Railroad brake, signal, and switch operators take care of railroad tracks and equipment. They put rail cars together for the transport of passengers and freight.
Railroad brake, signal, and switch operators keep trains moving along travel routes. They refuel engines and oil moving parts. They inspect the following for defects:
Operators divert cars or engines that need repairs. They keep track of how many cars are available, how many have been sent for repairs, and what types of service or repairs are needed.
Railroad brake, signal, and switch operators get assignments from the yard conductor or yardmaster. They read the daily car schedule to determine how many cars are needed for the next day's run. They use these schedules to put the trains together.
Operators raise and lower levers to couple and uncouple cars. They use hand tools to attach cables and connect air hoses to cars. Operators use remote controls to move cars from track to track in the yard. They throw track switches to route cars. They ride on top of moving cars and operate hand wheels to slow and stop them.
Operators make traffic signals using arms, lanterns, or electronic controls. They watch for traffic signals from other workers. They set flares, flags, or lanterns ahead and behind stopped trains during emergencies to warn oncoming trains.