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Date: 06/21/04 07:01
UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: kecarden

Those of you who have gotten hired, After the training are you guanutee 40 hrs a week even through you are on the extra board. Or did you have to build your hours up to 40. What are the chances of becoming a engineer after a year or two. What type of interview questions do they ask you and how long was the hiring session?

thks



Date: 06/21/04 07:06
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: upne02

40 hrs a week you should be so lucky-try 70-80 hrs a week.



Date: 06/21/04 07:58
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: Anonymous User

First Question:

How do you spell the company name?



Date: 06/21/04 08:06
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: NORAC

40 hrs?

Working 40 hrs. will most likely put you in violation of one of the various attendance policies that the railroads have concocted.

70-80 hrs is more like it and this of course doesn't include the hrs spent rotting in a hotel at the AFHT.

I do wish you good luck and hope you enjoy your new career....but keep in mind that the 24-7-365, lack of quality life, payroll constantly denying or delaying pay that your entitled is not for everyone. If your just hiring on because your a railfan.....you may never look at your hobby the same way again.

Once again good luck.



Date: 06/21/04 08:07
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: chilli

Spelling counts. Especially the company's name...

Best Advice- Be yourself. Don't go for the answers they seem to want.
A good recruiter can sniff that out in a moment. But then again, this is railroad recruitment...They probably know less about the railroad than YOU do.

It's a double edged sword. You've heard the bitching from us that have been around (or should I say "employed by") the rail industry for more than a couple of years, and you've read the "pie in the sky" picture as painted by others.

You'll have to decide which version to buy into. And that, is only discernable after the fact!

We must need new hires- wife and I went to an AMC 24 movie complex to see "The Terminal" Saturday evening, and what should be the FIRST ad pitched to the audience when the "pre-show" started? For railroad service employees!!! For the training center(s) here in KC area, I believe BNSF and UP are jointly footing the bill for them, here and in other markets. Lots of pretty video of (BNSF) trains and crews, but nowhere was a shot of someone cleaning out ice and snow from the points of a dual control switch with an inoperative switch heater in North Dakota in mid January...



Date: 06/21/04 08:33
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: Pinlifter

As a new hire, I am working every 8 hrs. The 8 hrs I get "off" is spent driving home, eating, running errands, and using what little time I have left for sleep. Then its back to work.

If you are having problems spelling, you may want to also reread this straight from the UP website.

"This is not a typical 40-hour-a-week opportunity; the position consists of variable and irregular work hours, with irregularly scheduled days off. Train service employees work weekends and holidays on an "on call" basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Travel is required, and personnel must be available to report to work 90 minutes after notification"




Date: 06/21/04 08:34
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: HaggisKennedy

BNSF9647 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> First Question:
>
> How do you spell the company name?

Heh. I've seen a loco go by with the name spelled PAICIFIC.

And, was told by somebody who knows that one loco came out of Jenks with it spelled UNOIN....

Kennedy






Date: 06/21/04 09:35
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: LCW

NORAC Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 40 hrs?
>
> Working 40 hrs. will most likely put you in
> violation of one of the various attendance
> policies that the railroads have concocted.
>
> 70-80 hrs is more like it and this of course
> doesn't include the hrs spent rotting in a hotel
> at the AFHT.
>
> I do wish you good luck and hope you enjoy your
> new career....but keep in mind that the 24-7-365,
> lack of quality life, payroll constantly denying
> or delaying pay that your entitled is not for
> everyone. If your just hiring on because your a
> railfan.....you may never look at your hobby the
> same way again.
>
> Once again good luck.


According to the article in this month's Progressive Railroading, the carriers' are aware of the quality of life issue, and have taken great strides to address it and make improvements... Improvements for who, the company opr the employee. If its for the employee it must not have reached Illinos yet.



Date: 06/21/04 09:47
Re: UNION PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: terry_n_85318

I have been reading about how the train service people work many hours each week. I work for a major corporation as an Senior Electrical Engineer.

