Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers

Description

Drive switching or other locomotive or dinkey engines within railroad yard, industrial plant, quarry, construction project, or similar location.

Tasks

  • Confer with conductors and other workers via radio-telephones 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.
  • Observe water levels and oil, air, and steam pressure gauges in order to ensure proper operation of equipment.
  • Spot cars for loading and unloading at customer locations.
  • 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.

Knowledge

History and Archeology
Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

Skills

Operations Analysis
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

Work Activities

Interacting With Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Social Orientation
Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Car Barn Laborer
Car Mover
Car Repairman
Coal Trammer
Conductor
Diesel Dinkey Engineer
Diesel Dinkey Operator
Dinkey Driver
Dinkey Engine Operator
Dinkey Engineer
Dinkey Locomotive Engineer
Dinkey Locomotive Operator
Dinkey Motor Operator
Dinkey Skinner
Dump Motor Operator
Dump Motorman
Engine Hostler
Engineer
Equipment Operator
Goat Driver
Haulage Engine Operator
Ingot Buggy Operator
Ingot Car Operator
Larriman
Larry Car Operator
Locomotive Engineer
Mine Motor Engineer
Mine Motor Operator
Rail Equipment Operator
Railcar Switcher
Railroad Engineer
Slag Motor Operator
Switch Crew Supervisor
Switchman
Train Operator
Transportation Specialist
Work Car Operator
Yard Engineer
Yard Motor Operator

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$19.82 hourly, $41,230 annual.
Employment (2008):
5,170 employees