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Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers

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Drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.

    Work Activities
    • Confer with conductors and other workers via radiotelephones or computers to exchange switching information.
    • Signal crew members for movement of engines or trains, using lanterns, hand signals, radios, or telephones.
    • Observe and respond to wayside and cab signals, including color light signals, position signals, torpedoes, flags, and hot box detectors.
    • Drive engines within railroad yards or other establishments to couple, uncouple, or switch railroad cars.
    • Inspect engines before and after use to ensure proper operation.
    • Apply and release hand brakes.
    • Read switching instructions and daily car schedules to determine work to be performed, or receive orders from yard conductors.
    • Inspect the condition of stationary trains, rolling stock, and equipment.
    • Observe water levels and oil, air, and steam pressure gauges to ensure proper operation of equipment.
    • Spot cars for loading and unloading at customer locations.
    • Inspect track for defects such as broken rails and switch malfunctions.
    • Ride on moving cars by holding onto grab irons and standing on ladder steps.
    • Operate track switches, derails, automatic switches, and retarders to change routing of train or cars.
    • Receive, relay, and act upon instructions and inquiries from train operations and customer service center personnel.
    • Couple and uncouple air hoses and electrical connections between cars.
    • Report arrival and departure times, train delays, work order completion, and time on duty.
    • Pull knuckles to open them for coupling.
    • Provide assistance in aligning drawbars, using available equipment to lift, pull, or push on the drawbars.
    • Drive locomotives to and from various stations in roundhouses to have locomotives cleaned, serviced, repaired, or supplied.
    • Record numbers of cars available, numbers of cars sent to repair stations, and types of service needed.
    • Perform routine repair and maintenance duties.
    • Operate and control dinkey engines to transport and shunt cars at industrial or mine sites.
    • Operate flatcars equipped with derricks or railcars to transport personnel or equipment.
    • Provide assistance in the installation or repair of rails and ties.
    • Operate switching diesel engines to switch railroad cars, using remote controls.
    • Operation and Control

      Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

    • Operation Monitoring

      Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

    • 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.

    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy
    • Problem Sensitivity

      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.

    • Control Precision

      The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

    • Oral Comprehension

      The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

    • Transportation

      Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

    • 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.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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    • Ohio Annual Salary $57,710/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage $27.75/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 250
    • Yearly Projected Openings 20
    Typical Education
    Realistic: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Self Control
    • Integrity
    • Cooperation
    • Independence
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