A Young Person’s Guide to Transportation Jobs Part 19

A Young Person’s Guide to Transportation Jobs Part 19

10/22/2014 Umut Türker 5482 Times Read

The remainder of this section applies to the job position in the United States, but similar requirements and descriptions can be applicable in any part of the world. In the United States, a freight conductor is expected to be able to lift objects weighing 50 lbs (22.68 kg) and sometimes as much as 83 lbs (37.65 kg). In addition, he must be fit enough to be able to stoop, bend, crawl, crouch, climb, balance and kneel frequently. He has to be in cramped, confined and peculiar places; ride on the outside of the train for a significant amount of time (again, in any and all types of weather and conditions); and walk for long distances on unbalanced terrain. This last requirement may have me flustered. I have been on numerous trains and planes as a passenger, but have never been able to master the art of walking through the aisles. For this, I admire the employees who do this as if it is second-nature.


The previous requirements are of those things that you do or can be trained to do. However, there are also requirements of who you are, and which cannot be easily changed or improved. Even as the train is travelling speedily along the tracks, and even as it is quite noisy when blowing the horn, the train conductor must be able to see and hear everything. He will have to be the first to see or hear vehicles or animals crossing the railway tracks. He will have to see any signs of accidents or potential accidents coming up. Most specifically of all, he must not be color-blind, and must be able to differentiate anything and everything according to its hues.

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The work conditions are also strenuous, although geared toward the ultimate safety of all operations.