Canadian Pacific

162 reviews

Canadian Pacific Employee Reviews

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Salary/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture
Job Work/Life Balance
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always running to keep up !!
Supervisor TP&E BC District (Former Employee), Port Coquitlam, BCJanuary 20, 2014
Pros: i would have to say that we made it safely through the day, season without the loss of a member of the crew, be it at work or traveling home, hard to comment on things you never really get and pay cheque's don't count
Cons: never good enough!! always threatened with cut backs job cuts if you don't do more with less
Although I spent many years with this company ,I found it very hard to plan with my family , except for AV ,any quality time .
I spent many hours at home doing work changing plans for work and in the end it cost my family and I years of lost time ending in divorces

Typical day!! was to plan to get through the day safely and hope that something wouldn't break down and delay operations ,hoping that your guys where working safely watching each others backs.

making sure that parts and supplies where there should they be required checking on outstanding work orders training Operators and mechanics on what they need to know to keep the flow moving planning repairs shifting staff schedualing priority repairs .

I guess if I have to say anything Positive about this company it allowed me to learn and work with a great bunch of guys from other cultures , countries etc .
I was given the opportunity to really challenge myself both mentally , physically . I gained the skills that make me who I Have to be in order to compete In a rapidly changing fast paced world .

the toughest part of the job was being a husband to my wife , father to my children ,as I always was the job , trying to be the best provider showing that I always had to close the deal it was hard to always have to run to keep up .

I've been able to see most of Canada with my work, was always trusted to lead my team , and respected by most who trusted my work and felt safe letting me guide them in the tasks that where not always in the best interests of our safety but took the time to safeguard against possible dangers or – more... death

In closing I always believe you have to finish what you start,
take pride in everything you do and do it well , give back wherever possible .

Management ??
there are good and bad in all, thank God we are all different . – less
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Fast paced and stressfull
Centralized Locomotive Support Analyst (Current Employee), Calgary, ABFebruary 15, 2014
Pros: benefits, employee share program
Cons: long hours, no work life balance
12hr days, at a desk on the phone and radio with train crews. Assisting operations by troubleshooting mechanical issues over the road to help keep trains moving. It is a faced paced, high intensity environment. Where critical decisions have to be made to ensure operational fluidity and plans are executed as precisely as possible.
The desk requires 24/7 coverage and more often than not you are called in to work on your days off, furthermore, non-union employees do not receive overtime or lieu days for extra hours worked.
My particular department could be managed more effectively. There aren’t enough people to cover the desk, which requires those of us who are available, to work overtime with no compensation. Work/life balance is minimal at best.
Corporate environment is in a constant state of flux and extremely stressful. There isn't real succession planning and you can no longer apply for jobs that are available, making it difficult to map out your career. Your next career move is left to the employment center, which feels like its left entirely out of your hands and that your best interests are not necessarily taken into consideration.
The people in large part are very hardworking, dedicated, and loyal. I've made some lifelong friendships and for that I am grateful. However, it is no longer an enjoyable place to work and without the ability to plan my career I feel like I could be stuck in my current role indefinitely.
What I've learned from my current role is how to effectively deal with high pressure situations. How to multitask and use a number of different systems simultaneously – more... to drive quick results. I have learned to deliver complicated mechanical information efficiently to ensure those receiving the information understand the issue.
More importantly, I've learned that in order to be happy and successful you need to be passionate about what you are doing. I want to be proud of the work I’m doing and always strive to improve.
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Business driven, focus on productivity.
Graphic Designer (Former Employee), Montreal 1979-1996, Calgary 1996-2012.January 10, 2013
Pros: contacts in the print world, expanding knowledge with every difficult project.
Cons: printers who don't deliver on promises.
Start with project application, work out the details, speak to client to clarify any inconsistencies. Create layout, get approval,create final, get final approval with signature, send to printer for proofs, get client approval on proofs, if any changes, effect changes, get new proof for client approval. Once approved, get printed.

