTrain
B..ut
N..obody
S..aid anything about
Furlough

By the way what do you do for BNSF Im a conductor myself for UP. You can't spell stupid without UP.
They haven't had any layoffs since Krebs left as CEO and Matt Rose took his place. Hell 80% of the guys there now are retiring in the next 5 years and they're trying to catch up with hiring a shitload of people lately.

I grew up with this one....
B..ig
N..ew
S..anta
F..e

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Swag
They're hiring a ton of new train dispatchers, which I heard of yesterday when I talked to the hiring guy. You'll be making $75k to $80k a year, about $275/day. You work 40 hrs a week, sometimes saturdays (anything over 40 is time and a half here). You can only work 9 hours every 24 hours. You get 1 or 2 holidays off to start with.

Training is really intense. You must have 30 college hours, take a class at TCC (after talking with BNSF) which automatically places you in BNSF. You train for quite a few months until you get 60 on-your-own shifts completely. You train with a dispatcher next to you for quite some time and everyone now and then you are on your own. Drug test is a hair test with an extensive background check. If you screw up once in this job, you're pretty well fucked for a while since you'll probably have killed a few people. If you're serious and meet the qualifications, check out the website.

feel like an idiot man but i couldnt find it on the job listing

real trucks dont have spark plugs



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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 11:25 AM
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 12:04 PM
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Im a railroad whore and just hang out on the extraboards where I can make the most money. Of course that usually means going to the shithole places of the railroad. I run out of san antonio so the majority of my trips are up to Hearne. Although, this past month since Im building a house and need to be close to home for a while I went back to the yard working the RCO engines. I might stay here awhile since I like sleeping in my own bed everynight and the yard extraboard is way low so I've been doubling out over twice a week and averaging about 400 bucks a day.

TRAIN TRASH it's like WHITE TRASH but with money.

My other vehicle is a Locomotive.

Don't cupple up without protection.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stocklx
feel like an idiot man but i couldnt find it on the job listing
Might not be posted. They tend to post them according to the classes at TCC. I would say talk with TCC and get a contact from them at BNSF.

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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http://www.tccd.edu/neutral/Division...key=162&menu=2

That's TCC's website. Contact Sandra Giles for more info, I guess.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-13-2006, 07:29 PM
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 10:21 AM
 
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how "deep" do they go in a background check? I mowed lawns for 3 years about 6 years ago, didnt claim any of it on my taxes, and that was my sole form of income-would that nix me?
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 12:55 PM
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I know with UP and UP mostly sets the standards in the railroad industry as they are the largest railroad in the country during a background check they are only looking for felonies and dwi's and what not. They also check your refrences just to make sure you didn't lie on your application and that you are a good worker. Truthfulness goes along way on the railroad and I just worked with a guy that got fired for 3 months for lieing about derailing some cars. They didn't fire him for derailing them they fired him for lieing about it. So on your application try to be correct and as truthful on were you worked and the dates. As far as mowing lawns for 3 years that would actually look good in the eyes of a railroad if you are trying to get on with Engineservice. car department, or maintance of way because it shows them that you are not affraid to work outside or get a little dirty.

TRAIN TRASH it's like WHITE TRASH but with money.

My other vehicle is a Locomotive.

Don't cupple up without protection.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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BNSF vs UP?

While I don't live in North Texas, I stumbled across this forum and figured it was as good a place as I'd find to post my question. (I know we Alaskans have a rivalry with y'all down there--after all, if you cut Alaska in half, Texas'd be the third-largest state--but I hope you'll look past that and help me! :-)

I'm trying to get a sense of employee satisfaction ratings for BNSF and UP. I get the general sense that people are happier at BNSF ("you can't spell stupid without UP," etc.), but I want to get a more concrete picture.

I'm currently a brakeman with the Alaska Railroad (will be trained and promoted to conductor either this winter or next) and plan on staying here for at least a few years, but if and when I decide to move on--and if I decide not to change careers--I want to know who I'd be happier with.

One factor is that UP does have a (small) yard in San Luis Obispo, CA, and they had a post for a conductor job out of there on their site recently. That's my home town and where my family lives, so I would be interested in applying for that position. However, I'm also very flexible (young, single, no specific ties to any place) and wouldn't mind living elsewhere in Southern California or even elsewhere in the country, perhaps even intentionally moving around to explore different parts of the country.

Our brakeman training class was held up here in Anchorage, but our instructor was contracted from the NARS--so I don't know if I can claim that I've gone through the NARS training. I'm guessing and hoping that my previous experience with the ARRC would look good enough for them not to throw my application away and maybe even put me to the head of the pile. And if our instructor from BNSF/NARS was any indication of the quality of BNSF people, I think I like the company already.

I also have a few questions about the average working conditions on both railroads. If you have any info that helps answer these questions, I'd be grateful--but I know they're nitpicky and specific, so don't feel obligated.

