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No matter how sophisticated modern rail travel can be, the trains still run on rails, so there continue to be jobs for rail track layers. Just as there were in the early days when the railroads opened up America's west. They go wherever on the system they're needed, from the rail yard to an undergro ...
und tunnel down the line. The rails may also be in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. This is an entry-level job in the railroad system, with no previous work-related skill required.
Usually, a high school diploma, physical strength and coordination, and a good sense of responsibility will get you started. Workers with low seniority can expect night and weekend shifts. Sometimes, you're exposed to rain, wind and snow, and overtime might be required, especially during emergencies. After all, you're a part of the nation's rail system. The safety of passengers and the transport of good rely on your careful, constant work.
Lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and railroad bed tamping machine operators.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Clean tracks or clear ice or snow from tracks or switch boxes.
Clean, grade, or level ballast on railroad tracks.
Adjust controls of machines that spread, shape, raise, level, or align track, according to specifications.
Observe leveling indicator arms to verify levelness and alignment of tracks.
Dress and reshape worn or damaged railroad switch points or frogs, using portable power grinders.
Raise rails, using hydraulic jacks, to allow for tie removal and replacement.
Operate single- or multiple-head spike driving machines to drive spikes into ties and secure rails.
Engage mechanisms that lay tracks or rails to specified gauges.
Operate single- or multiple-head spike pullers to pull old spikes from ties.
Grind ends of new or worn rails to attain smooth joints, using portable grinders.
Lubricate machines, change oil, or fill hydraulic reservoirs to specified levels.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
The ability to see details at a distance.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.