Train Conductor Vs Engineer

There's something about the sound of a train that's very romantic and nostalgic and hopeful.”

Paul Simon

The difference between a Train Conductor vs Engineer

If you become a locomotive engineer, you’ll join the ranks of the most skilled and experienced of all railroad workers. There are few key differences between a train conductor vs. engineer.

After having several years experience as train conductors, some people will apply to obtain a certificate in order to become locomotive engineers. Having previous experience as a conductor or other rail industry worker is recommended.

First requirement is to have a high school diploma (or GED equivalent). You will need to pass a background check and drug test.

Locomotive engineers must be certified by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) .

The certification, conducted by the railroad that employs them, involves a written knowledge test, a skills test, and a supervisor determining that the engineer understands all physical aspects of the particular route on which he or she will be operating, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At the end of the certification process, the engineer must pass a vision and hearing test.

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Locomotive engineers, also known as train engineers, are responsible for driving trains harmlessly from one destination to another. They operate large trains carrying cargo or passengers.

Train Engineers adjust train speeds to accommodate for weather conditions.

They collaborate with other railroad workers, monitor locomotive equipment, update train inspection logs, and make sure that trains remain on schedule.

Engineers must be aware of the goods their train is carrying because different types of freight require different types of driving, based on the conditions of the rails. Further reading How much do locomotives cost?.

As a locomotive engineer you need to be able to stay focused on the job in a high stress environment, able to multi-task, to excel under pressure. Ability to communicate, management and mechanical skills are some of the key abilities.

The conductor is an entry-level railroad job, many locomotive engineers have started as conductors. I have a wrote many articles about being a train conductor, please start there.

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”

Corrie Ten Boom.

Train Conductor vs Engineer

As you probably find out by now, there is a huge difference between a train conductor and an engineer. In essence they both have the same mission, to safely deliver the train and the cargo/personal at their destination, the engineer being in charge of the locomotive and driving, and the conductor in charge of the freight/passengers needs. Together they make a great team.

train conductor vs engineer