-What is the average starting hourly wage? What's your contract say about wage increases? The ARRC seems fairly generous, from what I've heard--we start out at $18.04 per hour, which is 65% of the maximum (reached after 5 years of continuous service). I also see on the UP website that train service employees "Earn up to $40,000 your first year and up to *$75,000 in future years." Especially with that asterisk next to $75,000, I'm a little concerned--guys with as little as 7 or 8 years in here at the ARRC make anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000+ (I know of at least one that got $105,000 last year, and I think the senior guys who hold good five or six day per week road jobs are pushing $120,000).

-I know it probably varies vastly between terminals, but what do the extra boards look like in terms of work? Is everybody called right on rest and worked to the bone, or does it turn fairly slowly or at least so you can get a good night's sleep? Are new guys sent right to the extra boards, or do the senior workaholics take all the XB holes and let us new guys work on yard jobs? What's guaranteed pay on the board?

-I've heard rumors that BNSF allows extra board workers five days off per month and allows them to tie up for more than Hours of Service minimums (10 hours at any time and 14 hours on a turn, if I'm not mistaken--at least that's what a coworker of mine who has a friend on the BNSF said). Truth to these rumors, and anything comparable at UP? (The ARRC doesn't do this--I've been on the board solid for two months with no days off, but it's been fine since I'm almost never called on rest and have even gotten a break for a day or two, although you've always gotta be waiting for that call...truthfully, I don't mind working all the time as long as I don't have business to attend to, like picking up my car from the shop, and I'm not consistently getting 5 hours of sleep per night)

-What's the leave policy? I love to travel and am even getting forward to being laid off this winter so I can use some airline miles and go to Australia or South America. And once I hit 100% of the pay scale, I'll have enough seniority here to get approved for a couple months' annual leave per year (or more!), and I should be able to afford it. Can BNSF or UP transportation employees get long leaves like this, or are you stuck with nothing but a couple weeks of vacation per year?

-How about transferring or traveling around the system? On the ARRC, we have two major terminals (Anchorage and Fairbanks) and a two minor ones (Seward and Healy). As long as you hold the seniority to win a bid at another terminal, it's no problem to move around (though the really junior guys often get forced back and forth). If I applied and hired out at, say, UP's West Colton, CA yard and a job opened up in San Luis Obispo, how hard would it be to get there?

-Last, is BNSF and UP dual-qualifying people for both train and engine service? The ARRC is, although I don't know if that's an ARRC thing, a union thing, or a federal regulation (I seem to recall that it might be the latter). Being on the ground is fun, but I'd like to try my hand at running a train, and if I like it, I'd like the chance to cross crafts and do that after hiring out.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give! Hope y'all are enjoying your jobs! Come visit Alaska sometime!
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 08:30 PM
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Well I work for UP so I can comment on them and only them. As far as the pay goes you will start off at 100% non of this 80% or less bull shit and 5% raise each year. Also don't believe everything you read either. That 40k first year is a crock of shit. The only way you'll make 40k the first year at UP is if you only work 8 months out of the year. If you stay somewhat marked up in my terminal you will make 60k to 70k on the low side your first year. High end of that would be to stay on the extra board like me and make about 80k to 85k first year. It just depends on how much you like to work. If your an engineer and like to work 6 days a week or more youll make 10k to 12k a month. As far as taking leave and being off for 3months im lmao. When you hire out to work on the railroad your ass better be ready to work and not expect to have days off and months off at a time. Im not sure how it is up in Alaska but if you mentioned you wanted any amount of time off during an Interview with UP youd be shit canned before you even started. As far as transfering crafts in my terminal they are training about 6 to 10 conductors each month to become engineers. As of right now they aren't forcing anyone that doesn't want to be an engineer become one. But rumors always go around that one day that will change and I have my doubts that it will and if it does its at least 20 years down the road. If I didn't answer all your questions post them up again or pm me and I'll do my best.

TRAIN TRASH it's like WHITE TRASH but with money.

My other vehicle is a Locomotive.

Don't cupple up without protection.
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Thanks for the overview--it answered most of my questions.

Good to know the pay is better than they advertise (though why they would advertise on the low side is beyond me...wouldn't you want to attract the better people by advertising high pay?).

Oh, I would never ASK them if I could take three months off every year--I know that would get you canned in an interview. That's why I'm asking here what real-world conditions are like. I wouldn't mind working year-round, but I would definitely consider it a perk to be able to take extended annual leave. I wouldn't EXPECT it, but I would enjoy it.

Here on the ARR, work is very seasonal (passenger service is busy all summer, and summer is also the season for everything else, so freight traffic is much higher in the summer), so they lay about 20% of the workforce off every year (and sometimes more, of course from the bottom of the seniority roster) and probably let another 20% (or more) take most of the winter off (the old guys are often snowbirds and like to spend their winters in Arizona or somewhere). Because I enjoy traveling widely, I'm not opposed to getting laid off and/or taking annual leave when I have enough seniority to stay marked up year round. Probably like UP, if I had gone into my interview and told the ARR folks that I wanted to take winters off to go to Australia/South America/whatever, they would have discounted me immediately (although they did strongly say that it was "most likely" we'd be laid off for the first several years)--but now that I'm in and know how the system works, I like it.

