This program is eligible for Canada-Alberta Job Grant funding.
The Railway Conductor 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 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.
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 the 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 as an industrial rail operator. As a graduate, you will be rewarded with challenging and interesting positions, good salaries and 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 an 85% employment rate.
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.
Credentials and accreditation
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.
Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit transfer options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.
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Admission and selection
- Applications are accepted until the program start date.
- Winter 2019 start: applications open May 3, 2018.
- Fall 2019 start: applications open Oct. 3, 2018.
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 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.
View additional Railway Conductor program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.
|Course code||Course name||Credit|
|RCDR-205||Leadership for Conductors||1.5|
|RLOP-205||Railway Operations Introduction||3.0|
|RLOP-208||Railway Practical Lab||3.0|
|RLOP-240||Marshalling and Switching||1.5|
|RMGT-210||Industrial Organization of Railways||1.5|
|RREG-212||Rules and Regulations for Conductors||6.0|
|SGNL-204||Air Brake Systems and Tests||1.5|
|COMP-264||Microsoft Office Basics||1.5|
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.
Domestic tuition and fees*
|Year||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||SAITSA fees||2018/19 total|
International tuition and fees*
|Year||Tuition fees||SAIT fees||SAITSA fees||2018/19 total|
Campus athletic and recreation fee: $80
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): $145 (students may be eligible to purchase the UPass.)
SAIT Students' Association fees
Health plan: $110
Dental plan: $125
SAIT Students' Association (SAITSA): $144
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.
Centre for Rail Training and Technology
For someone who has always dreamed of working on a railway, this program is the perfect fit, says Keshav. The hands-on lessons and field trips to experience different trains made the coursework fun and practical, as well as making him marketable to employers.
“It gave me the skills I need to know,” he says. “It’s easier to get a job with that kind of training.”