Railway Conductors and Brakemen 


Railway conductors co-ordinate and supervise the activities of passenger/freight crew members, except for railway locomotive engineers, to ensure that trains operate according to schedules, orders, and operating rules. They also collect fares, announce train stops, and answer passengers' questions. Railway brakemen/women check train brakes and other systems/equipment prior to train runs and assist railway conductors in activities en route.


Work: Railway conductors perform some or all of the following duties: , Supervise and co-ordinate the activities of passenger and freight train crew members (except locomotive engineers) to ensure train operations are in accordance with schedule, train orders and code of operating rules; Receive train orders and explain orders to brakemen/women, locomotive engineer and other crew members; Communicate with train crew members by radio, signals or by other means to give and receive train operation information; Collect fares on board passenger trains, announce approaching train stops and answer passenger enquiries; Prepare train run reports. , Brakemen/women perform some or all of the following duties: , Check train systems and equipment such as air conditioning and heating systems, brakes and brake hoses prior to train run; Communicate with train crew members by radio, signals or by other means to aid in the movement and operation of train; Receive orders from traffic controllers, observe signals and track conditions and open and close track switches; Set and release hand brakes and connect air brake hoses to couple and switch passenger or freight cars, making minor repairs to couplings, air hoses and wheel-bearing boxes as required; Assist in collecting fares and helping passengers on and off the train.

Title Examples: Brakeman/woman, Freight Train Conductor, Front-end Brakeman/woman, Passenger Train Conductor, Railway Conductor, Tail-end Breakman/woman, Train Conductor

Useful Secondary School subjects: English, Math, Mechanics, Computer Basics

Degrees associated with this career: High School Diploma, Certificate, Diploma

Requirements: In general, you usually need a high school diploma. , Except for yard locomotive engineers, you need specific levels of the Certificate of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules. , To be a railway locomotive engineer, you must have experience as a railway conductor. , To be a railway conductor, you must have experience as a railway brakeman or brakewoman. , To be a railway brakeman or brakewoman, you usually need experience as a railway worker. , Many recent entrants have a high school diploma, and almost 3 in 10 have a trade/vocational certificate or community college diploma.

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