A couple of the questions I still have:

-What's extra board work look like? Called on rest every shift, working 80+ hours per week? Can you, like I understand the BNSF does, tie up for more than 8 hours any time you want? (Not that it's bad to work 80+ hours per week--I just want to get a feel for working conditions before I go in.)

-How does transferring between terminals work? I think I read in an article somewhere that UP did away with systemwide seniority (which the person who posted that was disappointed with, as she enjoyed moving around and exploring the country as I would like to). How does it work now?

-Do most UP employees seem happy to work there? Is morale good? Or does management screw the transportation department every chance they get? (As I said before, I'm under the impression that train and engine service workers are fairly happy over at BNSF; I'm just wondering how UP is.

Thanks again for all of the help--it helps a lot.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 01:27 PM
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At my home terminal which is san antonio we have several extra boards. Depending on which one you could hold would determine how often you get out. The hearne/houston extra board turns really fast and you will be called on your rest everyday for the most part and you will never be given a free day off you might say on that board. The other boards aint as bad and turn a little slower. You might get an extra half day here and there but not much more than that. In my terminal per our agreement when you are at home you get 10hrs rest instead of 8hrs and if your an engineer you can kick for 12hrs but they dont offer this to conductors.

Transfering... Once again I work out of san antonio and we have one of the largest senority districts on the railroad. I can transfer to any of these cities anytime I want. Austin, Hearne, New Braunfels, Delrio, Laredo, Corpus Christi, and Kingsville. Most of the time if a guy wants to work out of houston they will let him go there cause they are always short handed there. As far as transfering anywere else you have to find someone from the terminal you want to go to that wants to come to were you are and yall flip flop. As you could imagine thats hard to do.


As with any railroad guys will always be bitching about work and how everything is fucked up. But when you ask them why dont you leave if its that bad they look at you like your crazy and say I can't make this kind of money any where else. Ive never had a problem with a manger but I also abide by the rules and they know this. If you do your job they will leave you alone but if they know your a screw off they will paint a target on your back and go after you every chance they can.

As far as not advertising the money Im glad they do it like that cause it keeps alot of people from applying just for the money. I don't want my life to be in someone else's hands that is only at work for a paycheck and could give a shit less.

TRAIN TRASH it's like WHITE TRASH but with money.

My other vehicle is a Locomotive.

Don't cupple up without protection.
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swag
They're hiring a ton of new train dispatchers, which I heard of yesterday when I talked to the hiring guy. You'll be making $75k to $80k a year, about $275/day. You work 40 hrs a week, sometimes saturdays (anything over 40 is time and a half here). You can only work 9 hours every 24 hours. You get 1 or 2 holidays off to start with.

Training is really intense. You must have 30 college hours, take a class at TCC (after talking with BNSF) which automatically places you in BNSF. You train for quite a few months until you get 60 on-your-own shifts completely. You train with a dispatcher next to you for quite some time and everyone now and then you are on your own. Drug test is a hair test with an extensive background check. If you screw up once in this job, you're pretty well fucked for a while since you'll probably have killed a few people. If you're serious and meet the qualifications, check out the website.

I'm an aircraft Dispatcher would that help??

Don't get married. Just find someone you hate and buy her a house.

Last edited by 6t6; 08-18-2006 at 03:30 PM.
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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I'm an aircraft Dispatcher would that help??
They would hire you real quick with that. They have several military aircraft dispatchers working down on the floor

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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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Thanks for the info, freighttrain!
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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
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They would hire you real quick with that. They have several military aircraft dispatchers working down on the floor

Thanks good to know...BTW I live in Da Lake too. Timberlake

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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 04:34 PM
 
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They have military aircraft dispatchers or air traffic controllers? A train dispatcher is more analogous to an air traffic controller; an airline dispatcher is more analogous to a yardmaster or even a transportation support technician (or whatever you want to call it--the "pickle clerks" that run around and figure out what cars are where and what order the cars in various cuts are in).

Train dispatchers make big bucks. I was reading their union contract with our railroad (it's posted on the intranet) and was surprised at the hourly--I don't remember what it was precisely, but it's in the high 30s, I think. I know they make around six figures...way more than airline dispatchers (one dispatcher I knew for Alaska Airlines said he made more money after he quit Alaska to work for Budget Car Rental at $10 per hour...), but somewhat similar to air traffic controllers.

One of the guys in my brakeman training class was an airline dispatcher for Masaba/Northwest Express before he moved up here to take this job. I think for brakeman/switchman/conductor/whatever you want to call it, any job proving you're somewhat responsible (and airline dispatchers do have to be very responsible--I'm putting my life in your hands with your weight and center of gravity calculations) will get you in. As far as train dispatching, I don't know what they expect. Here on the ARR, most or all of our dispatchers were in train service before they became dispatchers (although some were only brakemen for a year or two). If they don't hire you as a dispatcher, my guess is you could probably apply in train service and then have a better chance of getting in dispatching--but I can't speak for other railroads.
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