Aug 09, 2022  
PUBLISHED 2021-2022 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2021-2022 Credit Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Railway Conductor

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Program Description

The Railway Conductor (RRCD) program will prepare the student for a career in operations in the Canadian Railway industry. The student will learn in a variety of settings including classrooms, labs, a private mini rail yard (complete with track and rail cars), and through visits to nearby industrial sites. Over the course of the program the student will learn about the Canadian Railway Operating Rules (CROR) and the related instructions and processes. The student will also learn operating procedures including train marshalling, handling of dangerous goods, documentation and all of the specific responsibilities of a conductor. Finally you will learn using actual rail equipment about the mechanical components of rail cars including air braking systems and communication systems.

Currently, the railway industry is experiencing significant growth and there are increased demands for transportation and distribution of commodities and /or finished manufactured products. The high demand for our graduates is also the result of pressures brought on by high retirement rates as the demographics of an aging workforce influence the hiring rates and practices of the railways. The major railways have significant hiring and recruiting strategies in place for the next several years.

The Rail Training Centre is located in the N.R. Buck Crump Building located in the Mayland Heights Campus of SAIT Polytechnic, 1940 Centre Avenue NE Calgary, AB.

Program Overview

Your Career

As a conductor, your role is to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction through the use of safe and cost effective processes to optimize operations.  You will be responsible for switching and marshalling cars; setting off and picking up customers cars; making up trains within the rail yard; and moving cars between rail yards, sidings or tracks according to instructions originating with yard and train planners or network management centres and dispatch offices.  Graduates may find work as Railway Conductors (and other related occupations) within Canada’s two national railways or with a short line or regional carrier, or an industrial rail operator. As a graduate, you will be rewarded with challenging and interesting positions, paying good salaries and having opportunities for advancement including locomotive engineer and/or management.  Conductors are typically promoted to locomotive engineers with further training and qualification.

  • Graduates of the Railway Conductor program have a 100% employment rate.

Student Success

Conductor graduates must have a strong orientation towards safety, as well as excellent English proficiency in verbal and written skills, good planning, decision-making and communicating skills to work in the rail industry.  Railways operate 24-hours a day, 365 days-a-year. Students must accept the reality of working shift work and having irregular days off.  The work of a conductor requires regular physical activity outdoors in all types of weather. Conductors need to be in good physical condition and be able to lift heavy objects (up to 85 lbs.).  Applicants to the railway companies are expected to pass government-mandated medical examinations including testing for vision including colour, hearing acuity and drug screening. Persons with medical concerns should consult with the employment office(s) of the respective railway(s).  Applicants to railway jobs are also given security screening by the hiring railway. Anyone with a concern should consult with the employment office (s) of the respective railway(s). Personal security information may be obtained from the local police force for a fee.  To gain employment in the rail industry as a Conductor, the student is responsible for determining the minimum medical and physical standards required by individual rail companies. SAIT does not provide screening services for the purpose of meeting these standards.


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT certificate as a Railway Conductor.


SAIT will seek accreditation from the Railway Association of Canada.

Job Grant

Note: This program is eligible for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant


The progression requirement for students taking credit courses is a Term GPA and Total Institutional GPA of 2.0, with the exception of English Language Foundations and Academic Upgrading programs.

Admission Requirements

At least 50% in the following courses or equivalents:

  • Math 20-1 or Math 20-2 or Math 20-3 or Pure Math 20 or Applied Math 20, AND,
  • A Grade 12 English.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Total Credits 27

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