Lee asked in Cars & TransportationRail · 5 years ago

Will train conductors/engineers face a lot of job insecurity once ptc is implemented?

Thinking about trying for a job in train service. I'm self employed as a dairy farmer right now, but have become preoccupied working with cattle and sometimes it just feels like your spinning your wheels financially. And there's no benifits. I've done some research on the web and it seems people say the biggest cons to a railroad job are no social life and odd work hours. But I feel niether of these would bother me because I already have little to no social life and work long and at times odd hours farming. I've lived next to the railroad my entire life and trains have always facinated me. So i feel the railroad lifestyle would be a good fit for me. I do have a chance right now to get half my family farm in my name. Which would be 250 acres. Thought my dad would take it to his grave but my threats of going to the RR must of changed his mind. I've invested a lot of time, money, and effort into the farm so in some way it would be stupid to pass it up but I'm just not sure its what i want to do for the rest of my life. One thing about farming though is I really like is the variety. You never get board. Just frustrated at times. And you know you'll always have a job as long as you work hard at it. So I would appreciate any opinions from anyone working the rails right now on what I should do. And mainly I'm wondering can the job become boring (no variety) after a while?And will stability for new hires be terrible once they get this ptc up and running? Any responses would be much appreciated!

4 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    PTC is already in place and they've proven it can work. On our division they were able to run a train through dark territory with little problems, Mother Nature being the only real problems.

    That being said one man and no man crews are coming but I would still suggest you try to get in with the railroads. It will be sometime before they go to one man and even no man crews. The FRA and even States can mandate that there must be two man crews, a couple states on my runs mandate two man crews.

    With all the oil being shipped people are scared of derailments, when honestly there are things we hull that are far worse and nastier than oil. If people knew half the stuff that went through their neighborhood they would be moving as far from the tracks as possible. So I don't see one man crews coming anytime soon. It's a big difference going to one man crews as opposed to going from 5 to 4 to 3. Those extra eyes are a lifesaver.

    I say go for it. Any questions just ask.

    Source(s): BNSF Conductor
    • Lee5 years agoReport

      Even if the computers can do it all. I would think that no man crews would never happen. I would think that they would still want a guy on board to monitor in case of malfunction so the train could be stopped manually if needed. What do you think?

  • 5 years ago

    PTC is just a safety feature. It has no affect on the crewing needs for a train. However some roads are moving to one man operation but this is due as much as shortages of people willing to be train crew. Go for it.

    • Lee5 years agoReport

      I can operate a computer yet I'm not a big fan of the age. I would of rather lived 50 years sooner and seen the transition from steam to diesel than what's going on now. It's going beyond practical. But that's just my opinion. People going to want a robot to wipe there a** to!

  • 5 years ago

    PTC won't change job security or stability. They need a crew of two employees per train now, and they will still need a crew of two employees per train with PTC.

  • Andy
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    I think Who's Awesomes answer is pretty good. It will be awhile before any big changes happen in my opinion. However, I do think that conductors are an endangered species. Where I work I advise them all to take promotion to engineer as soon as possible.

    Source(s): UPRR engineer
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