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Locomotive Engineer Trainee

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Job ID: 31688
Department: Rail Transit
Location: PATH


The Locomotive Engineer Trainee, also known as the Extra Engineer Switchman (EES) reports to and receives instructions from the Trainmaster, Assistant Trainmaster, Operations Examiners, and Train Dispatcher/Terminal Supervisor. The Locomotive Engineer Trainee/Extra Engineer Switchman (EES) is responsible for the safety, regularity, and proper care of the assigned train; They are under the supervision of the Train Dispatcher/Terminal Supervisor at the point where they are assigned to duty, and must obey all orders in relation to the moving of cars given by the Dispatcher or Supervisor in the Yard or at the point at which they may be on duty. This job position is a precursor to the training and final qualifications for Locomotive Engineer. As a Locomotive Engineer for the PATH Corporation, Engineers are responsible for operating their trains in compliance with the Federal Railroad Administration and PATH operating rules and posted schedules.

Locomotive Engineer Trainees/Extra Engineer Switchman (EES) are required to work at various locations in NJ and NY and works rotating shifts including nights, weekends, and holidays. 


Candidates must present the following qualifications to be considered eligible for this position:

  • High School or Equivalency Diploma is required.
  • Two (2) years as Certified Engineer/Conductor from previous Railroad or  Three (3) years experience involved with movement or maintenance of Rail/Car Equipment.
  • Must be available to work various shift schedules including weekends, holidays and overnight shifts.
  • Vision requirements: (Far vision must have at least visual acuity of 20/40 in each eye with glasses, must have binocular vision with a field of 120 in each eye, contact lenses must be worn subject to medical approval, near vision must be equivalent to 20/40 with or without glasses, must have normal color vision). 



Ideal candidates will present the following profile:

  • Work experience demonstrating skills in clear and effective verbal communication 
  • Ability to read and comprehend written safety rules, procedure and safety manuals, government regulations, operating and maintenance instructions, memos and other work-related information.
  • Ability to maintain alertness, awareness, and vigilance at all times. 
  • Railroad experience or technical/vocational training preferred. 
  • Ability to work safely and act quickly in responding to emergency and non-emergency situations.

Compensation & Benefits

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey offers a competitive salary, an outstanding benefits package and a professional environment that supports development and recognizes achievement.  

During the training and qualification period the hourly rate for a Student Engineer is $26.69. Upon successful completion of student training and a qualifying exam (minimum of 90 days), the hourly rate for this position is $35.58.  This is a represented position and all salaries are subject to the union agreement.

How To Apply

Interested candidates should apply to this job by clicking on the Apply Now button and submitting a combined cover letter and resume.

Only applicants under consideration will be contacted.

The Locomotive Engineer Trainee/External Extra Engineer Switching evaluation process will consist of two parts the oral and practical examinations.  

Oral Examination:  The interview consists of questions designed to measure such factors as personal qualifications and interest for this position, knowledge of railroad operations, and one's interpersonal and job related skills.

Practical Examination:  The practical examination is designed to measure factors related to the successful performance of job duties in this position, such as the ability to climb on and off of train cars, and the requisite strength and agility needed to manipulate mechanical train car components. 

Candidates who qualify on both portions on the evaluation process will need to successfully complete a comprehensive background check.  

The qualification and Training process for Locomotive Engineer Trainee/Extra Engineer Switching (EES) consists of the following steps:

  • Candidates selected for the Locomotive Engineer Trainee/Extra-Engineer Switching position begin their employment in the Student Engineer class at the PATH Transportation Division offices in Jersey City, NJ to participate in a combination of classroom and field training.
  • This training lasts 90 days (720 hours) and includes periodic testing.
  • Written evaluations of individual students are conducted weekly to assess overall performance.
  • On the final day, candidates take a written test covering program materials.  
  • Candidates must successfully pass the Student Engineer training in order to continue employment with the Port Authority/PATH.

About The Port Authority

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency's network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.

The Port Authority Trans Hudson Corporation (PATH), an FRA-regulated commuter railroad, is the primary transit link between Manhattan and New Jersey communities and suburban commuter railroads.  Carrying over 75 million passengers per year, PATH trains run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, one of the few 24-hour systems in the world.  Since the early 20th Century, PATH and its predecessor, the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad, have carried passengers between New Jersey and points in Midtown and Lower Manhattan, serving as a key link in the regions transportation network and as a catalyst for continued residential, commercial and employment growth.

PATH operates 24 hours per day/7 days per week/365 days per year.  Employees are required to work weekends, holidays, atypical hours (evening and midnight shifts) and during inclement weather conditions. Incumbents may be subjected to mandatory overtime at the beginning or end of their scheduled tour, or on their days off.  A union seniority system dictates work schedules for jobs represented by one of PATH’s unions, and time off may not be immediately available during the usual summer and holiday periods.  Working conditions will be challenging, including but not limited to inclement weather, direct contact with the public, in tunnel and outside areas during active train service, and an industrial environment.



The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey/Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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