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Train Crew Duties

The ENGINEER operates the train, controling how fast or slow the train goes. The engineer has to be sure the train doesn't go too fast or too slow. From the right side seat in the engine's cab, the engineer watches the front of the train and the right side of both the front and back when going around curves. The engineer controls the locomotive using the trottle, reverse gear, and brake. The engineer also trains the fireman in becoming an engineer. The engineer calls the signals to the fireman and blows the whistle. The engineer has the ultimate responsibility in the operation of the train.

The FIREMAN primary job is maintaining the correct steam pressure in the engine's boiler. By changing the intensity of the fire, the fireman can create more steam or let the engineer's actions at the throttle consume steam. Besides maintaining steam pressure, the fireman must also maintain an adequate level of water in the boiler by checking the gauge glass and adding water when necessary. The fireman watches the left side of the train, both front and back as the train goes around curves. On some engines, the fireman is responsible for ringing the bell as the train approaches road crossings and the station platform. The fireman also calls out signals to the Engineer.

The CONDUCTOR collects tickets for fares for the train ride. The conductor is in charge of the time schedules for the train. The conductor watches the train as it goes around curves to be sure everything is working as it should be. The "head" conductor is the supervisor for all non engine crew employees on the train. The conductor communicates with the engineer through the use of hand signals, whistle signals, and light signals.



 Midwest Central Railroad  Mount Pleasant, Iowa 52641 319−385−2912 (updated 01Aug16)