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City of Tacoma WA Railway Conductor in Tacoma, Washington

Railway Conductor


$28.61 - $38.14 Hourly


Tacoma, WA

Job Type


Job Number




Opening Date


Closing Date

6/14/2023 5:00 PM Pacific

  • Description

  • Benefits

  • Questions

Position Description

Tacoma Rail ( has provided rail transportation as a public entity since 1914. With 16 locomotives, more than 100 employees and about 140 miles of track, Tacoma Rail provides key freight connections for customers in the greater Tacoma Washington area, handling in excess of 100,000 freight shipments per year ( .

Tacoma Rail is establishing a hiring roster for Railway Conductors to coordinate the daily activities of train crews; supervise the operation and administration of trains and receive information and instructions for performing work assignments. Conductors must ensure that trains are operated safely and efficiently and that all rules are observed; acting responsibly to prevent accidents/incidents or rules violations.

Railroading requires a willingness to spend significant time outdoors in often challenging conditions; candidates should be flexible, willing to learn, and be able to perform multiple tasks while remaining focused on safety and efficiency.

One of Tacoma Rail's keys to success is providing a safe work environment for our employees. We believe that our employees are our most valuable asset and that every accident or injury is preventable. We promote a culture that makes safety our highest priority. (

Responsibilities Include:

  • Supervise and participate in assembling/spotting unit trains, coupling and uncoupling railcars, and general yard switching and classification.

  • Operate railroad switches and use radio communication and standard hand and lantern signals to direct Locomotive Engineer.

  • Perform industrial switching and keep records of cars switched; keep time reports for self and other crew members.

  • Inspect railcars and report any defects; make timely reports of any accidents or incidents.

This position is subject to federally regulated safety-sensitive requirements and all applicants shall be required to meet those standards.

Rate of pay is contingent upon qualifications and experience. Terms of the collective bargaining unit shall apply.

Outdoor Conditions: This position is subject to working in severe weather conditions, around noise, fumes and dust. Use of personal protective equipment is required.

Working Conditions: Lifting up to 75 pounds, climbing, squatting, pushing, pulling and walking on uneven surfaces, bending, stooping, and twisting motions. Incumbents in this position will be responsible for safely handling hazardous material shipments in railcars.

Shifts/hours: This is a full-time position; subject to call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Must be able to report to work 2 hours after notification and be able to work up to 12 hours per shift.


One year of experience as a Conductor with a railroad under the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

Preferred Qualification

  • Conductor certification


Must possess a valid State Issued Driver's License at time of appointment. Must obtain a Washington State Driver's License within 30 days of hire with maintenance thereafter.

Must be able to pass a background check, pre-employment medical examination and DOT drug screen to qualify for this position.

Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC):

Under Federal authority Tacoma Rail requires all employees to obtain and maintain a TWIC card which requires a Federal background check. TWIC is a condition of employment. Application for TWIC must be made within 14 days of your date of hire.

Knowledge & Skills


  • Compliance with applicable railroad operating rules and practices (GCOR).

  • Safe and efficient switching operations.

  • Records management and operational planning.

  • Health and safety regulations and precautions.

  • Applicable laws, codes, regulations, CFR Title 49 policies and procedures.


  • Coordinate and supervise the work of a railway switching crew.

  • Mechanically couple/uncouple railcars.

  • Operate railroad switches and derails.

  • Understand and follow oral and written directions/instructions and repeat back.

  • Interpret and apply codes, rules, regulations, policies and procedures.

  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others.

  • Receive and transmit information by radio and telephone.

  • Read and understand bulletins, work orders, switch lists.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

City of Tacoma Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.

The City of Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workplace. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.


Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will have their responses to the supplemental questions scored by an evaluation committee. Supplemental questions will be scored solely on the basis of information provided. It is the responsibility of the applicant to list all pertinent experience and training. Applicants must pass the examination process to be placed on the eligible list for interview and hiring consideration.

Appointment is subject to passing a background check, pre-employment medical examination, pre-employment physical assessment test, and DOT drug screen.

