Baggage Handler/ Cargo handlers

Baggage and cargo handlers are responsible for the luggage and cargo aboard passenger and freight trains, respectively. Like the conductor, they must be aware of how many passengers are aboard, if working on a passenger train, or the location and amount of the cargo in each car, if working on a freight train. They may work with the list of passengers on the train, received from the conductor, to help match the passenger with his or her luggage. Similarly, cargo handlers make sure that the appropriate cargo is loaded onto the correct car.

Baggage Handler

Baggage handlers ensure that the passengers and their luggage meet again once they arrive at their destination. Using excellent customer service skills, they assist passengers in getting their luggage into and out of the storage areas, located inside or under the car of the train. Depending on how full the train is, they help ensure that all of the luggage the passengers bring on the train make it onto the train.

They also find room for the luggage when the train is filled to capacity. Since the conductor must know the load in each car before they leave the stop, the baggage handler may help assess the load when it is busy. These positions are commonly in abundance, especially on crowded trains. The baggage handler may also:

  • Help serve meals in the dining car
  • Collect tickets
  • Account for ticketed passengers

Cargo Handler

Cargo handlers have the important responsibility of transporting the cargo into and out of the car of a freight train, including boxes and crates, with the aid of lifting equipment (e.g. a dolly). Repeated heavy lifting is a key part of the job; cargo handlers may be among the strongest employees of a rail company.

All of the cargo on the train must be documented and accounted for within each train car so that cargo handlers at the destination can account for the cargo and match it to the appropriate client. Cargo handlers work in groups with a single supervisor to help ensure that the loading and unloading process goes smoothly and does not cause the train to run late. Each cargo handler must be organized and know their role within the process to make it efficient for the company and safe for his or her fellow cargo handlers.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Due to the constant heavy lifting required of baggage and cargo handlers, they are at an increased risk of suffering cumulative injuries that may result in a lifetime of pain and physical challenges. If you’re dealing with something like this, contact our FELA lawyers for help. We will evaluate your specific circumstances and help you with your claim.

It wasn’t until recently that cumulative stress injuries were considered under FELA law. For more information about cumulative injuries , go to the cumulative injury section of this site.