Good pay & benefits, but its not all sunshine and rainbows...
CN has a great extensive training program for new conductors. They fly you to Winnipeg if you hire in Canada, and you're there 7 weeks. They pay for flights, hotel the whole time, and all meals, plus pay you a weekly salary for attending class 5 days a week. During those 7 weeks though, they make CN sound like the best company to work for ever.
Sure, you read online and hear about the on call 24/7/365 thing, and for the most part, with exceptions, that's true. It wouldn't be a huge issue for single guys like me, or even family men, if their train lineups were accurate ever... you'll show going out at 6am so you decide to go to bed at 10pm to be tested. Suddenly your phone rings to go work for 12 hours on a train at 11pm. If you say no, you're hauled in for an investigation and discipline.
If management would update the lineups and not hide random trains on lineups, we would have a better idea when we're going to work.
You do make good money. Will you make over $100,000 a year as a conductor? Not at the beginning, unless you go to a few select terminals like McLennan or Roma Junction where they're always short guys and pay a very good salary to entice people up there. But for other terminals, you could make 75% of that, but after a few years, you definitely could make 6 figures.
It's definitely not your average job and it is what you make of it. But I'm posting this at 4am, because I'm awake waiting for my next call to take a train. That should tell you what to e
Points positifsPay, benefits, coworkers, training program
Points négatifsManagement, never know when youll work
Ask any employee here, its any wonder this company makes money. Management has no idea what they're doing, are frequently way under trained, misinformed, and pressured to discipline employees excessively. It comes to the point where we come into work and wonder if we are going to get fired today. They always have some excuse, or reason to write you up, remove you from service, or assign demerits, or provide a failure on what they called random safety testing. Safety culture looks great on paper, means absolutely nothing in reality. The rules are written to cover the companies butts, and discipline employees and not actually keep anyone safe for the most part. The company and its constant monitoring, baby sitting and supervision of its employees makes you feel like your 12. They spend so much time making sure your actually working and following policy and rules to the exact letter you no longer actually focus on your job rather to make sure you aren't breaking any rules. Management also makes these amazing decisions on having the newer or less-experienced employees train the brand new employees instead of having the season and experienced employees do so. This is part of staff shortages and refusule to assign extra OJT (on the job trainers) to assist training. Other then that, the pay is awesome, benefits vary by union, the places to go, things to do are awesome! You spent your first months in a training facility either in Homewood IL or Winnipeg MB to learn.
If you've always dreamed of getting paid to hate your life - CN Rail!
(To be clear from the outset, there are definitely good people working at CN Rail. Unfortunately, almost none of them are in management.)
CN brings an exciting 19th-century mindset to the 21st-century job market!
As a working-class employee you will serve as an entirely disposable cog in the corporate machine as it railroads its way through pristine water sources and across the pockmarked Canadian landscape.
Any and every small mistake you make will be treated with the utmost attention, guaranteeing plenty of quality time with every supervisor within discernible cell range.
Don't sweat it though, because no matter how badly anyone screws up the share prices will just keep climbing, leaving no substantial reason for anything to ever change in the way things are done on Canada's National Railroad.
Innovation! Every month brings a new way for management to track exactly where you have been and what you have done.
Dedication! Once you buy that lifted truck you've been eyeing up you're basically locked in for life.
Self-Preservation! Hint: it helps if you're jaded before you even start.
Looking for a career that is sure to leave an irremovable mark on your soul? Then look no further than CN Rail!
Points positifsDecent pay, no skills/ knowledge required to advance through into management
With CN Rail it has been a great place to work this far. The environment has been a little bit on the Toxic side due to backlash with some of the management changes and changes to how CN is running things inside of the shop. Management is trying to change the culture in the shop to work steady and produce quality work safely while giving full respect to each other. Some people are immune to thinking anything that involves the word "change". Other than the environment right now it is a good career path. You get your schedule so you can plan for your days off, you get 2 weeks vacation per year to start, you get great benefits, stock options and paid training in Winnipeg's CN Campus. Management doesn't push you to get things done very fast as they prefer having quality and reliability with their services then getting a Locomotive out of the shop and having it break down 5 miles down the track. Sure at first you have to deal with Seniority and working nights for approximately 5 years but after that it's gold! You will have work stability as long as you strive to get better at your job and work by the book safely. Lastly you get to be home with your family every day and nothing beats that when you've worked out of town for ages!