Recently, a project was completed that required many of the engineers to work sixty to seventy hours a week for forty hours pay (we do not get overtime -- we are exempt from fair labor practices). Managers were required to work eighty to ninety hours for forty hours pay. This was over the last two years or so.

It doesn't matter who you work for -- you are a resource to be used as required by the corporation you work for.

The bottom line -- the corporations are not in business to provide jobs, but to provide a return on the investment made by the stock holders and they will do what is required to meet that goal.





Date: 06/21/04 11:23
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: jumanly

Why not consider joining a short line. Iowa Northern is looking for engineers and conductors for this growing and thriving 150 mile line in North Central Iowa. It runs from Cedar Rapids, along the UP east-west main, through Waterloo and Cedar Falls to Manly on the UP's Spine Line. IANR also connects with IC&E at Plymouth Jct. and Nora Springs, with CN at Waterloo and Cedar Rapids and the CRANDIC at Cedar Rapids.

We have assigned crews with assigned days off, most of them with at least one weeked day, IE. Fri-Sat or Sun-Mon. Every crew finishes its tour of duty at the on duty point with no held away location. IANR has good extra board coverage and people can get time off when they need it. All health care costs are paid by the Company.

Rehabilitation will continue over the next five years to high track standards and IANR has a rebuilt fleet of 12 GP-38-2 units, the final to be delivered by September. IANR will handle about 32,000 carloads this year with expectations to hit 50,000 carloads within two to three years. New industries are being built along this progressive line and crew starts are going to double or triple, giving new employees a good seniority start early.

Cost of living is cheap and the employees are making a decent wage for the area.

Interested? Send a resume to the General Manager in Greene, IA.




Date: 06/21/04 11:31
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: gladhand

jumanly Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why not consider joining a short line. Iowa
> Northern is looking for engineers and conductors
> for this growing and thriving 150 mile line in
> North Central Iowa. It runs from Cedar Rapids,
> along the UP east-west main, through Waterloo and
> Cedar Falls to Manly on the UP's Spine Line. IANR
> also connects with IC&E at Plymouth Jct. and
> Nora Springs, with CN at Waterloo and Cedar Rapids
> and the CRANDIC at Cedar Rapids.
>
> We have assigned crews with assigned days off,
> most of them with at least one weeked day, IE.
> Fri-Sat or Sun-Mon. Every crew finishes its tour
> of duty at the on duty point with no held away
> location. IANR has good extra board coverage and
> people can get time off when they need it. All
> health care costs are paid by the Company.
>
> Rehabilitation will continue over the next five
> years to high track standards and IANR has a
> rebuilt fleet of 12 GP-38-2 units, the final to be
> delivered by September. IANR will handle about
> 32,000 carloads this year with expectations to hit
> 50,000 carloads within two to three years. New
> industries are being built along this progressive
> line and crew starts are going to double or
> triple, giving new employees a good seniority
> start early.
>
> Cost of living is cheap and the employees are
> making a decent wage for the area.
>
> Interested? Send a resume to the General Manager
> in Greene, IA.
Mark A. Sabin
Gen. Mgr.
Iowa Northern RY. CO.
122 N. 2nd. St.
Greene, Iowa 50636




Date: 06/21/04 11:32
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: topper

LCW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> According to the article in this month's
> Progressive Railroading, the carriers' are aware
> of the quality of life issue, and have taken great
> strides to address it and make improvements...

Well, lessee.

I know NS no longer makes ya poop in a bag...



Date: 06/21/04 13:21
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: southernVA

After 9 months of working 70 to 80 hours, mid January will begin you 3 months unpaid vacation. The one they never told you about at the hiring session. Although depressing at first, about a month into it you relise sitting at home watching TV isn't so bad. Depending on when you hired out, you can even get an "easy sit at home" part time job with the Railroad Retirement Board.



Date: 06/21/04 17:26
Re: Iowa Northern
Author: LCW

One of my peers applied to Iowa Northern as a Conductor. At the time he had been a qualified Through Freight Conductor for UP for almost 3 years (in our district we have freight , yard, and passenger Conductors). He said he was told unless he had a minimum of 10-15 years rail expereince, they were not interested.



