Enjoying physical labour, teamwork and working outdoors as well as being safety-minded are vital to a career in rail operations at CN. With a vibrant, 24/7 schedule, no two days will ever be alike. You can expect fresh challenges, a safety-focused work environment, paid training and supportive colleagues who share your passion for motion. The careers we offer are meaningful because the work we do matters. Join us!
Conductors work as members of two or three person train crews and perform duties associated with the movement of trains, rail cars, and locomotives in rail yards and on the road. They coordinate the assembly of trains and execute any ground work outside the locomotive cab while in the yard or en-route (ex: operating track switches, picking up rail cars, making emergency repairs, etc.).
The statements in this section are essential job functions that an employee must be able to perform with or without accommodations in order to achieve the objectives of the Conductor job.
- Ensuring compliance with all train orders, signals, railroad rules and regulations related to safety and operations
- Providing and receiving various forms of oral and printed instructions concerning the movement and placement of rail cars
- Assembling/dismantling trains in the rail yard, and picking up/setting off rail cars en-route
- Observing, interpreting, and relaying signals to ensure safe train and locomotive movement
- Operating track switches to change locomotive and rail car routes
- Inspecting the condition of a train and equipment
- Making effective decisions when in unfamiliar locations or emergency situations
- Communicating effectively with the Rail Traffic Control centre, other train crews and other departments on a regular basis via handheld radio
Successful applicants will participate in an intensive paid training program that includes 11 weeks of training (7 weeks classroom at the CN Campus in Winnipeg, MB and 4 weeks field training). Expenses related to transportation, accommodation and meals while in Winnipeg are covered by the company.
After these initial 11 weeks, candidates will complete a minimum of 45 trips as an extra person on a crew to enhance their knowledge and skills. Successful completion of the entire training program is mandatory in order to work as a Conductor, and includes written exams and field training (including physical requirements).
Working Conditions and Physical Requirements
- Working a flexible schedule with regular and predictable attendance, in line with the 24/7 railroading environment (includes night, weekend, holiday work hours, some overtime, and being away from home for extended periods of time)
- Pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying up to 90 pounds
- Working outdoors in varying weather and environmental conditions
- Operating various devices on rail cars and locomotives, such as uncoupling levers and handbrakes
- Climbing on and off ladders of moving rail cars
- Grasping and holding objects while riding the side of a train
- Walking for frequent extended periods
- Bending, stooping, squatting, and kneeling frequently
- Meeting medical fitness requirements for the position, including those established by the Railway Association of Canada, such as the ability to recognize and distinguish between the colors of signals
- Writing and passing safety and rules exams. (Note: As per collective agreement, subsequent mandatory Locomotive Engineer qualification to retain seniority/employment.)
- High school diploma or GED
- Obtaining and maintaining Conductors Rule Card
- Possessing and maintaining a passport allowing entry/re-entry to the Canada and the United States (in certain specific locations)
- Proficiency in both oral and written communications
Completion of college or vocational/technical school and/or Freight Conductor experience
Relevant work experience in similar working conditions or regulatory/safety environment
Possessing and maintaining a valid driver’s license
CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade-enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. As the only railroad connecting Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the Southern tip of the U.S. through a 19,500 mile rail network, CN and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship. At CN, we work as ONE TEAM, focused on safety, sustainability and our customers, providing operational and supply chain excellence to deliver results.
CN is an employment equity employer and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only candidates under consideration will be contacted. Please monitor your email on a regular basis, as communication is primarily made through email.