I have learned all aspects of design/illustration and printing. I started before computer illustration existed, utilizing blue-line, type sheets and kodalith film to product final text-ready ads. Learned to air-brush for illustration and photo-correction.

With the advent of computers, I started on a PC with the premier version of all graphics programs; Aldus Pagemaker (before Adobe bought the program), Photoshop 1.0, Illustrator 1.0, CorelDRAW 1.0, etc. I had learned to manage the workflow so that deadlines were constantly and consistenly met. I learned colour correction and photo manipulation that traditional art techniques lacked.

I learned to work with upper management, supporting the CEOs of Canadian Pacific over the years. I had learned tact and diplomacy, when to push a point and when not to. I learned to work with my co-workers as a group, finding ways to solve design/techical issues and to produce the best final product possible in the timeframe available. I learned that no matter how rushed the project is, people remember the finished product, not the road it took to get there.

The hardest part was working with clients who had unreasonable deadlines. I have learned to streamline the elements of the project and to produce results that were – more... acceptable to the client.

The most enjoyable part is the work/task. Creating a solution to the graphics problem instills a sense of fulfillment that can't be described by anything else. – less
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This is a review about my experience at CP Rail
Rail Traffic Controller(logistics) (Current Employee), Calgary, ABNovember 19, 2013
Pros: pension, coworker adhesion
Cons: shift work, high stress.
A typical day as a Rail Traffic Controller begins with transferring from the employee before me, and then hitting the ground running. Trains have to keep moving and foremen need to get on the track at almost all times of the day. Each day comes with it new scenarios and a list of complex problems that need to be solved as safely and quickly as possible.

What I learned most about the job is being able to really focus at a task at hand. It could cost someone their life if I'm not 100 percent focused on what I am doing.

Management has been great at times, and an adversary at others. They keep looking for ways to streamline efficiency and have implemented some good programs. And at other times, putting too much work on the shoulders of the employee.

My coworkers are great. They come to the job everyday knowing they might get their butt kicked but at the same time making a difference in the lives of the public by transporting their goods across the country.

The hardest part of the job is definitely the schedule. Work/sleep/work is a big part of the lifestyle and managing personal stress and exercise is key to being successful at the job.

