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What does a Train Conductor do?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered July 19 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Train Conductors are more than just glorified drivers. There is quite a bit of preparation involved before setting off on any journey. Conductors are responsible for checking the train's condition, testing all systems, and monitoring their responses to ensure safety.  
Train Conductors are highly disciplined, following procedures and always adhering to laws and regulations. They work hard to familiarize themselves with stations along their routes, from the departing station to the final stop and all stops in between. They also check the length of platforms, the distance between stations and stay connected with all station personnel and the global headquarters personnel to confirm scheduling or cargo lists.  
Train conductors can sometimes be responsible for announcing station stops and departure times to passengers while onboard, ensuring that no one gets locked out on the platform or locked in the compartment. However, they maintain a tight schedule and know that they cannot wait at stations, lest they delay the entire trip.   
While operating, Train Conductors constantly observe the tracks ahead for obstructions while also reading route signals to know when to yield to oncoming trains or detour to other tracks. 

Roles and responsibilities of a Train Conductor
The average day of a Train Conductor is unique because it can change daily or even hourly. Routes and duties can change frequently, but there is quite a bit of structure among the requirements across the board. While the average day may look different from one day to the next, the rules, laws, and regulations ensure that the tasks and jobs can only be performed one way. Discover more about the day in the life of your friendly Train conductor below.  
  • Operating train engines  
  • Transporting passengers and cargo between stations 
  • Receiving and interpreting information from headquarters, acting according to signals and orders 
  • Starting the engine when signaled 
  • Following procedures to stop at a station 
  • Operating train doors to let passengers in and out 
  • Following tight time schedules 
  • Switching tasks with the Second Conductor to avoid fatigue  
  • Inspecting locomotive and systems before departure 
  • Checking all systems are functioning 
  • Verifying fuel, air, and water levels 
  • Testing brake systems and reporting malfunctions  
  • Supervising the loading and unloading of cargo  
  • Being able to endure long routes 
  • Following security measures during journeys 
  • Monitoring lights indicating systems’ condition 
  • Monitoring gauges to check the temperature, amperage, fuel, air, and water supply 
  • Observing railways to identify obstructions 
  • Checking vehicle speed and location 
  • Keeping watch for dashboard and railway signals 
  • Responding to emergencies and breakdowns  
  • Reporting incidents to headquarters 
  • Assisting passengers with evacuation procedures when necessary 
  • Following procedures and instructions during emergencies 
  • Performing minor repairs on the train, as required