Home Open Account Help 286 users online

Western Railroad Discussion > Starting Pay for New Conductor?


Date: 02/25/04 12:01
Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: brassjournal

I understand that there are a lot of variables involved, but what would be a rough estimate of the starting salary for the folks currently being hired?

Thanks for the help.



Date: 02/25/04 13:51
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: lpj

I was actually just at a BNSF conductor hiring session today and they said that one could expect to make around 40-45000 in the first year. after that somwhere in the neighborhood of 55-60000.

Luke



Date: 02/25/04 15:06
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: gladhand

lpj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was actually just at a BNSF conductor hiring
> session today and they said that one could expect
> to make around 40-45000 in the first year. after
> that somwhere in the neighborhood of 55-60000.
>
> Luke

My experience with the miserable bnsf, furloughed 22 times in three years. Terminated my employment with the bn in Oct-2000, had a grand total of $12,000 made for the year. Be very careful, research the terminal where you are considering hiring on. Ask around, it's not unusual with this r.r. to be furloughed when your cond. training is completed. Many others have hopefully had better results, here's hoping you're as fortunate.



Date: 02/25/04 16:07
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: lpj

yeah i am kind of leery about being furloughed. Though according to the company rep. last years hires, here in Lincoln, NE, worked the full year without being laid off. There were a good 90-100 people at todays session and they are filling 15 slots so I am not holding my breath.




Date: 02/25/04 16:28
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: chessie

Don't believe everything you hear. I've only broken $60K once in my 10 years, and I was being worked to the point of exhaustion that year (2000, post Conrail breakup). Before anyone goes questioning my layoff frequency, I am only off sick 1-2 times a year, and when I am it is legitimate.



Date: 02/25/04 17:37
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: BN_ENGINEER

Lincoln laid off this past year. Not only did they lay off they asked employees if anyone wanted to take leaves of absences for up to 30 days. BNSF hired me and I was furloughed day one. I have worked in 13 terminals just to keep working. I have been able to work in my home terminal 3 times in 8 years for a total on 5 months. Don't believe everything they tell you. When I hired out the rule of thumb was 5 years before you could work year round with any worries. Now it might be less with the retirements and increases in business. If you work a full year I would say figure no less than 50k. Basic days on the BNSF are around $200 a day with all the arbitraries.



Date: 02/25/04 17:57
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: lpj

BN_Engineer when you say you were furloughed day one do you mean right out of training? and out of curiosity where are you working out of now?



Date: 02/25/04 20:31
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: boomer

You also have to figure in whether or not you're starting out at the 75% or 100% rate of pay - that does make a difference. As I've heard, if you hire out before July of this year you go to 100%, and all new hires hired after July will start out at the 75% wage, so if you're looking to hire out - DO IT NOW!

The average for a 75% new hire is probably somewhere in the range between $30,000 to $40,000 the first year (if you don't get furloughed); if you're lucky enough to go right to 100% figure on at least $40,000 to $50,000, depending on how long you can work, and what job you are on.

Some examples here in the Utah SU where I work are the dirt trains which pay a six-figure annual wage; there are guys working the extra boards out of Ogden/SLC who make anywhere from $70,000-$90,000, depending on how much they stay marked up. There is indeed a catch to those extra boards: you can make lots of money but you don't have any life other than the railroad, and it's "turn and burn" every 8 hours from about April until December every year.

UP has recently instituted a new absenteeism policy whereby if you lay off more than a couple of times during weekends (defined as being between Friday and Sunday), you are called in for an investigation, and some folks have been fired already, so those extra board folks are now timing their layoffs to occur during the week, not on weekends!

Pool turns at least give you a few days off between trips, and a 100%er would probably average around $60,000 to $70,000 a year, depending on the length of the run. I've heard that the BNSF folks on pool turns don't get quite as much time off, even on the longer runs, so they probably average a bit more than that.



Date: 02/26/04 06:13
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: James1

Alot depends on where you hire out also. CNW lines conductor's extra board guarantee is $26xx a half, plus a bonus day if you don't lay off or book rest, and the pool guarantee is 28xx a half. You could make 72 grand just in guarantee if you were to hold a pool and stay marked up, never mind when you beat guarantee. These figures are for 100% of course.



Date: 02/26/04 06:18
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor?
Author: escheffert

I hired out in FT Madison, Ia, couldn't hold that so I moved to the Galesburg terminal, worked that pretty steadily for the last 6 years, worked Corwith yard for 4 months, worked out of Needles, Ca for 7 months, then went through engineers training in LaCrosse, Wi, least amount I have made has been 48,000 and the most was this last year a little over 80,000 but the majority of that was as a engineer, never have been furloughed, but did move a round a little to stay working.



Date: 02/26/04 09:26
Thank you for the information
Author: brassjournal

Thanks to all who took the time to offer their help. It certainly seems to be a roll of the dice, feast or famine proposition.

I'm not sure I want to give up a home life. The money can be good, but there are a lot of sacrifices made in order to earn it.

Thank you again for your very informative replies.

Stay safe.



Date: 02/26/04 10:00
Re: Thank you for the information
Author: gladhand

brassjournal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks to all who took the time to offer their
> help. It certainly seems to be a roll of the
> dice, feast or famine proposition.
>
> I'm not sure I want to give up a home life. The
> money can be good, but there are a lot of
> sacrifices made in order to earn it.
>
> Thank you again for your very informative replies.
>
>
> Stay safe.

You are absolutely correct. The many sacrifices one has to make aren't worth the money. Good luck in whatever you choose.



Date: 02/26/04 10:53
Re: Starting Pay for New Conductor? UP estimates
Author: fbe

Here's how the UP puts it out to the public.

http://www.ble.org/pr/news/headline.asp?id=9554



Date: 02/27/04 22:39
Re: Thank you for the information
Author: Jim700

brassjournal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I'm not sure I want to give up a home life. The
> money can be good, but there are a lot of
> sacrifices made in order to earn it.
>

If you're not sure, can you imagine what it must be for your spouse? Judging from what I've seen in 38 years on the railroad not many wives who have no knowledge of the lifestyle change to come are able to successfully adapt to it. Unfortunately I've seen a tremendous number of divorces because of the lifestyle required of railroad operating department employees. Unless you both are really sure and committed to the long term change I would suggest passing on this employment opportunity.

I was really blessed because my wife-to-be lived across the street from me during a portion of my high school years and watched my engineer dad going to work and coming home at all hours of the day and night seven days a week. She understood the lifestyle and was willing to accept it. Fifteen years later we married and now 318 months and 7 days into the marriage she remains happy that she really understood ahead of time what it would be like. I took a leave of absence from BN and went to Amtrak 17 years ago and I've been able to hold a regular assignment on the road for about ten years now. I find that as I get older that is much appreciated. Remember that on the freight roads regular assignments with call windows are much more the exception than the rule. In reality a career-long chain gang is nothing more than an extra board that doesn't protect switch engines or locals.



[ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.2538 seconds