Amtrak trains without Conductors?

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LookingGlassTie

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
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513
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that Amtrak's rules of operation stipulate that in the absence of a Conductor or Assistant Conductor, the Engineer shall be the person in charge of the entire train. Which I believe is also how the freight railroads handle such situations.

Has there ever been a time that an Amtrak train had no Conductors and therefore the Engineer was in charge? How does an Engineer handle that responsibility and does he/she report to the next available Conductor?

Thanks!
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
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Jul 9, 2014
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First of all, it wasn't an Amtrak rule. It was a practice that was based upon the applicable operating rules of the various territories Amtrak operates on (GCOR, CSX, NORAC, NS etc.)

Secondly, this question is no longer applicable since CFR Part 242 was introduced in 2012 as Amtrak engineers aren't dual certified. As such, if an emergency occurs en route, and the conductor is no longer available, the A/C is left in charge even if they aren't qualified on the characteristics. However, the train would proceed to the next point a qualified conductor is available on the engineer's qualification of the physical characteristics.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,681
First of all, it wasn't an Amtrak rule. It was a practice that was based upon the applicable operating rules of the various territories Amtrak operates on (GCOR, CSX, NORAC, NS etc.)

Secondly, this question is no longer applicable since CFR Part 242 was introduced in 2012 as Amtrak engineers aren't dual certified. As such, if an emergency occurs en route, and the conductor is no longer available, the A/C is left in charge even if they aren't qualified on the characteristics. However, the train would proceed to the next point a qualified conductor is available on the engineer's qualification of the physical characteristics.
Why are they no longer 'dual-certified'? I assume cost of training, and not really necessary, but I thought that most engineer's were promoted conductor's...?
 

LookingGlassTie

OBS Chief
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Messages
513
First of all, it wasn't an Amtrak rule. It was a practice that was based upon the applicable operating rules of the various territories Amtrak operates on (GCOR, CSX, NORAC, NS etc.)

Secondly, this question is no longer applicable since CFR Part 242 was introduced in 2012 as Amtrak engineers aren't dual certified. As such, if an emergency occurs en route, and the conductor is no longer available, the A/C is left in charge even if they aren't qualified on the characteristics. However, the train would proceed to the next point a qualified conductor is available on the engineer's qualification of the physical characteristics.
Ohh ok. Still learning about these things.
 

Thirdrail7

Conductor
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Jul 9, 2014
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Why are they no longer 'dual-certified'? I assume cost of training, and not really necessary, but I thought that most engineer's were promoted conductor's...?

As they were never dual certified, you obviously thought wrong. You are also wrong when you say most engineers are promoted conductors.
 

railiner

Conductor
Joined
Mar 20, 2009
Messages
7,681
Interesting. I assumed they were based on the way I misread your post about 'since 2012'...sorry.

So Amtrak, and other roads, will train new engineer's "off-the-street", with no time as a conductor?
 

Acela150

Conductor
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
8,732
Interesting. I assumed they were based on the way I misread your post about 'since 2012'...sorry.

So Amtrak, and other roads, will train new engineer's "off-the-street", with no time as a conductor?
Amtrak will hire Engineers "off the street" with no experience very, very, rarely. Freight side you hire out as a Conductor first. Amtrak it's best to hire as a Conductor first, then after sometime it's best to try to promote to Engineer.
 

jis

Conductor
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25,617
As you and I both know, it's the other way around. :) Conductors are promoted to Engineers.
Hmmm. English comprehension upgrade time? ;) I don't think anyone has said anything about Engineers being promoted to Conductors. The issue was whether one can become an Engineer without being a Conductor for a while or not.
 
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