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Rail Traffic Controller

As a Rail Traffic Controller (RTC), you are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the railway within your assigned territory. You will juggle many different responsibilities and manage staff, so someone with outstanding organizational and interpersonal skills would excel in this position. If career advancement is what you’re looking for, this job is a great starting point.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Ensure the safe movement of trains and other on-track railway equipment
  • Minimize delays to railway traffic through effective planning and scheduling
  • Communicate, interpret and relay signals affecting train movements
  • Coordinate the meeting of trains to optimize railway performance
  • Ensure the cost-effective movement of trains and other on-track equipment to optimize physical and human resources
  • Enter data into various information and control systems
  • Maintain an ongoing awareness of the operation of the railway – from equipment and signals, to car handling rules, operating manuals, computer applications and collective agreements
  • Assist in solving any problems that arise in your assigned territory

Typical Working Conditions, Hours and Salary:

  • Railwa­ys operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As a Rail Traffic Controller, you will not work a typical nine-to-five shift. You will work irregular hours and must be available to work weekends and holidays.
  • The majority of a Rail Traffic Controller’s work is performed at a desktop workstation. Much of it involves using computers and monitoring activity on computer displays. RTCs also make heavy use of radio communication technology to stay in touch with track maintenance and train crews.
  • Entry-level Rail Traffic Controllers earn approximately $55,000 a year, and can progress to making up to $94,000 a year.

Training Requirements & Qualifications:

Rail Traffic Controller candidates must have a high school diploma, and generally have previous railway experience as a Conductor or Locomotive Engineer. RTCs must have a working knowledge of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules, and must be familiar with the software that their railway uses to control traffic.