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Two2Go

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  1. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    This is precisely why the application mentions that you must have a valid driver's license. What they are really saying is they want you to, at the very least, have the ability to drive a car to get to work. I don't think they can legally require you to own a car, but you really really need to have reliable access to a car. When you are a new A/C on probation (and probably for a while after probation) you won't have the seniority to own a regular job. There will be days when you are called and given 3 hours notice to report to a place like Port Jefferson or Speonk. According to Google Maps, right now at 4:45am it would take over an hour to drive from the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn to Port Jefferson station, and an hour and 20 min to drive out to Speonk. Babylon is relatively close in comparison to some of the weird places we have to show up for work. Try to be thankful for the opportunity rather than complaining about the railroad before you've ever stepped foot on one of our trains. The change in attitude will go a long way in helping you get this job. (By the way, notice what time I am up and going to work right now...)
  2. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    I overheard in Hillside the other day that there will be no more classes in 2018. The 4th and 5th classes of the year are currently in Hillside. The 4th class is just about to graduate, and the 5th class just started a few weeks ago (they'll probably graduate around Thanksgiving). Even though you guys had 22 or 24 people pass S&D, remember that not all of those people will wind up getting the job. Some of them may not pass the physical exam, and some of them may have already found other jobs while waiting. In January, if they find that they have more than 24 people ready to start, they'll probably just make 2 classes back to back. I know it's a long wait, which sucks, but don't get discouraged, it'll happen. Just keep studying your stuff so you don't forget it before class starts!
  3. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    I took these tests back in January of 2016, so things may have changed, but for me, the cognitive was a weird test, unlike anything I had ever seen before. There were sections with sequences of numbers and letters, where you had to pick the next number or letter based on the rules they laid out. There were sections where you had to read a flow chart and answer questions based on the chart. Each section was timed...they are looking for you to get as many questions correct as possible. They do not expect you to finish each section in the time allotted, so don't go guessing random answers to finish the section just before time is up. The vocabulary test that followed was very easy. It was 40 words, each with 4 possible synonyms, you just have to choose the correct answer. The math test was also very easy, just simple addition, multiplication and subtraction. The questions were like "A senior boards a train at Lynbrook and is traveling to Penn Station with two 11-year olds. A senior ticket costs $6 and tickets for children between the ages of 5-11 are $1 each. The senior gives you a $20 bill, what is her change?" They give you plenty of time to complete the test, and they give you scrap paper to work out your answers if need be.
  4. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    Look at it from the railroad's perspective...they have thousands upon thousands of applicants for very few positions. They can afford to be picky. On top of that, they are asking us to handle thousands of dollars in cash and safety-sensitive responsibilities. Credit report indicates how risky it is that the applicant might try to steal money (poor credit = high risk, obviously). Driving record indicates how responsible the applicant is. I wouldn't trust someone who has a DUI on their record to be able to open and close the doors safely, or throw a switch properly, etc etc. If they are OK with driving while drunk, how do I know they're not going to think its OK to show up to work drunk one day and open the doors off the platform at Nostrand Avenue? Some poor guy leaning against the doors then falls out of the train and falls to his death on Atlantic Ave. So, I guess to answer your question, "nah".
  5. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    I don't think this would be a moving violation, unless you were issued a ticket as a result of the accident? I don't think it'll be a problem. I have a classmate who had a number of speeding tickets. He was rejected as an Engineer due to the speeding tickets, but they hired him as a conductor. One accident shouldn't cause a problem.
  6. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    Honestly, if MNR is a sure thing and you live in the city or north of the city, I’d go with MNR. LIRR is great, but so is MNR. They also qualify you in class at MNR, which is totally different from how LIRR does it. Once you graduate, you’re done, no more studying, no more stressing about your job. If you’re out on LI, then you’ve got a harder decision to make. I think MNR only gives you two hours to report (versus LIRR with 3 or 3.5 hours depending on the terminal). Can you get to Poughkeepsie with two hours notice?
  7. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    That's a tough question to answer, but I'll take a stab at it... Officially, we pick jobs twice a year (aka "General Pick"). Once in the spring and once in the fall. The reality is that because of "trimming", your job can change a lot more often than once every 6 months. So, here's what the reality is: At the "General Pick", everyone* picks a job, in seniority order. If there are more people than there are jobs, the people at the bottom of the roster don't get to own a job -- they become "Subject to Bid". They still work 5 days a week, covering assignments that are available, and they have days off (2 consecutive) assigned to them by the railroad. *Remember how I said "everyone" picks a job? Well, anyone on vacation the week of the General Pick, along with anyone that is out on long-term leave (medical, FMLA, whatever) during the General Pick, doesn't have to pick a job until they get back. But, in the interest of "fairness", these people get to take any job that is now below them on the roster. This is called "trimming". So, for example, if you are on vacation during the General Pick, the day you return from vacation, you will call up and put in a "trim" on whichever job you'd like that was picked by someone below you on the roster. That person will receive a phone call letting them know they were trimmed, and they will then have to do the same to someone below them on the roster. It goes on and on like that until the trims reach the bottom of the roster. When