Duties And Responsibilities
Responsible for various track maintenance support functions on territory/division in support of the overall field activity; including but not limited to: management of scheduled manpower activity, capital plan coordination and oversight, material management, claims management, recollectible activity management, safety management, resolution of community issues, coordination of meetings and training programs, World Class Maintenance and PARS process management, vehicle fleet management, roadmaster relief including weekend and night coverage.
Working knowledge of BNSF Engineering Instructions, Federal Railroad Administration Track Safety Standards and MOW Operating Rules. Working knowledge of BMWE Labor Agreements. Must be self-directed, motivated and have strong organization, interpersonal and communication skills. Must be safety conscious and able to support and contribute to a strong safety process.
Being that the job of roadmaster is still essentially a "field" position and requires one to be on call at any time of day (or night) your work schedule is basically whenever you are needed. However, being a seniority position also means that you have already held other positions (such as road foreman) and are quite likely already used to such sporadic and long hours.
In any event, if you are not aware railroading in general is very hard work and not everyone is capable of making a career of it due to the fact that it simply requires so much of your time and can make it hard on trying to juggle a family life. Perhaps more than any other factor [on the job], fatigue is what most railroaders have the hardest time with working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Naturally, working so much makes it quite difficult for one to remain sharp and focused at all times while on the job.
As with most other railroad positions, the job as roadmaster can be very demanding and stressful due to all of the responsibility that is required of you. However, it can be very rewarding as well (especially if you enjoy managerial work) and the pay, as usual, is excellent on Class I railroads. Again, if you are not even sure if a career in railroading is right for you but would like to learn more about what it takes to work in the industry you might want to consider the book Working on the Railroad from noted author Brian Solomon. Solomon's book details the history of working in the railroad industry and the difficulties and hardship employees faced back then as well as today.