There's several reasons as it would be with a range of jobs but here's some that are exclusive to working on a railway that are so precisely matched to a Railway environment that you couldn't repeat anywhere else in the working world.
First, time off. The word even creates shudders from Eastern Canada to Western on the railway. If you think you might need time off, don't worry you'll get it when they recreate the wheel they're not working on. This can't be stressed enough, for example: if you call in at 3am cause you feel your just not fit, you'll be patched in to your supervisor via a taped recording even if the super is sleeping to explain the need for the time off. You must answer carefully so ask each employee on the keywords to say cause you'll be subject to informal letters, algorithm patterns and possible termination.
Second, new hires to the Running Trades (Conductors-Track Personnel) you WILL be laid off so just accept that and you'll be fine. It's definitely going to happen and sometimes new hire classes are laid off at the completion to their 6 month training course. Layoffs typically are a few months but some you'll see have taken year(s). The pattern to their frequency varies by location across Canada but none are explicit to none. Oh and if/when that happens you can ask for temporary locates in terminals across Canada. They are 91 day relocates that pay decent albeit however just know it's somewhat military in this regard and if your relying on this paycheque that you may end up roaming Canada! Yea that's right all of Canada if that intrigues you.
Third, if you think you will be enjoying your 5 days and 2 off again in the Running Trades (Conductor-Trackmen) fields you should look elsewhere. Then again it may happen but twist the wording to 5 nights and 2 nights off. It's pretty much where you'll be living which is in the dark at most of your career. Nights seems to heat up for action on the railway, I don't know if it's because the trains run smoother in the darkest of dark air?
I do not work there now, due to the company wanted me to relocate to Toronto and did not have enough time to sell house and prepare for a new location.
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