Date: 06/21/04 19:32
Re: Iowa Northern
Author: jumanly

Must be some mistake. IANR has hired several qualified people with two to three years experience. Must have been a different reason he wasn't hired, or you are confusing IANR with some other line.



Date: 06/22/04 00:33
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: NORAC

LCW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> NORAC Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> According to the article in this month's
> Progressive Railroading, the carriers' are aware
> of the quality of life issue, and have taken great
> strides to address it and make improvements...
> Improvements for who, the company opr the
> employee. If its for the employee it must not have
> reached Illinos yet.
>
They have made great strides......they say you only have to be available only 75% of the week now.





Date: 06/22/04 01:10
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: brighteyes

jumanly Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why not consider joining a short line. Iowa
> Northern is looking for engineers and conductors
> for this growing and thriving 150 mile line in
> North Central Iowa.

Since IANR is a private company, I guess we cannot be sure how "thriving" it is, but looking at the right of way since they started up 20 plus years ago does not give the impression of "thriving". South of Waterloo looks better only because of CNW and/or state money.

> IANR will handle about
> 32,000 carloads this year with expectations to hit
> 50,000 carloads within two to three years. New
> industries are being built along this progressive
> line and crew starts are going to double or
> triple, giving new employees a good seniority
> start early.
>
Much of IANR's traffic is Union Pacific haulage traffic to and from Waterloo, of which I would think revenue is not all that great. Where are these new industries and new traffic at and coming from? The fantasy of re-building Vinton to Iowa Falls is a non-starter, not the least reason being the right-of-way is obliterated in many places. The grain loading facilities of the future are already being built on BNSF, CN and UP, for loading an entire grain train at a single source, with a single railroad line-haul. Short lines and regionals may not fit into this future of high-speed grain handling, as the Class One's no doubt would like all the revenue, and will give incentives to the Farm Co-operatives to build/expand online. Look to western Iowa, west of I-35 and north of US 30, where the big amounts of grain REALLY get loaded, as already we are seeing Co-ops merging and combining into fewer loading facilities.

Just my food for thought and observations, whilst not wearing rose-colored glasses.

brighteyes



Date: 06/22/04 06:14
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: jumanly

"bright eyes" has thought some of this through, but he is commenting while lacking critical information and missing important points.

The Class I's in their infinite wisdom, have forced elevators to build the 100+ car load outs to handle corn to the south, southwest and Mexico. This works well in some areas, but the in-state processor markets that are being by-passed with unit trains will not go away. It creates a huge opportunity for a strategically placed short line.

At the south end of the IANR is Cedar Rapids, which has processors consuming over 200 million bushels of corn per day and growing. The Class I carriers walked away from primary sourcing of corn into Cedar Rapids several years ago. The ethanol plants are eating away at the Unit Train elevators corn source in Northwest Iowa, and many truckers are fed up with the long dumping lines at Cedar Rapids and are or will soon be trucking their corn to ethanol plants being built at Burlington, Belle Plaine, Nevada, Iowa Falls, Steamboat Rock and Ft. Dodge.

The ethanol plants are all locating along the BNSF UP and CN lines because of the forced conversion of a few elevators into 100 car loadouts. What do you think is happening to the elevators that are not 100 car loaders? Many of them are looking for alternatives to UP and the other Class I mandates.

Where do you think the CR processor corn will be coming from? Ten years ago, IANR did not move any corn into ADM at Cedar Rapids, and now it has a growing market share each year, with seven day per week deliveries. IANR has become the primary "funnel" for corn delivery to Cedar Rapids and is gearing up for very large growth in corn as well as other non-agricultural commodities.

IANR restored grain service to the Dewar to Oelwein line that has not loaded corn in nearly 20 years under C&NW-UP ownership. Many of the larger, off line elevators, including some 100 car shuttle loaders in northern Iowa cannot compete with elevators nearby that ship on IANR, and nearly all of the elevators along IANR are making large investments for handling more rail corn to IANR.

