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MTAhopefullMatt

Metro North conductor trainee position (Jan 2015 filing date)

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Is anyone here a Metro North conductor? The MTA announced they're accepting applications for conductor positions (MNR, not NYC Transit) this week only (through the 16th).

 

What should an outsider know about the job and the training program?

 

Thanks for any info you can provide.

 

Matt

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Is anyone here a Metro North conductor? The MTA announced they're accepting applications for conductor positions (MNR, not NYC Transit) this week only (through the 16th).

 

What should an outsider know about the job and the training program?

 

Thanks for any info you can provide.

 

Matt

the training program is no walk in the park. get ready to have NO life outside of the railroad. other than the commitment it's a fantastic place to work

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Where do people typically report to work if they're employed as a conductor on MNR? Where are the main yards?

 

Grand Central Terminal in NY,  Croton-Harmon, Poughkeepsie, Wassaic, Brewster and North White Plains in NY.  Danbury, Stamford, Bridgeport, and New Haven in CT.  Once out of training, your choice on where you work is strictly based on seniority.  It's not uncommon for newly marked up conductors to have to travel to the yard the furthest distance from you to work.  If you are at the very bottom of the seniority roster and live in NYC and there is only one job available in Poughkeepise, guess where you are working?

 

Some positions are extra list positions.  This means you don't have a steady schedule and you live on a two hour call.  Example, you could get a call at 3am to be in at 5am or a call at 9pm to be in at 11pm (or anywhere in between).

 

The average time of training is one year.  You will have homework and you will have tests several times a week.  During training you will have to report when and where you are told, on time. 

 

I will admit, it can be a great big pain at times.  Being at the bottom is not fun.  You will be bumped and have to pick a new job (schedule).  Making plans for a personal live is difficult at best.  All this aside, it gets better with seniority.  Realistically, it's a life style.  I can assure you it's unlike any job on the outside.

 

The responsibilities of the job are outlined on the advertisement.  Should you be fortunate enough to get an interview it is a good idea to know them by memory.

 

Feel free to ask any other questions.  Good luck.

Edited by Truckie
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Thanks, Truckie.

And I apologize for the incorrect heading on this topic - I made that early January mistake and wrote the year before.

For anyone who wants to apply for this position, go to mta.info, employment, Metro North, and file electronically (with your resume) by close of business tomorrow (Friday, January 15th).

 

One other question that comes to mind - do conductors typically work 40 hours per week, or are extra shifts or substantial OT common?

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Thanks, Truckie.

And I apologize for the incorrect heading on this topic - I made that early January mistake and wrote the year before.

For anyone who wants to apply for this position, go to mta.info, employment, Metro North, and file electronically (with your resume) by close of business tomorrow (Friday, January 15th).

 

One other question that comes to mind - do conductors typically work 40 hours per week, or are extra shifts or substantial OT common?

if it's similar to LIRR you are guaranteed 40 hours a week. actual work hours depends on the job.

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Exactly what CGeorge said. 

 

The only time you may not get 40 is when you are displaced (bumped) and pick a new job running into consecutive rest days.  That can also work the other way.

 

There is overtime, either by working a rest day or owning a job with built in overtime.

Edited by Truckie
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Is anyone here a Metro North conductor? The MTA announced they're accepting applications for conductor positions (MNR, not NYC Transit) this week only (through the 16th).

What should an outsider know about the job and the training program?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

Matt

 

I'm in a similar circumstance; I applied to the Conductor Trainee position during that very small time window in January. It seemed like a once in blue opportunity to me. Even though I'm not crystal clear on what the job as a whole entails, I know it would change my current circumstances for the better. I hope the already-experienced employees can keep passing on their knowledge here; it's very much appreciated.

 

That being said. I was curious to know if this hiring process is the same as taking a city exam for the MTA would be? And why do I have to take a Conductor exam in April for the MTA and I don't need to take one for the Metro North?

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@RedViper, my understanding is that the commuter railroads operate according to railroad exemptions to civil service hiring practices, even though they are definitely government jobs.

 

This means that every job with MNR or the LIRR is what NYC Transit calls "a resume job", meaning you submit your resume and they decide whether they'll even meet with you. I'm not expecting to get a response to my MNR conductor application, though I would be very happy to meet with them and learn more about the position.

 

I'm also taking the NYC Transit conductor exam in April. That will be a straightforward multiple choice test, which establishes the hiring list. The only big unknown is how long it will take them to establish the hiring list. Generally speaking, if your score is somewhere in the 90s you will get called for medical/drug screening and hired for the training program. Your score may need to be a bit higher this time because so many people are taking the exam.

 

I was surprised by the short filing period and minimal notice for the MNR conductor position, but they must have their reasons for doing business the way they do.

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@RedViper, my understanding is that the commuter railroads operate according to railroad exemptions to civil service hiring practices, even though they are definitely government jobs.