The most enjoyable part of the job is getting the railway running smoothly. It is extremely difficult to get trains going smoothly, and when it happens it's an incredible feeling.
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Incredibly comfortable job
Signal Maintainer, Mobile (Current Employee), Chapleau, ONOctober 27, 2013
Pros: extremely challenging environment
Cons: required driving in unsafe conditions
As a Signal Maintainer, my day to day work was always changing, I would be on call for over 400 miles of track for 11 days at a time. During a regular day I would conduct monthly, quarterly and yearly tests on equipment including public crossings, switch machines, electro-mechanical hardware and equipment. I was responsible for trouble-shooting, repair and installations of multiple systems all mandated and considered safety sensitive by the Government. I was also in charge of project applications, big budget planning, stock and stores. I would operate track equipment and forklifts on a daily basis. The management was based on a internal application process, all managers we're first union members so they understood the day to day problems we would encounter, making them extremely professional and respectful. I had some of the best co-workers within any class 1 railroad, extremely friendly, helpful and supportive. The hardest part of my job was the long calls far in the wilderness with little to no communication besides central dispatch. The most enjoyable part of the job was the self management and responsibilities I had as a mobile maintainer.
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Productive/flexible/fun work environment
Executive Assistant to VP Operations Planning (Former Employee), Calgary, ABSeptember 27, 2013
Pros: great boss and co-workers, flexibility work/life balance
Cons: i have nothing negative to say about cpr
Working as an Executive Assistant in the VP area has to be my most favourite company I have ever worked for. A typical day would start with checking my bosses calendar and advise him of his schedule for the day. Running reports to submit nationally across Canada on a daily basis. Processing expense reports on a monthly basis. Made travel & Hotel as well as transportation arrangements for all business trips. I learned so much about the transportation industry and what is entailed to transport cargo from one destination to another. My boss was trusting and flexible in regards to work/life balance. I would often help other Executive Assistants if needed or in one case completely took over the EA to VP of Field Operations in her absence. Because I worked for an AVP in the Operations department I was to use discretion in regards to any confidential matters. The hardest part of the job was having to leave as a result of downsizing.
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Working at CP was a BIG mistake!
Conductor (Former Employee), Revelstoke, BCJanuary 9, 2016
Pros: Decent pay.
Cons: No time off.
Worked a a Conductor for a couple of years. Apparently at one time it was a good job. Not anymore. It has a very high turnover rate due to people getting fired or burning out. You show up, pull the paperwork, brief, get on the train and go. Or you might be assigned to the yard putting trains together. The current management is brutal. Mandatory 30 day suspensions for running a switch (which used to be a verbal warning the first time) and 3 day suspensions for minor things like losing your safety eyewear while working. Very toxic workplace. Management fires people at the drop of a hat. Everyone is on edge. Co-workers omplain constantly. You work EVERYDAY and only have two weeks of holidays a year to start. And as the junior person they tell you when to take them. Older workers are just hanging on until they can retire. The hardest part of the job is working nights in the yard. It's also the most dangerous. But as you're lowest on the seniority list you get stuck with it. It would help to have some experience out there. Depending on where you are, the scenery can be nice.
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Great place to work before Hunter Harris took over
Diesel Mechanic (Current Employee), Toronto, ONMay 2, 2013
Pros: pay, pension, employee share purchase plan, co-workers
Cons: work/life balance, uncertainty, complete dis regard for collective agreement, you're just a number
Thought it would be my last job and it started off that way. Unfortunately Hunter Harris likes to run is company with an iron fist and keep all of his employees in a state of fear and uncertainty. The money was above average for mechanics in the industry, however this came at the price of working shift work and having days off during the week as opposed to weekends. My co-workers were great and most of us became friends outside of work. Management at a lower level, although good people, lacked mechanical and industry know how. As the pressure started coming down from the top, tension began forming between management and employees. Respect and dignity became a thing of the past, which is unfortunate. I became a casualty of greed and desire to get the stock price even higher. More work, more profits, however he still decided to cut 20% of us in Toronto.
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productive and difficult
Train conductor (Current Employee), Montréal, QCMay 6, 2014
the day starts with you reading and familiarizing your self with new daily operating bulletins. these are documents that consist of rule and procedure changes that effect your job.

at the beginning of your shift there is a daily job briefing with your crew and manager.
once this is completed you go outside to your assigned locomotive
and begin to work. your building out bound trains using a switch list given to you by your "yard coordinator " you work in a team of 3 ( Forman, break man and locomotive engineer )

your working out side in all weather conditions, your concentration and job focus is paramount because a error can result in a serious accident which can lead to a fatality. your expected to work weekends and holidays.

if your work a spare board, you have 2 hours to report for duty from the time the calling desk calls you.

despite all of this its makes all better when your working with a good bunch of guys.