It operates 24 hours a day, seven days per week in a continuous cycle to handle the business growth. How many short lines do that?

A large paper mill is going to be built along the line and several other industries are looking to select sites for warehousing, production and product distribution. Shippers installing new facilities are looking for short lines with multiple class I outlets. You will see fewer and fewer allowing themselves to be locked in to any one Class I carrier in the future.

The UP overhead traffic is growing on IANR, yet represents less than one-fourth now of IANR's business. IANR's on-line traffic has increased 20-45% each year for the past five years. It has gone from five derelict GP's to a rebuilt fleet of 12 GP-38-2's with a second round being developed already.

When did you last see the IANR track? IANR has spent $11 million of its own money on the line in the past ten years, which includes less than $3 million of state or federal funds, and will be spending an additional $8 million on track over the next four years. The only portion of the line that will not be good for FRA Class 3 (40 mph) by the end of this work season will be Vinton to Palo because of non-control cooled 110 lb. rail that has to be Sperry Tested first, which will be done later this year or beginning next year.

The IANR's five year plan will install 40 miles of new 115 lb. rail between Palo and Washburn and totally rehab every siding, yard and elevator track on the line. This will be funded under the FRA's RRIF loan program which will only loan funds to carriers that can pay back the loans.




Date: 06/22/04 08:51
Re: UNIOIN PACIFIC HIRING SESSION
Author: HaggisKennedy

LCW Wrote:

> According to the article in this month's
> Progressive Railroading, the carriers' are aware
> of the quality of life issue, and have taken great
> strides to address it and make improvements...
> Improvements for who, the company opr the
> employee. If its for the employee it must not have
> reached Illinos yet.

Even so, there's only so much you can do if you're stuck in Carrizozo, NM, or some other out-of-the-way crew change point.....

:D

Kennedy





Date: 06/23/04 02:38
Re: IANR
Author: brighteyes

jumanly Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> The Class I's in their infinite wisdom, have
> forced elevators to build the 100+ car load outs
> to handle corn to the south, southwest and Mexico.
>
I cannot fault the Class Ones here, as they get much more revenue hauling grain a couple thousand miles as opposed to a couple hundred, and car utilization of shuttle trains is quite impressive.

> At the south end of the IANR is Cedar Rapids,
> which has processors consuming over 200 million
> bushels of corn per day and growing.

Wow! I cannot let that one go unanswered! Are you saying the Cedar Rapids market consumes the entire yearly US corn crop(approx. 10 billion bushels according to USDA figures) in about 50 days? Putting it into perspective, that would be around 57,000 100 ton covered hoppers into CR daily!

>> The ethanol plants....et cetera
>
I for one hope ethanol is not a fuel of the future. Studies NOT paid for by the likes of corn processors and "grower associations" show ethanol is a net loser in regards to energy use. Pork-barrel politics at its worst, and until recently, it mostly benefitted one company. Not coincidentally perhaps, it is the same company IANR appears to be basing much of its future on.


> IANR restored grain service to the Dewar to
> Oelwein line that has not loaded corn in nearly 20
> years under C&NW-UP ownership.

Perhaps CNW and UP determined that the revenue contribution was critically lacking.

> A large paper mill is going to be built along the
> line and several other industries are looking to
> select sites for warehousing, production and
> product distribution.

Best of luck on expanding the traffic base!

>
> When did you last see the IANR track?

I saw it up close in April 2004, plus a train. Three engines, pulling one car from Manly to Nora Springs, moving about 10 mph much of the time it appeared to me.

I replied to your original post for a reason I didn't even mention. I was going to suggest to anyone thinking of pulling up stakes based on what you said here to think long and hard about it. Pie-in-the-sky marketing projections, or fancy talk from a particular customer, does not make it reality.

While it is a good thing to have customers ship by rail, don't ever forget they would rather you move it for free. Some are much more adept at helping you reach "zero" than others. Hopefully IANR will price this upcoming traffic "boom" in a realistic manner.


Suggested reading:
"The Informant" by Eichenwald
"Rats in the Grain" by Lieber

brighteyes



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