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About apokeguy

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  1. YX means yard extra. You’ll be out on your own working in the yards or station switching for about 2 months. You can use this time to work OT/RDO if you so wish. Whenever a dispatcher asked me to stay, I stayed lol Road ops you will be back with your class and instructors (may or may not be your original instructors) and operate a different line each day for 2 weeks. One week on midnight another week on AM.
  2. Yeah like a few have mentioned, the instructors want you to pass. One wants you to be “warrior status” and wants those signals “platinum” (those who have Lois as an instructor will understand). If you do bad or fail it also looks bad on them. Like my class we still have 9 out of 10... one left for personal reasons
  3. It’s subjective. If you put in the time, both signal tests will be a breeze. If you don’t, then well, you will struggle. During YX, I just reviewed the material once or twice a week, like while riding the train or while eating (I used a flashcard app on my phone so I didn’t need to take out my rulebook or any index cards.) TBH, just like after my first practical, after my first signal test, I was like whew it’s finally over and wow that was easier than I expected. For me the hardest part of the second signal yet was physical, my hand cramping when writing out all the definitions lol. Good luck to all you guys out there.
  4. Gotcha. I’ve seen some folks use a tool pouch or small toiletry bag (running joke in our class we call that a murse) to keep their tools together so it’s all in one place.
  5. When you get assigned your instructors they can assist with getting the leather holster for your brake handle, cutting key and reverser. Some TA guy makes it on the side. Im the opposite of you. I didn’t get one because that’s extra weight on my belt (I use a duty belt) and when I’m on the road I will always have my bag with me.
  6. Oh I meant the class number when they separated you all into groups of 10. Like TA-9X or TB-9X. Maybe I’m jumping ahead and they didn’t assign you class numbers and instructors.
  7. When you were at 180 did you look on the wall to see if they had the work history form? They usually have blank forms on the wall for all kinds of things. But me personally since I needed more work history sheets than what was given to me, I removed the staple, scanned the forms, printed whatever additional sheets I needed, filled in my info, scanned them and placed the staple back in with the extra printed sheets “loose”. When I handed it in to the HR personnel interviewing me, I just told her I needed more sheets so I made copies and they didn’t say anything.
  8. Congrats! Just curious, what is the highest class number? Wondering if they went into the hundreds or started back in the single digits.
  9. You should do that after you’ve signed on because if anything happens, you could be SOL.
  10. This is one of the reasons why some dispatchers are reluctant to assign solo work to folks in YX. It’s unfortunate but if you’re unsure or not comfortable ask the dispatcher, TSS or a senior T/O. I’ve encountered a dispatcher where they will just task you the tedious job of changing signs on train(s) because they’re not comfortable with YX folks doing anything else. I’m sure you’ve heard this a hundred times but you really are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t take notes during schoolcar station switching, yard posting and yard familiarization... or at any point during your training/career. When in doubt, take a full service brake, take a deep breath and reassess.
  11. They will redirect people to Montague if they show up at Livingston.
  12. I felt the same way. There was no way (at least for me) that I was going to remember all that material in 3 weeks. An that’s just to get into the phase 1 of unpaid training.
  13. I got this bag. Just an FYI, empty the bag is already fairly heavy like 4 lbs. But I would use it when I travel as well since it’s got a padded compartment and enough room for a few days of clothes. https://www.amazon.com/Fox-Outdoor-Products-Jumbo-Modular/dp/B0051OTSN0/ref=mp_s_a_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1543559447&sr=8-11&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=fox+outdoor&dpPl=1&dpID=511e7kLFj2L&ref=plSrch
  14. I didn’t purchase a kaka bag just for that fact. I actually got a tactical bag where the backpack straps can clip on/off and has multiple grab handles. Not sure if it’s from this particular seller but the kaka bag that people are getting is: https://www.amazon.com/KAKA-Laptop-Backpack-17-Inch-Laptops/dp/B01D4H1BOE/ref=mp_s_a_1_2/144-7951842-1087668?ie=UTF8&qid=1542633317&sr=1-2&refinements=p_89%3AKAKA&pi=SL140_CR0,0,140,180_QL70 I’ve seen people with both types and in green as well.
  15. The backpack straps can be stowed away and the shoulder strap detached. The bag can be held briefcase style with the side grab handle making it easier when walking the yards or the tracks. You’re supposed to carry your bags by hand and not on your back or even on one shoulder for fear of the straps getting caught on passing equipment and dragging you. If it’s in your hand you can easily let go. Same with the safety vest. They have hook and loop fasteners on the shoulders and waist and meant to easily rip apart if it’s caught in something. Also the safety vest has reflectors shaped like a giant X on the back. So if you’re wearing your backpack on top of your vest it will be covered and train operators will not be tell if you are facing towards or away when approaching. In the beginning of school car, I just used an regular backpack and duffel bag (one for equipment and one for books, lunch). I didn’t want to walk around with like 30lbs on my back or in my hands. Most days you will start in the classroom first so you can drop off the bags before walking the tracks. Only a few times I found it inconvenient to carry the backpack by the grab handle when walking the tracks. Once you start yard posting the only book they tell you to carry is the rule book. The others are optional. I will eventually need to get a decent size bag to carry my equipment, food/snacks, water bottle and other necessities for the road.

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