Points positifsBenefits, Stock Options, Pension, Stability, Home with Family
I'll give you the honest scoop. Railroading is a tough lifestyle. Whether you're working in the yard or on the road. Unless you have enough seniority to hold a yard shift with scheduled days off. Otherwise once your booked rest is over (you can book up to 24 hours rest after a shift) you have to be prepared to answer your phone at any time. And there is an inherent risk of serious injury or death when you're working with equipment as massive as a train. That's why the pay and benefits are so good. And it's not grunt work. Training involves hitting the books. You need 100% on your signals final. And there's 119 signals to learn. You then need 90% on your rules exam. And some of the rules are a little mind bending. That being said, I don't want to discourage anyone. You'll receive excellent paid training. The instructors are great. And like any job you'll have good days and bad days. And you'll work with some good people and some bad people. As for the culture, CN is 👍. So far they've treated me welI. I previously worked for CP and the management-employee relationship was very adversarial. Morale was rock bottom there. I'm much happier at CN. I'm not a CN cheerleader, I'm just telling it like it is.
Points positifsPay and benefits
Points négatifsIrregular schedule, exposure to the elements
Very, very poor management. Supervisors hired without experience and taught to lie and cut corners to get the job done fast due to a "productivity bonus" for supervisors only and a lack of any "safety bonus". The employees doing the work get no type of bonus. Told we would get help transferring across Canada But was denied when my family tried. Very few people with high enough seniority to get weekends off. I have been there 5 years and I can only do 12am-8am with Tuesday Wednesday off and still nowhere close to a weekend or even a day shift. It's Shift work with no understanding from supervisors. Don't expect to be able to go to your kids hockey games or birthdays because they don't allow it . No sick days and harassment and investigations leading to demerits when a sick day is needed. Employees are expected to buy all their own work clothes and safety equipment. All around very poor lifestyle when you work at CN (railcar mechanic). If you like having and or seeing you're family or friends, or having hobbies / enjoy sports or activities then CN is NOT the job for you. The pay is good and two weeks vacation is OK but not worth being treated like dirt every day for.
Worked for the Mechanical Department for 5 years, I left voluntarily. I was one of the more capable employees in terms of experience machanically. I worked many long days 7 days a week, with all the overtime I could get. Not the best seniority therefore weekdays off on off shifts was the best it was going to get.
Management are more concerned about productivity numbers and job justification by deciplin than anything else. Including your well-being
They push safety all day but when it comes down to it they will expect you to do whatever it takes to get trains out. Management was usualy incapable at communicating between various departments. Each one trying to pass the blame on the other.
Overall very toxic enviroment, many employees are in denial how miserable it is due to the wages, but many see it for what it is.
There is absolutly no appreciation for you, you have a pin number and thats what you are to them just a number.
I usually felt as if i was a prisoner working for them.
Many stuck it out for the pension, only to enjoy retirement alone due to divorces ect, due to the shiftwork and days off requirements for 90% of employees.
Life is short, dont waste it.
Points positifsWages, but not relative to work location
Typical day at work: 8 hours outside in the freezing cold and in order to warm up you must broadcast over the radio that you want to go inside a locomotive to warm up
What I learned: Seniority based promotion is not for me. I would much rather achieve opportunities based on performance.
Management: Frequently "hides" to observe rule compliance and will write you up for minor violations of a rule they may not even understand themselves.
Co-Workers: Some genuinely happy with their job, some obviously depressed but sticking around for the money. Conductors with 20+ years seniority are still unable to hold a job with desirable hours and at the terminal they want.
Hardest part of the job: Demoralizing remarks such as management/traffic coordinators asking "is everything okay over there?" at the slightest delay.
Most enjoyable part of the job: Controlling and riding around on train equipment and the physical aspect of the job. Plenty of exercise.
Although this should be a very rewarding and "cool" out of the ordinary job, this is quickly overshadowed by the sour company culture and the company renegging on union agreements at the first available opportunity.
Payed well with exemplary benefits and investment opportunity
Very safety driven company as there are no minor injuries when you are dealing with trains and heavy equipment, days range from 8 to 16 hours depending on division and willingness to work, management could use a makeover but many were helpful and friendly, co-workers were awesome, friendly, helpful and upbeat. Hardest part of the job was being called at all hours to cover some other conductor who had called in sick or unavailable, and being away from your family for long stretches. Physically demanding job requiring a lot of upper body strength used for throwing switches and climbing up and around train cars(think monkey bars as a kid for 8 hours a day) with breaks sometimes not coming till the last hour of your work day due to heavy work load and priority of work. I liked the people i worked with, 99% had awesome attitudes and worked hard for the sake of an easier stretch at the end of the day, pay was great, benefits were great, shares in company were great, i would do the job again as it was both literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air.