in the end the job has its good moments but ultimately it puts a very heavy strain on your personal life.
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Was the best job I've ever had
Diesel Mechanic (Former Employee), Toronto, ONNovember 25, 2015
Pros: Excellent wages, great co-workers
Cons: New CEO, hostile environment, lack of security
Coming into a high paying, Unionized environment, CP was the shining star of my mechanical career. From the hiring process, training, work duties, front line supervisors... everyone I worked with was the very best. Balances, structured, orderly, understanding, and excellent employee relations from the Union and Company. Until, the new CEO took control in 2012. Since then, it's been a disaster. Employees fearful of management, the smallest infraction can result in termination, safety has crashed, and job security is a distant memory.
Diesel Mechanics are responsible for diagnosing, testing, repairing and maintaining CP's fleet of locomotives. Service, mobile maintenance, and road diesel inspector are some of our qualifications. Safety is always at the front of your mind in every job. 250 tonnes of steel isn't very forgiving. Focus, awareness, and a clear understanding of our job are all key elements of this position.
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What was, is no longer
Manager (Former Employee), Calgary, ABMay 8, 2013
Pros: nice colleagues, good pay, great benefit and pension
Cons: top management with no care for employees, long hours, unrealistic expectations
I worked for CP for 15 years. It used to be a fantastic company. Since the hostile takeover last year however, new management has eliminated over 1/4 of the employee base and that does not include the additional great employees who jumped ship and are not being replaced either. Employees in the field seem to be doing ok. In corporate office, almost all are extremely over worked, stressed and pulled to breaking points. Extreme micro-management right from the top down with ridiculous new policies. Employees used to have autonomy, however now nobody can make a decision and it takes forever to get anything accomplished.

Salary is good, benefits and pension are excellent, but I would not recommend this company until the current management moves on and things settle down.
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Nice people with a very tense atmosphere.
Crew Dispatcher (Former Employee), Calgary, ABNovember 24, 2015
Pros: Pension / Wage / Benefits
Cons: Management / Atmosphere / No work to life balance
Working as a crew dispatcher Is very stressful work. You need to be sharp and quick or you could delay events that can cost the company tens maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
You are not recognized for your hard wok instead you are recognized for what you do wrong. The tension in the building is very tense as everyone seems to be walking on glass.
The people however; 9 out of 10 are very polite and professional. Like very other company there are the few select that are not.
The pay was very good along with benefits and the pension. Main reasons that I would recommend anyone to work there.
Just need to have thick skin and be able to turn the other cheek and never be recognized for what you do right, but singled out for what you did wrong and maybe even fired for one mistake.
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Its a very loud rail yard that deals with container shipping.
Heavy Equipment Operator (Former Employee), Vaughan, ONApril 12, 2014
Pros: they fired the management who fired me!
Cons: i never got my job back
A good place to work. I want my job back• Equipment Operator / Container Handlers / Utility Ground man.
• Operating Toplift’s, RTG’s, Empty Handlers, and High-Rail Cranes, yard 
vehicles
• Assisted in, and familiar with track operations, switching, coupling, and 
uncoupling railcars
• Setting flags as well as setting up railcars for intermodal shipping
• Operating Heavy Machinery (for container handling) such as: Toplift's; 
Fantuzzi's; PPM's; P&H's; Empty Handler's; MiJack's
• Shipping and receiving, use of counter-balance, reach stackers, pump trucks and forklifts
• Assisted the operators in the loading and unloading of containers. Placement and removal of I.B.C’s, spacers, bolsters and 5th wheel hitches, as well as refrigerated and heated load inspection
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Demanding work environment, which usually has you working on call 24-7
Locomotive Engineer (Former Employee), Roberts BankNovember 3, 2014
Pros: when you retire from the company with a full pension, it is nice to recieve, a monthly pension cheque.
Cons: no family time on a regular basis while working in freight service, no set schedule to make plans for family activities.
The hardest part of the job I was working was no set schedule for a balanced family life, generally on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You could manage to have time off, once achieving, making your allotted milage for the working month, which meant you could get anywhere from 2-6 days off per month, but you had to work many shifts to accumulate 3800 mile per month.
Enjoyed working with some fine employees, finished my career, finally on a schedule road switcher job, out at the coal port at Roberts Bank.
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Good company to work for if you are not a 9 to 5 individual.
Canadian Pacific Railway Crew Bus Driver (Current Employee), Montréal, QCApril 8, 2013
Pros: cp rail continues to pay above average wages for comparative positions in the industry.
Cons: job abolitions and layoffs are an ongoing source of uncertainty.
Canadian Pacific Railway has been and continues to be a good company to work for. There are plenty of opportunities for those who have the possibility to move to different locations across Canada which is not my case. Like any unionized transportation environment, the seniority system takes its toll on your moral when layoffs and job cuts are on the horizon in the rail yards in particular. However, that is the nature of the railway, airline, trucking industries.

