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Railway Conductor

Closed for Fall 2020

Open for Winter 2021

Length: 15 Weeks Credential: Certificate Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Fall 2020 term. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus.


Train to become a railway conductor and be responsible for moving, marshalling and switching rail cars and more with hands-on courses that cover operating procedures, handling of dangerous goods and railway safety.

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 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.

Students 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 ageing 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, 1940 Centre Avenue, NE, Calgary.

Is this the right fit for me?

Conductor graduates must have a strong orientation towards safety, as well as excellent verbal and written English, good planning, decision-making and communication skills to work in the rail industry. Railways operate 24-hours a day, 365 days-a-year. 

The work of a conductor requires regular physical activity outdoors in all types of weather. Conductors need to be in good physical condition and 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. Applicants to railway jobs are also given security screening by the hiring railway. Persons with concerns 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.

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Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities in: 

  • Canada’s two national railways 
  • short-line or regional carriers 
  • industrial rail operations 

Related careers: 

  • locomotive engineer 

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $11,527

Year 1 (International): $18,194

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid


This is a direct entry program. Applicants who meet the admission requirements are offered spots based on first qualified, first acceptance if space is available.

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2020 open Oct. 2, 2019 and are accepted until the program start date.
  • Applications for winter 2021 open March 30, 2020 and are accepted until the program start date.
Term Program start
Fall 2020 Sept. 8, 2020
Winter 2021 Jan.11, 2021
Spring 2021 May 10, 2021

A leader in rail training

Learn more about the Canadian rail industry and what a career as a railway conductor looks like. Hands-on training on real equipment, instructors with extensive rail experience and our connections to the industry will give you the advantage you need to become a railway conductor.

Admission requirements

Admission and selection

  • Applications are accepted until the program start date.
  • Winter 2021 start: applications open March 30, 2020.
  • Fall 2020 start: applications open Oct. 2, 2019.

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
  • A Grade 12 English
  • All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our  international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Direct entry: four-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Apply to Railway Conductor and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.

  • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.

Step 4: Find out how to monitor your application status after you apply.

Communication during selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 


Program outline

Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue

Course code Course name Credit
COMP-264 Microsoft Office Basics 1.5
RCDR-205 Leadership for Conductors 1.5
RLOP-202 Performing Inspections 1.5
RLOP-205 Railway Operations Introduction 3.0
RLOP-207 Railway Business 1.5
RLOP-208 Railway Practical Lab 3.0
RLOP-240 Marshalling and Switching 1.5
RMGT-202 Railway Culture 1.5
RMGT-210 Industrial Organization of Railways 1.5
RREG-210 Career Readiness 1.5
RREG-212 Rules and Regulations for Conductors 6.0
SAFE-227 Railway Safety 1.5
SGNL-204 Air Brake Systems and Tests 1.5
Program total 27.0


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Transfer options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available. Visit transfer options to learn more.


Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $ 10,306 $682 $288 $252 $ 11,527

International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $16,881 $682 $288 $344 $18,194


Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $171.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $100
Student technology fee: $100

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

International Students 

  • Health and Dental Plan: $344
  • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

Books and supplies*

  • Books and supplies are approximately $600.
  • Students must wear approved safety footwear.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Fall 2020


Orientation for new students will take place online on Sept. 3, 2020.

To find the time and platform, visit our orientation page.


This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus.

How to register for classes

You'll follow a fixed block registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

Computers and laptops

This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

Required equipment/tools

  • Speakers
  • Webcam
  • Microphone

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

Preparation courses

To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 145: Orientation for Apprentices and ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices. 

Required textbooks

The booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.


Phone:  403.774.4985
Email:  transportation.info@sait.ca

Academic chair

Lynda Holden, Associate Dean - Aviation and Technology 
Email:  lynda.holden@sait.ca

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

Centre for Rail Training and Technology

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