Points positifsGood pay, great people, strong company
Points négatifslong hours, difficult management system
Before hiring on I read the reviews no different than anyone applying for any job. At first I was extremely deterred by the low opinion of the company. After completing training and working for nearly a year now, I can see the type of employee/individual who leaves these types of reviews. After running businesses my entire adult life, I know how difficult it is to make $140,000/year. Trust me folks, this job is far easier. Benefits, pension and stock options aside, with a high school/college education, this is as good as it gets. If you have kids or a spouse at home who’s not overly supportive to begin with; please don’t apply. For those who understand what hard work is, you’ll do just fine. If you still live with your parents or are coming out of an Coddled environment, stray away, you’ll get eaten alive. Come to this company with a strong work ethic, dedication and perseverance, your future will be bright enough.
However, I can see automation cutting the industries transport staff in half by 2028. One man crews will happen, regardless of how much pushback CN receives. So get in while you can and save your money.
No training just figure it out. Hired over 1,000 consultants (US/India) for knowledge/expertise and workforce. Employees ended up training them anyway.
Nepotism at it's finest here. No work/life bal. 24/7 on call. Still into the in-person workforce. Working from home allowed only when they need you and even then may request you come into the office (Montreal or States). Bare minimum employees in the States yet core controlled in Canada the HQ.
Employees train their managers. "Fake it till you make it" commonly used proudly by management. Many come from the field/craft, lack professionalism, formal education, and knowledge of the law not to violate employee rights. Invest in new systems yet not in the development of employees for the system(s). Rely heavily on each one teach one yet managers know that elimnates job security so you will get limited info. CEO and Executive team disconnected from employees leaving middle management (VP, Sr., & Directors) too much power and control.
If it's not in writing don't trust it. If it is in writing they may find a way out of it even if it's walking on your rights. The legal system can get them to play ball fairly and they count on many not going that route. Yet better to deal with on one on one basis and hush them than the masses. Be careful of their internal HR investigations - it's also to discover any liabilities. If union - get to know non-union counterpart(s) and vice-versa.
Hours of Service (HoS) used to avoid
Points positifsBenefits - yet Vet and govt employee benefits are better.
Points négatifsManagement, Pay, Hours, Workload, Travel, Lack of Training, the "pro-cess"
IT Pays well, but it's mostly downhill from there.
CN is mostly a decent place to work. In IT, salaries and benefits are good and work schedules are mildly to moderately flexible. The culture, however, isn't for the faint of heart. In the US, there is almost no room for advancement. Every year comes with a "less than the" cost of living raise and even the slightest little hiccup causes the upper class to declare no bonuses for the peons. Individuals who are passionate and knowledgeable are discouraged and rarely given the resources they need to improve themselves or the company.
Small decisions are bogged down with red tape and the inclusion of individuals who don't understand the details. Large decisions are made in upper management by people who don't know what's needed on the ground. Over and over you'll hear "upper management has approved this process". Any criticism of these decisions, or bringing light to their deficiencies, is considered "making noise" and is quickly squashed.
Don't anticipate being formally trained, or even cross trained between groups. Silos are ever present and exceptionally strong. The company pats itself on the back that they're "One Team", but that's just a way of shutting employees up when someone complains that another team isn't pulling their weight or is screwing things up.
When you leave the company, they magically change the vacation policy. Suddenly, even though the vacation policy is based on years of service with no accrual, they will pro-rate your vacation when you leave. If you have
Points positifsPay, Benefits, Schedule
Points négatifsManagement, Petty Atmosphere, Cheap Company
Great Pay, Management need more training, Systems are very out dated
1.Joining a Union was a waste of money because its no good to you while you are on probabtion.
2. I was trained at( 2) different sites- 1st site was awesome the trainers thete was very helpful and very informative about the railroad life etc.
The second site I was trained at was horrible, i was trained by (4) different employees and out if (1) of those employees well she was so helpful and had patience. She really was a great person who allowed you to take notes and ask questions.
Those other (3)individuals i hope are retired or was forced to another desk. Those ignorant individuals were extremely childish, racist, and definitely wanted to see a person fail for no reason. It was so bad that i put in a bid for a new position which by the way i was rewarded but was not able to go right into like a new hire was able to. (Which by the way that new hire hide a specific bid so she can get off the same desk as i was on due to how she saw i was being trained) But i was hired a month before her but she won that bid immediately.
Anyhow a day before my probation ended i was evaluated by Sequia out the blue and waited till about an hour to my shift was over to have me come to her office for my evaluation and was fired. She listen to those 3 horrible people who had bipolar issues etc.
