Signals & Communication Foreman (Former Employee), Vaughn, Ontario – February 25, 2014
Pros: the pay! the people! great job.
Cons: dangerous, very dangerous, even with all the saftey regulations it is a life endangering job.
Working for Canadian National Railway was a wonderful learning experience in my life, and the pay was fantastic, beyond expressionable words. I, as a recent highschool graduate would never in my life believe – more... I could earn $20/hr + $100/day (for expenses) straight out of a trade school. That's crazy! But there it was, and the people I worked with they were awesome. Sometimes, things got tense, like in all high pace work environments. However, everyone always tried their best to keep a calm head and figure out a solution. – less
Payed well with exemplary benefits and investment opportunity
Freight Conductor (Former Employee), Prince George, BC – June 10, 2015
Pros: Good pay, great people, strong company
Cons: long hours, difficult management system
Very safety driven company as there are no minor injuries when you are dealing with trains and heavy equipment, days range from 8 to 16 hours depending on division and willingness to work, management could – more... use a makeover but many were helpful and friendly, co-workers were awesome, friendly, helpful and upbeat. Hardest part of the job was being called at all hours to cover some other conductor who had called in sick or unavailable, and being away from your family for long stretches. Physically demanding job requiring a lot of upper body strength used for throwing switches and climbing up and around train cars(think monkey bars as a kid for 8 hours a day) with breaks sometimes not coming till the last hour of your work day due to heavy work load and priority of work. I liked the people i worked with, 99% had awesome attitudes and worked hard for the sake of an easier stretch at the end of the day, pay was great, benefits were great, shares in company were great, i would do the job again as it was both literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air. – less
conductor (Current Employee), saskatoon – June 6, 2015
Cons: your never at home
Excellent wages and benefits. however since CN rail is a seniority based work place there is a very high possibility to get laid off after your done training. (excluding management) You should also expect to get called for work at all hours of the day with 2 hours notice max. If you can hold a position you will get paid very well but don't expect to have much of a home life.
System Analyst (Former Employee), Montréal, QC – March 9, 2015
Pros: good bonuses
Cons: stressful job
IT can be stressful. You are required to carry a pager 24/7 for two weeks. Very stressful time when your on pager. Also if there is a rail strike. You are asked to replace striking workers even if you never worked in a rail yard before.
Train Conductor (Current Employee), Vaughan, ON – January 23, 2015
Typical day at work: 8 hours outside in the freezing cold and in order to warm up you must broadcast over the radio that you want to go inside a locomotive to warm up
What I learned: Seniority based promotion – more... is not for me. I would much rather achieve opportunities based on performance.
Management: Frequently "hides" to observe rule compliance and will write you up for minor violations of a rule they may not even understand themselves.
Co-Workers: Some genuinely happy with their job, some obviously depressed but sticking around for the money. Conductors with 20+ years seniority are still unable to hold a job with desirable hours and at the terminal they want.
Hardest part of the job: Demoralizing remarks such as management/traffic coordinators asking "is everything okay over there?" at the slightest delay.
Most enjoyable part of the job: Controlling and riding around on train equipment and the physical aspect of the job. Plenty of exercise.
Although this should be a very rewarding and "cool" out of the ordinary job, this is quickly overshadowed by the sour company culture and the company renegging on union agreements at the first available opportunity. – less
CARMAN (Former Employee), Edmonton, AB – January 8, 2015
Cons: treated like dogs with no incentives
I would give 110% all day everyday that would not lead to anything after three years and no advancement I was ready for change and that's why I am here looking for work. I know I am smart enough and have enough skills I can find another job.
Great fellow employees but a strong Union-Management confilcts a daily fare.
Conductor (Current Employee), Kamloops – December 26, 2014
Pros: execellent benefits
Cons: unpredictable working hours
Each work day holds new challenges. Hence each day is a learning experience. Opportunity to work with new crew each day, provides a fresh breath of life and makes work very interesting. Love working in the out doors, hence chose this job by choice.