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Railroad Conductors

Work Environment

Road conductors spend much of their time traveling and must be away from home on a constant basis. While assigned to the extra board, they usually have irregular hours. Once they receive a regular assignment, however, they may maintain a regular schedule and remain on a run for years. Although the basic workweek is eight hours for five days a week, days and nights are not considered different, and Sunday is treated as a workday. Along with other members of the train's crew, conductors work extra hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays, when travel is especially heavy. Mandatory rest periods are required for safety purposes. If a conductor is required to "lay over" while awaiting a train to return to the home terminal, he or she must pay for meals and other living expenses.

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