you are at the bottom and get trimmed with no more jobs below you available to trim, you become "Subject to Bid". Generally about 3 months into the "pick", the railroad will make minor adjustments to the schedule. For example, now that the summer is ending, they will stop running extra service out to the Hamptons and Montauk. Schedule changes mean that jobs are changing, and we call this a "revision". Anyone who's job is revised is automatically eligible to put in a trim, if they'd like to. So, if your job used to end at 11:01pm but now ends at 11:02pm, you can put in a trim on any job under you on the roster. If a train you work used to terminate in Farmingdale but now it terminates in Ronkonkoma, you can put in a trim on any job under you on the roster. You don't have to, but most people do. The number 1 guy on the roster never has to worry about being trimmed, no one is above him. Everyone else has to deal with trimming. Usually, the lower you are on the roster, the more trimming you will experience. It gets better with time, but when you're new, expect to be working all sorts of weird hours, changing schedules, etc. Trimming is absolutely the worst part of the job, but you get used to it.
  8. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    My memory from the open house is that you do need to show ID when you arrive, but that was just to get the temporary pass for Hillside, and I'm guessing your open house is at Babylon, so that doesn't apply. I don't recall having to show them my driver's license until I was actually being offered the job a few months later -- I remember having to scan it in and e-mail it to Linda Oliver. I'm sure if they ask for an ID at the open house, your Learner's Permit will be fine. Good luck.
  9. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    It's hard to give you a typical day as an A/C, there's a lot of variety. When you're new, you'll either be working as a brakeman (part of a crew) or a ticket collector. Brakeman stays with his crew (Conductor and Engineer) all day long, usually working 2 or 3 roundtrips. Ticket collectors bounce around from train to train, assisting the crews with ticket collection. Some jobs are short, some are flat (8 hours), some are long ($$$, max 12 hours a day). Some days you'll be gating (collecting tickets on the platform rather than on the train), like at Mets Willets Point during a game or concert. You should absolutely take the A/C job. As someone else said, anything LIRR is going to be superior to anything Transit. I don't know of anyone that has decided to leave LIRR for a Transit job, only the other way around. We get a pension, plus federal Railroad Retirement, plus great pay. Remember, LIRR doesn't fall under the Taylor Law, meaning we can strike and it's legal, unlike Transit. We are able to negotiate very good contracts thanks to that.
  10. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    The newest class (8/22/2018) has 23 people in it. The roster hadn't completely updated when CGeorge looked at it. However, they can't always get exactly 24 into a class. Maybe the 24th person had something come up at their medical check, or maybe decided last minute they didn't want the job. Some classes wind up being as small as 10 or 15 people because they can't get enough people to pass all the tests in time to make that class. That doesn't seem to be the case any more though, since people who have passed S&Ds are now waiting forever to hear back.
  11. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    Yeah, all of that information pertains just to engineers, not conductors. Conductors do not have class broken into "phase I" and "phase II" and conductors always receive their S&D grade (or at least knowledge of passing/failing) on the same day. The instructors are also not the same people, so most likely whoever he met was not a new instructor for conductors.
  12. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    It sounds like they changed the process since most of us hired on (even from just 2.5 years ago for me). For my group, we did the background check before receiving the invitation to the S&D overview. The hiring process went relatively quickly after passing the S&D test. I was an employee less than a month after the test, and medical was only about 2 weeks before my start date. I got my offer only 11 days before class started. But again, things sound very different now, so my answer is probably useless to you.
  13. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    Assuming everything goes well for you, assume at least 4 hours at the Open House. Definitely "dress for the job you want, not the job you have". I couldn't believe how many people showed up in jeans and t-shirts...none of them got hired.
  14. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    For an A/C, they only ask for some of the signals and definitions. (For your Qualifying Book of Rules exam a couple years later, you will need to answer ALL the signals, and you must get 100% correct...but that's way off in the future so don't worry about it now). I wouldn't say it's like the S&D exam, because it's a whole lot more information than just signals and definitions. Again, those will be on your test (and you want as many as possible, since those are easy points for you), but they aren't the majority of the test. You will learn everything you need to know in those 5 weeks of class. Just make sure you pay attention, take great notes, ask questions when necessary, and study your ass off at home each night.
  15. Two2Go

    LIRR Assistant Conductor Trainee

    First exam is about 5 weeks into class, that is "Book of Rules". You need all your signals and definitions down perfectly, plus the buzzers, whistles, horns, hand signs, etc that they should have given you already, plus all the rules you are going to learn during those 5 or so weeks. Next is usually Air Brake. I forget how long we had for air brake instruction...maybe 2 weeks? It's pretty technical, so if that's not your thing, take good notes and pay attention. Generally a relatively easy test as long as you study. Then there's Tickets. Again, I forget how long we had for instruction on Tickets, maybe 3 weeks? I found tickets to be easy, but some people struggle with it. The final test is called "PTEP", I can't even remember what it stands for but it's nothing to worry about. They do some lessons on emergency preparedness, and they take you down into the tunnels to see the evacuation routes and stuff. I highly doubt that anyone has ever failed PTEP...I'm not even sure it's possible to fail. Overall, you really shouldn't worry too much about failing a test and losing the job. Statistically speaking, very few people fail out of the program, and the majority of those that do are not that "shocking" if you know what I mean. As long as you really want the job, you're going to keep the job.

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