This program is eligible for Canada-Alberta Job Grant funding.
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.
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 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, 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 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 92% 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.
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.
The opportunity to advance your education through transferring to, within or from SAIT is available. Visit transfer options to learn more.
Have questions about this specific program?
Centre for Rail Training and Technology
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.
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.
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.
View additional Railway Conductor program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.
|Course code||Course name||Credit|
|COMP-264||Microsoft Office Basics||1.5|
|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|
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||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|
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
- 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.
- Health and Dental Plan: $460
- 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.
Thursday, Sept. 3, 10 am
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 personal protective equipment (PPE)
The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during your first few days of classes.
To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 145: Orientation for Apprentices and ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices.
Handout will be provided for a fee.
Paul Heffernan, Academic Chair
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.”