Train Conductor

Responsible for the train and all of those on the train, the conductor is an important member of the crew, second only to the engineer.  While the engineer is responsible for the train itself, the conductor is responsible for everything on the train. The conductor follows the rules set out by the company and the government to ensure the safety of the crew and passengers aboard. The conductor is essentially the manager of the train, making important decision to ensure the comfort and safety of passengers if a passenger train, and the safety of the cargo if a freight train.

Types of Conductors

When people think of train conductors, they think of the road conductor, who works on the train, traveling with the engineer and the passengers or cargo. Road conductors have no set schedule, only one dictated by the train schedule of the train on which they are working. Another type of conductor is the yard conductor, who works in the train yard.

Job Responsibilities

Whether a road conductor or a yard conductor, the responsibilities for this position include:

  • Receive lists of cargo, passengers, or stops and keep a concise log of the journey
  • Relay list information to the appropriate crew members
  • Conduct a safety check on the train to ensure it is in proper working order
  • If there are repairs that need to be made, conductor makes sure to tell the appropriate parties and arrange for the removal of a car if needed
  • Complete necessary paperwork
  • Act as the primary contact between the crew onboard the train and the personnel in the train yard
  • Ticket/fare collection
  • Announcements
  • Direct the engineer when and where to move and stop
  • Constantly be aware of conditions around the train that could impede the safety of the train, passengers, or cargo

The size of the crew on passenger trains is often larger than the crew onboard freight trains. Many times, the conductor and the engineer are the only crew on the freight trains, as they are legally obligated to have these positions onboard. Over time as the crew onboard the trains has been reduced, the conductor has been given more responsibilities to compensate.

For more information, contact our FELA law firm today.