Canadian National Railway Employee Reviews

Found 129 reviews matching the search
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Many fond memories while there.
Assistant Track Supervisor (Former Employee) –  OntarioMay 12, 2016
Generally a good employer, and good people to work with. Long work days, working days off, stress and a change of the culture would be cons.
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Great pay, good job but they own you.
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Toronto, ONMay 24, 2013
I worked there over one summer as a conductor trainee. From the first encounter with a trainmaster, I got the feeling I was disposable. I was fired in the fall for the actions of another employee that they mistook as me. No warning and no investigation to my alleged demeanor. My many pleas to the company and union fell on deaf ears despite irrefutable evidence. Every employee at CN can be replaced and they make you know it. Even 30+ year veterans get the boot when they don't tow the company line. Just a warning, never take them lightly, and never give them anything to burn you with. As many in the company say; they'll spend one thousands to train you and the next 30 years trying to fire you.
Pros
great pay and benefits, good coworkers, interesting work
Cons
immature management, no job security, highly irregular hours
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Great company
Service Desk Analyst (Current Employee) –  Montréal, QCMay 17, 2016
Help fellow Canadian National Railway employees on a 24/7 support with any issues they are having whether its hardware or software related.
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Good money, terrible life balance
Train Conductor (Current Employee) –  Vaughan, ONJanuary 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 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.
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Review for CN RAil
Accounts Receivable Representative/Rate Clerk (Former Employee) –  Edmonton, ABAugust 30, 2013
CN Rail was a fantastic company to work for. I started as a data entry clerk and through in house training moved into Accounts Receiveable and then a Rate clerk. Both challenging positions but rewarding as well. I like to learn and this company offered me that challenge. Co-workers and management were great and offered great opportunities for advancement if you were willing to learn and step up to to the challenge. One of the most enjoyable parts was the salary without a doubt. Still to this day it was the best paying job I had in my working career!
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Good job if you can hold a position
conductor (Current Employee) –  saskatoonJune 6, 2015
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.
Pros
pay
Cons
your never at home
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It was an exellant place to work and has provided me and my family with an happy and exellant lifestyle
Customer service clerk (Former Employee) –  Prince George, BCJuly 18, 2012
The typical day started with a safety meeting and then it was off to work no days were the same. We basically were on our own we new what had to be done and worked hard to get it done. The management expected you to do the job and as long as you did they were happy. My co-workers were good and easy to get along with. The hardest part of the job was at first learning it and then organizing how you were going to do the job in the most effective and timely way. The most enjoyable part of the job was getting it done and done right a sense of accomplishment.
Pros
exellant benefits, worked with a lot of nice people, first aid training, forklift training, class 2 liscense.
Cons
there was a lot of pressure to do the work and on a timely basis, this at times would cause a lot of stress.
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Good money for single guys. Be prepared to lose your life.
Conductor (Former Employee) –  Smithers, BCOctober 12, 2012
Amazing money right off the bat. Good job security. Takes a few years to be totally secure but after about 2 you're set or life. Great pension, but most guys don't live very long after 35 years of graveyards, poor diet, living in hotels, and going through a few wives. I went in thinking it wouldn't be me but here I am divorced and unhealthy, depressed, looking for other work. Thanking god I got out.

By the way some stats: average of 3 people you'll kill in your career, just like any job things go bad and the trains weight upwards of 26,000 tonnes, for the first 2ish years depending on where you work it could be mostly outside, in the mountains, in the wind, in the rain, get the picture, management structure is fire first then maybe ask questions, the union will never let you lose your job no matter how stupid you are.
Pros
90, 000 to start, 110, 000 by year 2, 130, 000 by year 5
Cons
you'll probably die horribly
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Great work environment and very challenging
Terminal Manager (Former Employee) –  Concord, Calgary, OakvilleMay 26, 2015
- Working here was very challenging yet very rewarding as all efforts for self improvement and improvements of the workplace are noticed by upper management and spread throughout the company.
Pros
Working with great people
Cons
Long hours
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Unique work experience
Operations Manager/Director/Locomotive Engineer (Former Employee) –  Vaughan, ONNovember 12, 2014
Great ppl to work with, very safety orientated for obvious reasons. Jumping on and off moving equipment, not for easily intimidated persons. Learned all aspects of running trades, operations and rules. Loved that everyday was different. Hardest part was working in all weather outside ,for extended periods of time. Had many opportunities for job advancement and diversity. I took advantage of all the presented to me.
Pros
fabulous pay/benefits
Cons
working in subzero weather and on call 24/7 with 2 hr call time
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Do not take this job if you want a Trade
Heavy Duty Mechanic Apprentice / DEM (Current Employee) –  Edmonton, ABJuly 15, 2015
Regardless of their recruitment you will not get a Red Seal Trade.