Tacoma Rail employees participate in the Railroad Retirement system administered by the US Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Current City employees belonging to TERS will be required to join the Railroad Retirement system.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:

We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

If you have any additional questions regarding this position, please contact the Human Resources Department at 253.591.5400 before 4pm on the closing date of this posting.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision plans for the whole family; paid holidays and paid leave; participation in the Tacoma Public Employees' Retirement System (alternate plan for Police/Fire); continuing education and advancement opportunities and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives.

Medical Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Dental Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Vision Coverage: For eligible employees and their eligible dependents.

Paid Leave: City employees are entitled to received paid holidays, sick/vacation leave or personal time off (PTO), depending upon union affiliation and appointment type.

Insurance Plans: Employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance plans are also available to employees. The State Industrial Insurance Act also covers employees.

Deferred Compensation: Income can be set aside on a pretax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income.

Retirement: All employees of the City, except members of the Police and Fire services, Tacoma Rail and certain project employees, are included in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200.

Other Employment Information

Direct Deposit: Employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule by direct deposit.

Salary Increases: Based on satisfactory job performance, the City provides for a regular progression of salary increases for most classifications according to the salary schedule.

Union Affiliation: Many job classifications are covered by union security provisions which require union membership, dues, or payment of equivalent service fees.

Note: The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice.


Do you have a minimum of one year of experience as a Conductor on a Class I, II or III railroad under the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)?

  • Yes

  • No


    Have you completed an accredited Railroad Conductor educational training program?

  • Yes, completed

  • No


    Do you possess a current Conductor or Locomotive Engineer certification?

  • Yes

  • No


    If you have current Conductor or Locomotive Engineer certification, please list including expiration date(s). If not, indicate N/A.


    This position requires employees to have a Washington State driver's license on their first day on the job. If you are offered this position, will you have a Washington State driver's license on your first day of work?

  • Yes

  • No


    Please describe in detail your background and year(s) of experience as a Conductor for a Class I, II or III railroad.


    Please indicate how many years of experience you have switching railcars for a Class I, II or III railroad.

  • No Experience

  • 1-2 years

  • 3 or more years


    This position requires a candidate to be physically able to do heavy lifting, climbing, pulling, twisting and bending. Candidates must be able to successfully complete a physical assessment test and medical examination in order to be eligible to be hired. The physical assessment test will include 100lb squats, 50lb arm curl, 50lb should press, and an aerobic cycling assessment. It will also include simulations to throw railroad switches and high switch handbrakes, pull coupler pins, wheel valve turning, knob turning, ladder stance, and confined space ladder evolution. You will need to be able to do all of these tasks with or without a reasonable accommodation. Please acknowledge that you are aware of the physical requirements of the job by checking 'Yes' below.

  • Yes

  • No


    Describe your training and knowledge of applicable FRA regulations related to a railroad switching operation and safety standards.


    Safety is our highest priority. Please describe in detail: a) Why safety is important in the railroad industry? b) How important is working safely to you?


    If you are having a problem with a coworker, how will you handle it?


    Please describe why you want to work for Tacoma Rail.


    What qualities do you feel you possess to be successful at Tacoma Rail?


    One of the City's Principles that guides us is Equity. Describe what equity means to you and describe any experience you have working with diverse groups of people.


    Please tell us how you learned about this job opening.

  • Job Interest Card notification

  • Internet search

  • Professional organization

  • Military organization

  • Union job posting

  • City of Tacoma employee

  • Online job board posting

  • Word of mouth

  • LinkedIn

  • SEED

  • TTEP (Tacoma Training and Education Program)

  • Indeed

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Careers in Government

  • Government Jobs


  • Outreach Event


    Please provide specific information regarding how you learned about this job opening. Thank you, your feedback will be used to evaluate our success reaching the public and refine our methods for future job postings.

    Required Question


City of Tacoma


Human Resources Department 747 Market Street Tacoma, Washington, 98402-3764





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