Railroad Brake, Signal, & Switch Operators
Description : Operate railroad track switches. Couple or uncouple rolling stock to make up or break up trains. Signal engineers by hand or flagging. May inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and hand brakes.
JobTitles : Railroad Switchman, Brakeman, Terminal Carman, Trainman, Switch Foreman, Carman, Trains Service Conductor, Transportation Specialist, Locomotive Switch Operator, Railroad Brakeman
- Signal locomotive engineers to start or stop trains when coupling or uncoupling cars, using hand signals, lanterns, or radio communication.
- Pull or push track switches to reroute cars.
- Observe signals from other crewmembers so that work activities can be coordinated.
- Inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and handbrakes to ensure that they are securely fastened and functioning properly.
- Raise levers to couple and uncouple cars for makeup and breakup of trains.
- Receive oral or written instructions from yardmasters or yard conductors indicating track assignments and cars to be switched.
- Climb ladders to tops of cars to set brakes.
- Set flares, flags, lanterns, or torpedoes in front and at rear of trains during emergency stops in order to warn oncoming trains.
- Inspect tracks, cars, and engines for defects and to determine service needs, sending engines and cars for repairs as necessary.
- Make minor repairs to couplings, air hoses, and journal boxes, using hand tools.