I came in with a Blue book and a lot of hours, and when i pushed for school after being promised it during my interview they refused. Even though they had signed my blue book.

Their DEM program is limited to a select few provinces and not in Alberta (where I reside). DEM is not recognized here at all and never will be.

The guys in the shop are awesome save for a select few white hats, But the upper management is horrible.

Yes they provide tools, but good luck getting them.

The Union is useless, good luck getting anywhere with them. Example; Their safety reps have never taken a safety course nor do they know about contacting OHS in the event of problems from management. Their Trades and Apprenticeship reps do not hold tickets nor have they ever picked up a phone to contact the Apprenticeship Board. Its just bad.

But again the people there are awesome to work with.

Great experience though besides the aforementioned, but CN is a very pale shadow compared to its former glory, now that it is for all intensive purposes an American company now.
Pros
Great people
Cons
Everything else
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Horrible management.
Conductor, Student Locomotive Engineer (Current Employee) –  edmontonApril 20, 2015
Bad company to work for. Mandatory advancement whether you want it or not. Management does a bad job. Mandatory overtime.
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Stay away...run!
Electrician (Former Employee) –  Walker LRC, Edmonton, ABOctober 26, 2012
A bit more like Shawshank prison, albeit with pension and company stock benefits. Management in Walker diesel shop are the worst you'll ever meet. No people skills, doesnt value their employees. Only time youll see the manager is when he'll hand you a cookie (desciplinary action). Forget about going to school, they'll move heaven and earth not to send you.
Pros
all about pension.
Cons
not a conducive environment, you'll be miserable the moment you start. start working.
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Great Organization
Garage Supervisor Fleet Services (Current Employee) –  Concord, ONAugust 2, 2015
Great place to work, believe highly in training and support for Front Line Supervisors. Management also very supportive and helpful. Huge Focus on Safety.
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good pay and pension
Freight Conductor (Current Employee) –  Sarnia, ONNovember 8, 2015
The pay and pension is good but the work is unstable and CN doesnt care abouth their employees. The hours are unpredictable and you work in any kind of weather.
Pros
pay
Cons
hours and instability
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7/365 busy. Always something to do.
Heavy Equipment Operator (Current Employee) –  Brampton, ONOctober 29, 2015
The most enjoyable part of my job was operating state of the art Railway Transportation Heavy Equipment. Always something to do, so the day flew by. Plenty of opportunity for growth.
Pros
Opportunity for growth
Cons
Dangerous work environment
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Nice place to work
Rail Car mechanic (Current Employee) –  Prince George, BCFebruary 4, 2015
CN rail ,great company,good benefits, good wage ,excellent pension plan ,great company to work for.Management is professional ,I could say everything is perfect.
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A Solid Career
CN Conductor (Former Employee) –  Winnipeg, MBAugust 6, 2014
CN is a great place to work for a few reasons and a challenging one in others.
The pay and benefits are fantastic! Unfortunately the work-life balance is not and if you have a young family this probably isn't ideal for you.
Pros
salary, benefits
Cons
work/life balance
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If you've always dreamed of getting paid to hate your life - CN Rail!
Signals Maintainer Apprentice (Current Employee) –  Prince George, BCAugust 25, 2014
(To be clear from the outset, there are definitely good people working at CN Rail. Unfortunately, almost none of them are in management.)

CN brings an exciting 19th-century mindset to the 21st-century job market!
As a working-class employee you will serve as an entirely disposable cog in the corporate machine as it railroads its way through pristine water sources and across the pockmarked Canadian landscape.
Any and every small mistake you make will be treated with the utmost attention, guaranteeing plenty of quality time with every supervisor within discernible cell range.
Don't sweat it though, because no matter how badly anyone screws up the share prices will just keep climbing, leaving no substantial reason for anything to ever change in the way things are done on Canada's National Railroad.

Innovation! Every month brings a new way for management to track exactly where you have been and what you have done.

Dedication! Once you buy that lifted truck you've been eyeing up you're basically locked in for life.

Self-Preservation! Hint: it helps if you're jaded before you even start.

Looking for a career that is sure to leave an irremovable mark on your soul? Then look no further than CN Rail!
Pros
decent pay, no skills/ knowledge required to advance through into management
Cons
everything else
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Constant change
Technician (Current Employee) –  London, ONOctober 1, 2014
Self directed days engulfing all variants of any task.
Learned to acquire process independently.
Progressive management actively routing tasks.
Resources exhaustion common.
Good pay with decent benefits.
Pros
many employee benefits
Cons
shortage of labour resources
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Overall rating

3.3
Based on 172 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.7
Salary/Benefits
4.3
Job Security/Advancement
3.3
Management
2.7
Culture
2.9

Canadian National Railway Reviews by Location