Q: Why Modoc Railroad and not some Junior College
that has a train class?
A: Federal law requires all railroad conductors to be licensed...No Junior
college or trade school can issue that license. Only a railroad can issue
the railroad conductor documents.
Q. How do I start the process to become a railroad conductor or locomotive
A: Go to the "APPLY" page and first look at the scheduled intern
program date that a sponsor railroad is offering for interns that works
for you. Remember, multiple railroads now participate in the internship
program. Then, download the "membership application" fill it
out and send it to Railroad Historical Society at the address listed on
the membership form... Include a membership deposit in the form of check
or money order. After 4 to 5 weeks from the date you mailed your membership
application, you should receive a follow up notice and other information
from the Railroad Historical Society. Remember if you do not meet membership
guidelines, you will also be notified by mail. Awkward, yes, but this
is required by state law for 2014. This process will change for 2015 with
the advent of new federal laws. CFR49 Part 243.
Q: How can I get more information?
A: Please email your questions to INFO@modocrail.com
Q: What are the Railroads qualifications?
A: Minimum age is for conductor internship is 18, and the person must
have at least two years of any type of work experience. There is no maximum
age limit. You must have a high school diploma or G.E.D...You must be
able to lift 60 pounds and climb a ladder ten feet tall. A clean criminal
record for the last eight years and no drunk driving convictions in the
past three and a half years. Minimum age for locomotive engineer interns
is 20. The same above standards apply
Q: I am a mature worker (over 40 years old). Is there any future in railroading
A: We do very well with mature students. To date the oldest person we
have placed was 63 years old and he placed as a locomotive engineer. We
strongly recommend that mature persons attend both conductor and locomotive
engineer programs to get the strongest resume possible. As a very practical
matter, conductor is more of a young person's job.
Q: I am still in high school, but I want to go to work for a railroad.
What should I do?
A: Take as many English classes as you can. Be sure you can write clearly
and people can read it. Get a job anywhere doing anything. Car wash, fast
food, something that will show a railroad you can work and hold a job.
You should not attend Modoc before you are 19 years old and have at least
two years work experience
Q: Do you guarantee a job?
A: No. Any internship program, such as the Modoc Railroad will not and
can not guarantee employment. However as March 1, 2014, Modoc Railroad
has 100% job offers from other railroads for both conductors and locomotive
Q. I was going to attend a Junior College in the mid-west, but
they did not offer hands on training nor did they offer the required conductor
A. Junior colleges are only after large number of students to support
the business of education. It is not the job of any Junior college to
help with employment or to provide you with the proper education for any
job. Federal Law now requires all conductors and locomotive engineers
to be licensed. Modoc Railroad is the ONLY intern program in the United
States to certify and license conductors and locomotive engineers as required
by Federal Law. CFR Title 49 Part 240 and Part 242.
Q. I was going to attend the trade school in the Pacific Northwest that
can teach me to become a conductor, or a windmill repair man or a stewardess
or a fry cook...Is there a problem with that?
A. We think this is only about money for the owner....trying to sell you
a big student loan...Judging by the emails we get, many have told us the
Pacific Northwest program was a poor move.
Q: What happened to Modoc Railroad Academy?
A: Modoc Railroad Academy will only do onsite seminars, air brake and
rules training for railroads. Modoc Railroad Academy will also continue
training development and textbook publication.
Q: Does every intern who attends this program
end up with a railroad job?
A: No. Modoc Railroad is the hardest and most intense internship program
of its kind. College level reading assignments, mandatory homework assignments
and demanding physical train operations leave little free time. Some people
have simply never had to contend with the responsibility of personal performance.
Many people have said that the Modoc Railroad internship is like Army
Boot Camp. The current failure rate is less than 11%.
Q: What is the success rate?
A: This program averages 93% job placement for conductor interns....You
must not consider this program as" a buy yourself a job program"...
We also have 100% job placement for locomotive engineer interns with multiple
job offers. This number has been updated 3-2-2014. Remember, past performance
is no guarantee of future success.
Q: Do I need to take part in this program?
A: Starting in 2013 all conductors, on every railroad, will need to be
certified. CFR Title 49, Part 242. Federal Law now requires all conductors
and locomotive engineers to be certified. Modoc Railroad is an internship
program to certify and license conductors and locomotive engineers with
authority granted by the Federal Railroad Administration....
Q: I was told that railroads do not hire engineers from other
railroads, and that they train their own staff.
A: That is no longer the case. The critical shortage of locomotive engineers
is very real.
Q: Do any other railroads take people from your internship program?
A: Yes. People from this program have been taken by Canadian Pacific,
CN, BNSF, Amtrak, Pan Am Railways, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSXT
and many other regional and short line railroads.
Q: Can I just take the engineer program only, since I only want to be
A: No. You must be a certified conductor, before you can take part in
the locomotive engineer program.
Q: What type of license will I get when I complete the internship program?
A: Modoc Railroad qualified Conductors will get a Certified Conductor
License. Engineers get a Class One - Train Service Locomotive Engineer
License. Both are valid for two years after issuance.
Q: Are there student aid, grants or scholarships available?
A: None at this time.
Q I am a Veteran. Can I use my G.I. Bill College funds to pay
for railroad training?
A: Not at this time – updated 3-1-2014.
Q: I am from out of state. What about places to live while I attend
A: When a railroad has selected you to be part of its intern program,
the railroad will supply you with a housing list, depending on what railroad
you will be interning with. This list has been put together after months
of trial and error. But we urge that all persons come out and check out
the area at least 2 or 3 months before the start of internship. Do not
start looking for a place to stay on the first day on the railroad.
Q: What is a typical day like at Modoc Railroad?
A: Most days are 6 to 8 hours a day, however days have gone as long as
17 hours. The railroad will start at any time of the day or night to get
interns used to the railroad lifestyle. Start times are often six days
a week, including when interns are working on track, repairing freight
cars or locomotives, running trains or other normal tasks on a railroad.
Q: What about housing while we are attending the
railroad internship program?
A: Click on to this link
for some housing sugestions.