Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Up at 3:48 A.M.

So my husband went to school at about 2 am today. I woke up to sounds of him zipping up his gym bag where he keeps his gear. They're starting class at 3 am, meeting in a freight yard to practice working at night, using their lanterns (yes, conductors still use lanterns, although now they are battery operated) for signaling purposes.

This is part of our new life-- I have been awake ever since he got up. I thought I'd go back to sleep, but no deal. I'm sure I'll get used to it. But for now, I'm just happy that we have a bright future, in spite of this economy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Our New Life as a Railroad Family

So my husband just got hired as a conductor trainee for a class one railroad. The railroad life is a very different life than most people are used to. New hires are on call 24/7/365. You never know when they might be heading off to work. They can never be more than 90 minutes from where they would report for duty. They might be off for a few days, then work several days in a row. We haven't experienced this yet, and I am bracing to see what it might be like. I am imagining that we will keep his work bag ("grip" as they seem to call it) in the car, and if we want to do a family outing, we won't go far and we'll take two cars in case he gets called. We've heard that after a while you get the hang of predicting when it will be his turn to get called in, but I'm not sure how that will work yet. I guess there is a website that they can check to see how close they are to getting called.

So this blog is sort of a diary about our new life. I thought that other people considering a RR career might find it interesting or helpful to hear about our experiences. I'll try to share about his hiring and training experiences, the details of his first weeks on the job, and our family's adjustment to the new routine-- or lack of routine, more accurately.

Feel free to drop me a line if you have experiences or advice to share. In future posts I will chronicle his hiring and training experiences in detail.