Canadian National Railway Company Conductor (Freight Trainperson) in Waterloo, Iowa

Conductor (Freight Trainperson)


Conductors (Freight Trainperson) supervise train operations as well as move, switch, inspect, couple and uncouple cars. They prepare reports and at times, they deliver and pull customer goods.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Ensuring compliance with all train orders, signals, and railroad rules and regulations related to safety, operation and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Providing and receiving various forms of oral and printed communication concerning the movement and placement of rail cars
  • Observing, interpreting, and relaying signals concerning train and engine movement
  • Operating track switches and derails to change engine and rail car routes
  • Inspecting the condition of a train and equipment
  • Preparing necessary forms and reports
  • Maintaining predictable and reliable attendance
  • Able to work an irregular schedule. The work schedule of a Conductor will be irregular and will include night, weekend, or holiday work hours and overtime.
  • Conductors may also be required to travel and may be away from home for more than one night at a time.
  • Follow company safety procedures, use common sense, and maintain an overall level of safety awareness when operating in the work environment
  • Make effective decisions when in unfamiliar locations or emergency situationsPerform additional tasks as required by supervisor from time to time Working Conditions:

  • Pushing, pulling, lifting and carrying up to 50 pounds occasionally and assisting in the infrequent movement of weights of up to 83 pounds

  • Ability to work outdoors in varying weather and environmental conditions
  • Operating various devices such as an uncoupling lever to separate and couple cars
  • Applying handbrakes on rail cars and locomotives
  • Climbing on and off ladders on moving rail cars
  • High degree of manual dexterity with good hand-eye coordination
  • Ability to grasp and hold objects and possess good climbing and balancing skills
  • Ability to walk for frequent extended periods, sometimes on uneven surfacesFrequent bending, stooping, squatting, and kneeling

Work location:

Conductors assigned to over the road train may be required to travel and may be absent from their home terminal for periods in excess of 24 hours. When Conductors are called, they may not know exactly when they will return. In the yard, shift assignments are based on seniority and shifts are normally 10-12 hours per day.


Newly hired Train Operators take part in several weeks of training which includes classroom instructions and field training in Homewood, IL. The training guides the new Conductor through the critical safety skills required to work on the railroad. Once the classroom training is complete, the Conductor will complete trips as a trainee with a crew to enhance his/her knowledge and skills. Successful completion of the training course is mandatory in order to work as a Train Operator.


The Conductor position is a unionized position. Wages, initiation fees, and monthly dues are required as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.

Minimum Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age
  • Valid driver’s license
  • High School diploma or GED
  • Must meet all medical fitness for duty requirements for the position. The ideal candidate profile:

  • Ability to work autonomously, adapt to different situations and manage stressful situations.

  • Demonstrate good teamwork and maintain positive interactions with others.
  • Good English verbal, reading comprehension and writing skills.
  • Constantly alert and prepared for unexpected conditions or circumstances.
  • Conform to operating rules and safety procedures and maintain a high level of safety awareness in the work environment, both for themselves and their colleagues.
  • Dedicated to getting the job done while meeting established standards of quality, safety, productivity and client satisfaction.Displays common sense and good judgment. Preferences:

  • Relevant work experience in similar working conditions or regulatory/safety environment

  • Knowledge of signals or Railroad Operating RulesPost secondary education


CN is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. It is our policy to fill vacant positions with qualified candidates without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, assuming an individual can perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodation. Only qualified candidates under consideration will be contacted. Please monitor your email on a regular basis, as communication is primarily made through email.