Train drivers

TriJet

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Just read in the USA Today that Train operators on the BART system in San Francisco are making the big bucks.

One guy supposedly made 109K JUST IN OVERTIME pay.

I'm not advocating that we all should become Train drivers...But, what in the hell is going on when pilots are majors are qualifying for public assistant.

Back to the drawing board.
 

Clyde

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TriJet said:
Just read in the USA Today that Train operators on the BART system in San Francisco are making the big bucks.

One guy supposedly made 109K JUST IN OVERTIME pay.

I'm not advocating that we all should become Train drivers...But, what in the hell is going on when pilots are majors are qualifying for public assistant.

Back to the drawing board.

Supply and demand. Overcapacity in the airline industry combined with a percentage of the pilot population who will literally fly just about anything for free.

There are a lot of jobs out there where people earn a very good wage in occupations that I did not think paid as well as they do. For example, while listening to AM talk radio I heard the nation is facing a very possible shortage of skilled auto technicians. They also said that a good mechanic can earn over $100K/yr. Given, there is going to be some overtime involved, but the money is very close to what the average pilot makes, and a mechanic typically does not spend years at food-stamp level building up "hours" and is usually home on the holidays, most weekends, and definitely sleeps in his/her own bed every night. Combine that with the amount of work out there, and how quickly one can attain good employment shortly out of school, and this person sees a greater return on investment in a shorter amount of time than the pilot who spends tens of thousands of dollars at an aeronautical school.

The job of being a pilot is becoming less of a profession and more of a vocation.
 

dudemize

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I used to do a lot of consulting work for Union Pacific and I spoke to several train engineers who made well into the six figures. Not an easy lifestyle as their schedules are similar to charter pilots in that they are always on call without a set schedule.
 

720degpersec

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dudemize said:
I used to do a lot of consulting work for Union Pacific and I spoke to several train engineers who made well into the six figures. Not an easy lifestyle as their schedules are similar to charter pilots in that they are always on call without a set schedule.


We're already Bus drivers anyway, flying people who can't afford Greyhound...
 

kelbill

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BART drivers are a bad example of supply and demand. They are strictly an example of government union vs liberal city officials who want votes. Remember that LA bus drivers were making about $80k, thanks to the threat of strike by a big union on the public dole. California is getting to be just like the majors in that their pensions are becoming unsustainable. Expect the poop to hit the fan in another 5 years. Arnold is trying to fix it, but can only do so much in the Peoples Republic of California.
 

TriJet

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the good ole PRC...

Hey man, at leat this PRC operates in feet, not meters.
 

Jimdandy

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I can just see the train condutor at home reading this........

I don't make 109K a year in overtime what the He11?

And the bus driver out in LA I don't make 80K a year what the He11?

Kinda like the Airline pilot ...I don't make 300K a year what the He11?

Do a salary search and you will see people in these professions don't make anywhere near these levels.

Gotta love exaggeration
 

falcon20driver

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Not a 109K, but here is a current conductor position posted today, free training and average pay is 68K.

https://secure.recruitingcenter.net....cfm?jbaction=JobProfile&Job_Id=14873&esid=az

Conductor Trainee - Primary Recall Location
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Last Updated: 06/28/2005




Job Description:

Application Deadline: Midnight, June 28, 2005

All applicants will be notified by email regarding orientation, testing and interviews for this position. Please be sure to check your email on a daily basis.

BNSF is committed to a safe and drug free work place. All applicants are required to undergo a hair drug test which detects the presence of illegal drugs for months prior to testing. Successful applicants may undergo additional drug testing, depending on the category of job worked. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping BNSF safe and drug free.


Conductors earn an average of $67,128. BNSF employees receive annual benefit packages averaging $22,986.

Duties:

Obtains/ receives relays and/or acts upon oral or written instructions/information from the conductor, dispatcher, switch foreman, yard master, or other personnel, in person or by other communication devices (e.g. radio, beeper, telephone). Operates various designs of track switches and derails in order to change the route of the engine or cars within yards or on the road. Checks switch point to make sure switch is properly aligned. Observes/ monitors track conditions (e.g. broken rails, defective switches, weather-related problems, etc.). Inspects train cars or other equipment before leaving the yard or when required. Applies and releases hand brakes. Observes condition of passing train and reports results to appropriate personnel. Gets on and off equipment while train is performing industrial station or yard switching, to set or release hand brakes or other duties. Rides moving car by hanging on grab irons or ladder, sometimes for extended periods of time. Prepares required reports such as time slips, delay reports, accident reports, etc. Observes, interprets and relays hand, lantern, and other signals affecting the movement of the train, and judges and controls the speed and clearance distance of cars.


