Railroad Signal Maintainer Job Description

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Author: Lorena
Published: 5 Feb 2021

A Minimum Educational Qualification for a Signal Maintainer, Working on the Railroad, Fairness in the Signal Maintenance Job, The Construction Signalman and more about railroad signal maintainer job. Get more data about railroad signal maintainer job for your career planning.

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A Minimum Educational Qualification for a Signal Maintainer

signal maintainers ensure that electrical circuitry is running correctly to prevent trains from colliding or traffic from crossing the tracks in front of an oncoming train. You test circuits and electrical parts at gate crossing and railway systems as a signal maintainer. You inspect switch-controlling mechanisms and replace batteries.

A lesser post-secondary certificate and a high school degree are required by 44 percent of signal maintainer jobs, according to O*Net Online. Employers may have requirements of their own. The New York City Transit Authority requires signal maintainers to have at least two years of experience as an electronic technician or as a mechanic.

See also our study about Signal Support Systems Specialist career planning.

Working on the Railroad

The position requires a high level of skill and training and as such offers good pay. There is a A signal maintainer will usually start out earning a salary of $70,000.

Early signals, where there is very little electrical wiring, are quite primitive. As the decades progressed, they became more advanced with the use of relays, track circuits, and computer chips. There are still a lot of older signals in use that were used by railroads like the Baltimore & Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Fairness in the Signal Maintenance Job

Operators are forced to play fair. There are no hand gestures required. The operator looks at the signal to see if it is safe to enter.

A signal maintainer is supposed to make sure that the signals are giving the correct information. If you are a Signal maintainer, you will most likely be given a company vehicle to drive, and you spend most of your workday in that vehicle. You stop to check the signals on the track.

Make sure the signal is easy to read, and replace burned-out light bulbs. To make sure the signal is working correctly, you need to test the electrical circuitry and replace damaged circuits. You check the safety gates to see if they come down and prevent traffic from crossing the tracks when a train is coming.

A good study about Signal Maintainer career guide.

The Construction Signalman

The signalman was changed a lot after the invention of the DC track circuit. The signalman used to give out information about the condition of the rails, but the DC track circuit could do that automatically. A construction signalman is a person who builds or repairs the signal system on a railroad.

A construction signalman is working on a group of people. The gang will travel to their assigned location and stay in a hotel for the duration of their work period, usually 8 days on and 6 days off or 4 days on and 3 days off. You have to do a lot of things on a construction gang, from operating a backhoe to testing the new equipment before it is handed over to the maintenance department.

The Signalman

The signalman was responsible for checking each train that passed their signal box, looking for the red tail lamp on the trailing vehicle, and then seeing if the section was clear. The electric telegraph and block worked in the 1850s, and mechanical interlocking from 1856 allowed for more efficient train working, and more complicated track layout. The signal box, signal cabin or interlocking tower were built as a result of technological advances.

Read also our story on Signals Officer job planning.

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