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RAILROAD BRAKE, SIGNAL, AND SWITCH OPERATORS
 
Occupation Description:
 
  Operate railroad track switches. Couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Signal engineers by hand or flagging. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes.
 
Typical Tasks:
 
 
  • Signal locomotive engineers to start or stop trains when coupling or uncoupling cars, using hand signals, lanterns, or radio communication.
  • Pull or push track switches to reroute cars.
  • Observe signals from other crew members so that work activities can be coordinated.
  • Inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and handbrakes to ensure that they are securely fastened and functioning properly.
  • Raise levers to couple and uncouple cars for makeup and breakup of trains.
  • Receive oral or written instructions from yardmasters or yard conductors indicating track assignments and cars to be switched.
  • Climb ladders to tops of cars to set brakes.
 
Skills:
 
 
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times..
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly..
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action..
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents..
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems..
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems..
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others..
 
Knowledge:
 
 
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits..
  • 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..
  • 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..
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance..
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar..
  • 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..
  • 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..
 
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Education & Training:
 
  Moderate-term on-the-job training (1 to 12 months)
 
Wage Information:
 
  Sorry, wage information is not available for this occupation.
 
Occupation Outlook:
 
  Sorry, outlook information is not available for this occupation.
 
Similar Occupations:
 
 
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