Students at Mayland Heights Campus learn the mechanical components of rail cars.

Railway Conductor

Open for Fall 2020

Open for Winter 2021

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

Program Highlights

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.

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Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $10,800
Year 1 (International): $16,986

Year 1: $11,527
Year 1 (International): $18,311

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


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 spring 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
Spring 2020 May 4, 2020
Fall 2020 Sept. 8, 2020
Winter 2021 Jan.11, 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.

Program Details

Canada-Alberta Job Grant This program is eligible for Canada-Alberta Job Grant funding.

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, 1940 Centre Avenue, NE, Calgary.

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.

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.

Transfer options

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.

Have questions? Write to us at

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

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


Program outline

View additional Railway Conductor program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.

Course codeCourse nameCredit
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
COMP-264 Microsoft Office Basics 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.


Tuition and fees per year*

2019/20 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees Health & Dental Plan 2019/20 total
1 $9,815 $462 $288 $235 $10,800

2019/20 International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees SAITSA fees Health & Dental Plan 2019/20 total
1 $15,776 $462 $288 $460 $16,986

2020/21 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

*as approved by SAIT's Board of Governors

2020/21 International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $16,881 $682 $288 $460 $18,311

*as approved by SAIT's Board of Governors


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: $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.

Contact Information

Centre for Rail Training and Technology

Inspiring Stories

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.

Keshav Ramkissoon
Railway Conductor | 2016

“It gave me the skills I need to know,” he says. “It’s easier to get a job with that kind of training.”

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