This means that every job with MNR or the LIRR is what NYC Transit calls "a resume job", meaning you submit your resume and they decide whether they'll even meet with you. I'm not expecting to get a response to my MNR conductor application, though I would be very happy to meet with them and learn more about the position.

I'm also taking the NYC Transit conductor exam in April. That will be a straightforward multiple choice test, which establishes the hiring list. The only big unknown is how long it will take them to establish the hiring list. Generally speaking, if your score is somewhere in the 90s you will get called for medical/drug screening and hired for the training program. Your score may need to be a bit higher this time because so many people are taking the exam.

I was surprised by the short filing period and minimal notice for the MNR conductor position, but they must have their reasons for doing business the way they do.

Oh, makes sense. But why don't you think you'll get a call from the MNR? Do they expect every applicant to have experience on the tracks? It seems like you can get called with just a diploma, 2 years of customer service and what not. I certainly hope they do call me. I would love to spend 12 months getting paid to learn this job and then applying what I actually learned to do the actual job and get paid more, lol. Hopefully, the timeframe is shorter than the MTA Conductor exam. I know that one could be 2 years or more. (Depending on score) like they say. Good luck though on that exam, man.

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@RedViper,

 

I'd love to be called for an interview, I just don't expect it. I'm not sure what they want, but they can pick who they meet with.

 

A lot probably depends on how many people applied.

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@RedViper,

 

I'd love to be called for an interview, I just don't expect it. I'm not sure what they want, but they can pick who they meet with.

 

A lot probably depends on how many people applied.

 

 

 

I think a great number of people did apply. I couldn't even access the application on that day, or any of the employment links for that matter. Well, let's remain optimistic. It was such a short time window though, so maybe that kept the number of applicants low, compared to the Conductor exam in April. I do wish there was a way to find more information on their process of hiring and also their needs. This would be a home run job for me. I hope we all get at least a call!

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Anytime the conductor position gets advertised, the carrier gets thousands of applicants (hence the short window they are accepted).  Out of those, a few hundred might get invited for the test.  Then background check and ultimately interview.  Being MNR has been hiring an average of 80 a year and the position gets advertised approximately once a year, you can figure out the odds.

 

Should any get fortunate to get as far as an interview, it's a panel interview with three MNR reps (1 from HR, 1 trainmaster and 1 training officer) and lasts roughly an hour. 

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As far as the initial exam goes, the notice of exam says to know New York landmarks and points of interest. Is there anything else in particular I should be studying? Or is it basically a civil service IQ test??

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As far as the initial exam goes, the notice of exam says to know New York landmarks and points of interest. Is there anything else in particular I should be studying? Or is it basically a civil service IQ test??

 

 

I think you're confusing the MNR Conductor Trainee position with the NYCT Exam for Conductor (exam 6601). I just received the invitation for 6601 for April 24th at Midwood High School. For the MNR position it was only an application. For NYCT it'll be exam 6601, which I've heard that I have to study NYC landmarks and basically anywhere a tourist would go, which could be the trickiest. Other than that, the rest of exam 6601 should be common sense.

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The Metro North conductor (what this tread is about) test has NOTHING to do with New York, NYC or any other geographical area. It's strictly a dummy test. Reading comprehension, basic math, mechanical comprehension and a personality test.

 

NYC Transit is a different ball game.

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The Metro North conductor (what this tread is about) test has NOTHING to do with New York, NYC or any other geographical area. It's strictly a dummy test. Reading comprehension, basic math, mechanical comprehension and a personality test.

 

NYC Transit is a different ball game.

 

hey truckie, do you get hired as an assistant conductor at metro north then qualify as a conductor like LIRR? I wonder how similar the process is. thanks.

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Everyone marks up as certified conductors on at least two of the three lines. Whether they mark up to a conductor job or an a/c jobs is dependent on what's vacant. If no vacant jobs, list jobs are made up. I've seen many newly marked up conductors being thrown to the wolves on day one.

Edited by Truckie

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Metro-North Conductor Traniee initial exam,

I've read on these threads that it is a basic math and reading test but I'm guessing that's changed since the e-mail I received to take the test also includes a set of 60 or so definitions to study for the test. I'm curious if this initial test is multiple-choice or do you have to recall these definitions verbatim(which I heard is what the LIRR does). If anyone has taken the test in recent years and can share, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Jon

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On 7/5/2016 at 6:50 AM, LappaJJ said:

Metro-North Conductor Traniee initial exam,

I've read on these threads that it is a basic math and reading test but I'm guessing that's changed since the e-mail I received to take the test also includes a set of 60 or so definitions to study for the test. I'm curious if this initial test is multiple-choice or do you have to recall these definitions verbatim(which I heard is what the LIRR does). If anyone has taken the test in recent years and can share, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Jon

That's exactly the question I had. Did you ever find out if the 60+ terms are multiple choice or memorization?

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