I have, always, been treated fairly by my employer and have no qualms or complaints.
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Productive day at work.
Senior Software Developer (Current Employee), Calgary,ABOctober 13, 2014
Pros: get to know and learn new technologies like sap basis, crm.
Cons: given oncall support even during holidays and weekends.
-Working with Solution Architects to integrate designed solution

within the Multi-Tier Architecture.

-Leading developers within & across several teams for code

enhancements and interoperable message validation.

-Mentoring and leading developers in performing tasks as per the

WBS derived out of the agreed scope.

-Providing the testing results to Service Owner and assisting in

UAT for Business Sign off.

-Working closely with several Service Owners and configuration

management team for scheduling and implementing the change

in production.

-Monitoring and Maintaining the Solution during the warranty

period.
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Fast pace work environment with large amount of responsibility
Thermite Welder, Forman, Truck Driver (Current Employee), Calgary, ABDecember 13, 2012
Pros: i can work independantly without the distraction of too much supervision.
Cons: very disorganized company!!
Everyday I am in charge of the 10 tonne truck on my crew, the documentation for the truck, the paper work for welding, as well as the welfare of my crew. I need to be very organized and prepared for everything and anything that could/might go wrong with equipment having all of my own tools to repair or fix anything with me at all times. I am in charge of supplies and safety gear of my crew as well as what is needed for the job (rails, propane, charges, water, fuel, ect). I drive to and from the work site as well as be in charge of the track protection while my men and truck are on the track.
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Great Co-workers with Common Goals and Unique Personalities
Crane Operator Trainee (Former Employee), BCOctober 13, 2015
Pros: Great Co-workers, Best "Office Window" Views
Cons: Constantly On the Road
With all my years working for Canadian Pacific Railway, I enjoyed every position I had because of the people that work there. There are people who come across the entire country to work seasons on maintaining the track.

Everything from doing hard labour, operating heavy equipment, and repairing machines, there was always something interesting to learn from the job.

Travelling across the various landscapes makes you appreciate some of the areas that the not many people in this country know about. I only wish we were allowed to have a camera on the track to share some these natural fascinations.
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Why work CP when you have other choices
Long time worker (Former Employee), CalgarySeptember 27, 2013
Pros: people
Cons: head office in ogden, benefits, culture
I have been employed for over 37 years. Let me be honest...This is still an old Boy's Club culture. If you are not part of the club, there is no advancement. Even if you have a degree or show how passionate you are about the company. If you are not a friend or family member, forget it. You will be stuck on the same job for 20 years. They don't offer flex days anymore, while most big box companies in Calgary offer them. No more pension DB pension plan. Taking away telecommuting. Performance Management Plan is very subjective and not based on true performance. The new moto is "if you can't work long hours, get out!". Unless you are desperate for a job, don't venture this way.
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NOT a good place to work anymore
analyst to manager...15+ yrs (Former Employee), Calgary, ABJanuary 15, 2014
Pros: free parking
Cons: too many to list
Since the introduction of a new CEO and senior level personnel, the company culture has changed to a very negative one.

Expecation to work or be available 24/7 have drastically reduced the concept of work/life balance.

The only benefit to employees of the head office move to the Ogden rail yard is free parking. Other than that, it created severe hardship to get to work daily...adding at least 30 - 45 min to a 1 and a half hour commute.

Find a better place that promotes work life balance and cherishes and develops their employees. This company is all about the take and little about the give.
Claimed Profile
Headquarters
7550 Ogden Dale Road SE
Calgary, AB T2C 4X9
Revenue
$5bn to $10bn (CAD)
Employees
10,000+
Industry
Links
Canadian Pacific website
CANADIAN PACIFIC on LinkedIn

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