Anybody work for Norfolk Southern

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by mummert, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. mummert

    mummert Member

    I have been thinking about applying at NS as a conductor in Harrisburg Pa. As best I can tell this is the path I would have to take to become an engineer. I was looking for any info somebody might have because their website is not to informative. Do you need any special schooling prior? How long would I be gone from home on average? And do you enjoy working for them? About how long could I expect it to take to become an engineer? How about average pay for this type of work? If you dont want your info public you can PM me. Thank you
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Not a clue about NS.....You don't say how old you are...But if you want to become an engineer...GO FOR IT...!!!
    You might start at the bottom of the ladder, but hard work and diligence will get you where you want to go....
  3. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    You'll start out at a local hiring session, usually in a hotel's conference room. You'll get a couple lectures, fill out an application, and take some psych tests. Usually you'll know the same day if you get a job offer and the final decision will be based on a subsequent physical exam and drug test.

    If they hire you, you'll be shipped to their training center in suburban Atlanta for six weeks. They pay for hotel and give you food vouchers. After your return to the terminal you'll be a trainee for a year and liable for the cost of your training if you leave before that period is up.

    The pay varies wildly based on exactly what you do a given day. Working on the road pays more than working in the yard. The training pay sucks, but if you're flipping burgers now it'll still be an improvement.

    If you're hired and make it through training you can expect to be put on the conductors' extra board after the first year. This means when there's a vacancy you'll get called. The board gets called in order so as guys get called off the top you'll move up towards the top. Sometimes the extra board moves fast and you'll literally work eight days a week. Some times you'll be lucky to make two trips a week. It entirely depends on how many trains need to be run and how many vacancies there are to fill.

    You work up to twelve hours on duty with a minimum of eight hours off. That's how you can get an extra day in the week. You can be called for any territory you're qualified on out of your terminal. This means one trip might take you to Reading, another to Baltimore, and another to Altoona all in the same week. After a few years if you have enough seniority you can hold a regular pool which will take you to the same terminal every trip. This is handy because it'll start to even out your hours and because some pools pay better than others. You can also work in the yard; you'll take a hit in pay but you'll also have a regular shift to work, too.

    How long you'll be gone from home when on the road is highly variable. You could make a record run to the next terminal and sit for twenty hours because there aren't any trains for you to take back home. You could also get in the terminal and get called from the hotel eight hours later to turn and go back only to sit on the train at a red signal or with engine problems until your hours of service goes tits up. The thing to remember is that you have no schedule on the road and you have ninety minutes to show up at the terminal after they call you, regardless of what time of day or night it is.

    Being an engineer is a mandatory promotion under the new work rules on Norfolk Southern. This means after a couple years you'll get a call to go back to Georgia for a few weeks. Once completed you may not get to be an engineer however, and may go back to being a conductor until there are engineer vacancies to fill. After a few years of working as an extra engineer, however, you'll probably get enough seniority to bid on a regular engineer's job.
  4. mummert

    mummert Member

    This is part of the problem. I am 32 years old and have a wife child and house payment. Now 32 is not that old but to change careers and to lose some pay during training does make you think a bit.

    Railohio I want to thank you for all the great info you provided. It will definately give me something to think about. As far as being a burger flipper, I am not, if I was it would make the decision a whole lot easier. I am actually a correctional officer. As hard to believe as it sounds I actually am becoming bored with the job. This was not really a career I went looking for but more of one that became available.
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    32...??..just a kid....:mrgreen:

    You can look forward to as many years of productive ($$) life as you've barely lived....NOW is the time to do it, particularly if your present job is not really fulfilling. You've got to like your job to get up in the morning and WANT to go to work....!!!

    Good luck to you..!!:thumb:
  6. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member


    Hi. At CSX, we have a lot of former correction officers, as well as guys from USAIR, glass plants, farms, bankers, and even a disc jockey (me). It is a major change of life from any other job that you are not on call. Even after 10 years, I still am unsure how next weeks schedule will look. It takes a toll on the wife, and kid, but the pay is ok, benefits are ok, and it is always something different. It has major ups and downs.

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