This position is a "primary recall" position. Therefore, for a period of five (5) years (from the date of hire) “primary recall” employees stand for recall (in reverse seniority order) to the hire location until BNSF is able to hire additional employees at that location.


Qualifications:


High school diploma / GED required. Ability to work on-call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Ability to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. Ability to travel to job sites around the area and remain on site perhaps for days at a time. Weekend and holiday work required. BNSF conductor training program provided.
 

kelbill

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From the United Transportation Union's website archives:

"The MTA's 4,300 bus drivers and rail operators make an average of $50,000 a year"

That was in 2000, BEFORE, the strike ended and they got pay raises. And for the average to be $50,000, there has to be some above (the $80k I read and saw about in the news) and below (the newbies). And remember, this is a government job, so when the bennies are added in, $80k is right on the money. I can't speak for that overtime figure someone else quoted.
 

labbats

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Try living in San Francisco as the sole bread winner on $50k. It's not supply and demand, it's cost of living.
 

pipejockey

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labbats said:
Try living in San Francisco as the sole bread winner on $50k. It's not supply and demand, it's cost of living.

Well the airlines don't seem concerned about cost of living for their pilots in New York, San Francisco, or LA for example.

And I'm sure their are tons of people that would love to drive trains around for a living as well, but the laws of supply and demand don't seem to apply with those jobs. I was thinking about professional athletes as well. I mean there are millions who would love to play games for a living for a fraction of what those clowns earn. And many, many people out there are capable of throwing and catching a football, hitting a baseball etc. You might not see quite the level of play or steroid inflated statistics you see today but the games would still be just as competitive with some great plays being made. Think back when football had the strike back in the 80s. I didn't see much of a difference. I just can't figure this airline industry out. It makes no sense at all to me!
 
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Green

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You never earn what you deserve, you make what you negotiate. Unfortunately we as pilots have agreed to work for less. We bought all that bs that management was spewing and now work for a fraction of the total compensation that pilots traditionally made.

Notice that airline managers are nowhere near as gullible as the typical line pilots. Us Airways for example has been bleeding money yet each year they give out massive retention bonuses to keep the "talent" around. Those same middle managers that steered them into ch11. When Ual pilots took their huge paycuts the management employees took a cut of somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 percent. Yet too many of us seem to think that taking bread off our family's table is somehow going to save an airline. It's just going to lead to the next fare sale...

Remember the dockworker strike in Seattle. Those longshoremen make 150k per year! Hopefully pilots will wake up and realize that 100k is no longer "good money" if you want to live in a decent neighborhood.

My rant is over.
 

ShadowFlight

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Working for a freight railroad equates to not having a personal life. A person works 8 or 12 hour shifts and then is off for 8 or 12 hours. This can go on for 7 days a week. Basically, like someone previously posted, it's like being on-call all the time. Even the railroads post a disclaimer in their job ads that working for a railroad could take a toll on personal relationships. The money is good but not the schedules.

If one was to work for a railroad, I've heard BNSF is probably one of the best. Possibly Canadian Pacific too (they operate here in the US). I'd steer clear of the UP and CSX.

Think long and hard before accepting a conductor or engineer position with a railroad.

Peace

SF
 

klhoard

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I had a neighbor in FL who worked commercial marine. . . 200 footers in the Gulf of Mexico. He and his wife both worked 2 weeks on / 2 weeks off and made decent money. My understanding is that the first year you're a "swabbie", then you specialize into Engineer, Captain, or some other specialty on the ship.
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Icelandair

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Do conductors get to jumpseat on other people's railroads? Are there nonrev bennies for a spouse and kids?
 
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I'm a conductor for CSX based out of N.C. about 1 hours east of CLT. Pay can be pretty good if you are willing to put in the hours. I put in 4,074 hours last year and on pace to put in 3,700 plus this year. Most conductor/engineers 1-5 years of service can make an average of $50,000 to $65,000 working an extraboard on call 24/7. Crew members with more than 5 years can make $60,000 to $95,000 on average. The more you choose to make the less home life you have.
 
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