Train Operator (Freight Conductor)
Canadian National Railway - Markham, IL

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Train Operators/Conductors supervise train operations as well as move, switch, inspect , couple and uncouple cars. They prepare reports and at times, they deliver and pull customer goods.

Critical performance areas include the following but may vary depending on location and circumstances:
  • Responsible for the operation and administration of the train and assume responsibility for the freight carried on the train.
  • Understand and adhere to operating rules, safety rules, policies, procedures and regulations.
  • Switch trains according to rules, regulations and clients’ needs.
  • Provide, prepare and receive various forms of verbal and written communication concerning the movement and placement of railway cars, as well as for the operation of trains and yard engines.
  • Observe, interpret and relay signals concerning train and locomotive in movement.
  • Operate various devices on rail cars, such as the uncoupling levers, handbrakes and bleeding rods to separate and couple cars.
  • Inspect the condition of trains and equipment.
  • Climb ladders on railcars.
  • Operate remotely controlled locomotives.
  • Occasional lifting and carrying.
  • Complete paperwork and interpret orders.

Working Conditions:
  • Irregular hours, including nights, weekends, holidays, and overtime.
  • Work is primarily performed outdoors in varying weather and environmental conditions.
  • Work away from home for periods of time, including overnight, associated with train trips.
  • Shifts up to 12 hours in duration where required.
  • Work is safety-sensitive and requires compliance with federal regulations, safe work procedures and policies.

Minimum Requirements:
  • In some cases, possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid passport allowing entry/re-entry to Canada and the U.S. in certain specific locations.
  • Lifting up to 50 pounds and occasional lifting of up to 85 pounds.
  • Reliable and predictable attendance.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • High School diploma or equivalent General Education Diploma (GED).


Completion of college or vocational/technical school.

Training or certification in Railroad Operating Signals.

Basic computer skills.

Work Location:

Conductors assigned to over the road train may be required to travel and may be absent from their home terminal for periods in excess of 24 hours. When Conductors are called, they may not know exactly when they will return. In the yard, shift assignments are based on seniority and shifts are normally 10-12 hours per day.


Newly hired Train Operators take part in several weeks of training which includes classroom instructions and field training. The training guides the new Conductor through the critical safety skills required to work on the railroad. Once the classroom training is complete, the Conductor will complete several trips as an extra person with a crew to enhance his/her knowledge and skills. Successful completion of the training course is mandatory in order to work as a Train Operator.

The ideal candidate profile:
  • Ability to work autonomously, adapt to different situations and manage stressful situations.
  • Demonstrate good teamwork and maintain positive interactions with others.
  • Good English verbal, reading comprehension and writing skills.
  • Constantly alert and prepared for unexpected conditions or circumstances.
  • Conform to operating rules and safety procedures and maintain a high level of safety awareness in the work environment, both for themselves and their colleagues.
  • Dedicated to getting the job done while meeting established standards of quality, safety, productivity and client satisfaction.
  • Common sense and good judgment .
CN is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is our policy to fill vacant positions with qualified candidates without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, assuming an individual can perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodation.

Only qualified candidates under consideration will be contacted. Please monitor your email on a regular basis, as communication is primarily made through email.

About this company
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The Canadian National Railway Company (reporting mark CN) (TSX: CNR, NYSE: CNI) is a Canadian Class I railway headquartered in Montreal,...