Remember what goes around comes around God dont like ugly .
Points positifsGreat pay, don't trust everyone, you will figure out who's real or not
Points négatifsHave a backup job or career just in case your let go off for no reason, save your money while you are working in the railroad, it's a Cutthroat company
CN likes to call itself the best railroad in North America, which is true if it was a toy train set going around a Christmas tree. Management especially at Fond du Lac has no clue on anything to do with a railroad. The only thing they care about is trying to fire and intimidate employees. Here you will pay union fees that are so extremely high so the union officers can go be buddy buddy with management, your fees will do nothing to protect you. If you want to work for a company that pride's itself on trying to fire all it's employees the day it hires them while the union helps them, please do go work here. I enjoyed my job as an Engineer, but that's as far as it goes. The company makes up policies that are great for them at any given time, and the union just sits there and agrees, if you don't believe me, in your interview ask the company for a sick policy or even a safety policy, there aren't any but get the flu and stay home sick and wait for your investigation letter in the mail. The WCL was a great railroad to work for, since the CNR and Hunter Harrison (blessing where he is now)took over everything is to please the stockholders. This company hates all employees and customers. Good luck with future years of intimidation and not knowing if today will be your last day either by BS charges brought upon you or the lack of any safety at this company.
Working at Canadian National Railway was both satisfying and rewarding,
Work as a rail car technician allowed me to acquire skills and was varied enough in it's day to day activities to keep me interested and motivated,
Working in the traffic yard kept you on your your toes around moving equipment. taught the importance of teamwork to achieve deadlines and departmental goals. It also taught the intricacies of inter-functional communication and prioritization. working on the mainline as a wagon repairer taught you foresight, planning and safety. working either alone or with a mate Safety is paramount on the railway. not only will an accident affect me, it will slow down traffic, possibly shut down the plant if serious enough. Mainline accidents affect all involved not just the injured party, they may affect the running trades, rail traffic controllers, supervisors and workmates.
Points positifsWorking for the railways you arer well compensated, base rate for a RCT is 72.000/year. depending on the hours you wish to put in you may earn up to 140, 000/ yr.
Points négatifsthe railway works 24 hrs a day seven days a week 365 days a year, in all inclement weather, the worst thing on the railways are level crossing accidents, you only need to attend 1 fatality to understand no one ever beats a train.
Questions et réponses au sujet de l'entreprise Canadian National Railway
Why would you want to work at Canadian National Railway?
Posée le 5 mai 2017
Ilove the Canadian Locomotives since they are powerful.Also Canada is a country which accomodates people with diverse cultures and Races.
Réponse du 17 oct. 2019
Yes but live in adefferent nationaliy
Réponse du 25 août 2019
Quelles sont les étapes du processus de recrutement chez Canadian National Railway?
Posée le 29 mars 2017
If you don’t know anyone in the company, you won’t get hired. No matter what your credentials or work ethics are.
Réponse du 17 oct. 2019
Call bunch of people for interview only 1 or 2 people get selected from the groups then a long police clearance and drug test, after that they send you to Winnipeg for 3 weeks training, if you fail the test they have on the end of the 2nd week you get a plan to ticket home. If you are looking to work at CN UNTIL YOU GO BACK HOME IN THE 3RD WEEK DO NOT QUIT WHERE YOU ARE WORKING. they dont tell you that in the interview process.....
Réponse du 8 janv. 2019
Quelles sont les questions posées lors d’un entretien chez Canadian National Railway?
Posée le 13 nov. 2017
No questions for my interview. room of 20 people they talk about the company. then they have you take a switching test on the spot with no training or explanation. about half the class failed. if you pass then come all the drug test, physicals criminal record check etc. then off to Winnipeg if you pass all that for 7 weeks of tests.
Réponse du 15 déc. 2020
"Describe a situation in which you were met with a difficult problem, and how did you solve it?"
Réponse du 17 oct. 2019
Do you need to be a Canadian citizen to work for cn
Posée le 14 août 2018
No, you do not!!! Got hired and I'm a pr.
Réponse du 3 nov. 2020
Yes you do
Réponse du 17 oct. 2019
I heard there was a practice called 'shift selling'. If this is true, how does it work.
Posée le 1 juill. 2018
There are mutual agreement shifts where two workers may trade shifts. Shift selling is not a thing, you must work your full period of hours within your pay period.
Réponse du 17 oct. 2019
A worker can arrange with management to trade shifts with another co-worker, and sometimes offer the co-worker compensation as motivation.