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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.
    • Spot cars for loading and unloading at customer locations.
    • Observe water levels and oil, air, and steam pressure gauges to ensure proper operation of equipment.
    • 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.
    Skills
    • 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.

    WorkKeys®
    Applied Math
    4
    Workplace Documents
    4
    Graphic Literacy
    4
    Abilities
    • 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.

    Knowledge
    • 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.

    Career Video
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    Pay
    • Ohio Annual Salary $57,450/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage $27.62/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage
    Ohio Employment Trends
    • Currently Employed 250
    • Yearly Projected Openings 20
    Typical Education
    Personality
    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
    Tools
    • Wheel chocks
    • Train braking systems
    • Pressure indicators
    • Heavy rail turnout switch
    • Diesel freight locomotives
    Technology
    • Inventory management software
    • Internet browser software
    • Facilities management software
    • Data base user interface and query software