# Can You Pass a Train Conductor Exam?

By: Todd Betzold
5 min
Image: shaunl / E+ / Getty Images

You learn something every day, but did you know that a train conductor is not the person who actually drives the train? The conductor is the person responsible for making sure the trains remain on schedule and completing en-route paperwork and sometimes even selling tickets to passengers. The railroad engineer is the one behind the controls of the train. Toot your horn on that one!

The conductor is often the person who will be making announcements on the train or opening and closing the doors for you. They are that person standing in the center of the train, so they can have a view of everything happening on board.Â  With the actual operation of trains increasingly being automated, the conductor actually has one of the most demanding jobs on the train. He has to deal directly with passengers!

Can you choo-choo your way through this quiz and pass the train conductor exam? If so, you could be calling the shots on the next Amtrak ride. The conductor plays a vital role in guaranteeing that the train arrives at its destination with no issues, as well as no issues for the passenger! Time to settle in and see if you can pass the exam!

(20 - x) / 4 = 3. What does x equal?
10
8
4
6

You can replace the x with number to figure it out. It would need to be 8, as 20 minus 8 equals 12, which then divided by 4 equals three.

When must a brake test be performed on a locomotive?
After hitting debris on the tracks
Changing control stations
Upon the initial movement
All of the above

Brakes are important, especially to trains. That is why a brake test must be done so frequently.

To hold their tickets, the purchaser needs to put down 25% of the total cost, which is \$250. How much do they need to put down?
\$25
\$250
\$125
\$62.50

You would need to multiply the \$250 by the 25%, which is 0.25. That gives you a total of \$62.50, which is what they would owe.

A 2,000-foot train crosses a point in 50 seconds. What would the speed of the train be?
50 feet/second
20 feet/second
40 feet/second
100 feet/second

Since the train is 2,000 feet long, it would need to cover that length in the 50 seconds it took to cross the point. So, you divide 2,000 feet by the 50 seconds, so you get 40 feet/second it's traveling.

Before leaving a terminal and en route, who is responsible for knowing that the crew is equipped with the necessary train signal appliances?
Conductors
Engineers
Assistant Conductors
All of the above

It's an important task, which is why all three of the members of staff need to make sure the crew is equipped.

Can you convert 5/25 into a decimal?
0.2
0.5
0.25
0.525

To find this, you would need to divide 5 by 25. That would give you a decimal of 0.2.

Which of the following safety critical times are T&E employees unauthorized to use personal electronic devices, according to 49 CFR, Part 220?
While any employee is assisting in preparing the train for movement
While on a moving train
While any crew member is on the ground or on riding equipment during switching
All of these are correct.

Employees need to be attentive while working. That is why all of these situations demand no personal electronic devices in use.

What is the change due for a customer who owed \$27.90 and paid with two \$10 bills, one \$5 bill and two \$1 bills?
\$0.10
\$1.10
\$2.10
None of the above

The customer owed \$27.90 and gave you \$27 total. That means they still owe you \$0.90 and don't need any change back yet.

Who is responsible for displaying markers?
Conductor
Engineer
Maintenance
Supervisor

The conductor is running things on the train, so they are responsible for displaying the markers.

After Amtrak notifies an individual that their certificate has been denied or revoked, how soon before they aren't eligible to serve as conductor?
Immediately
With 24 hours
Within 7 days
Within 30 days

If the certificate has been denied or revoked, the conductor isn't eligible to work immediately.

If a brake test was not done or the Passenger Conductor wasn't aware of the test being done, are these revocable events under 49 CFR Part 242 for the Passenger Conductor?
Yes
No
No, but it is for the train engineer.
No, but it is for the maintenance person.

While they aren't performing the brake test themselves, it is still something they should know is being done.

What is 2/5 written as a percentage?
20%
25%
40%
50%

To find the percentage, you take 2 and divide it by 5, which gives you 0.4. You then multiply that by 100 to get a percentage, which would be 40%.

When pulling into a station, what must the conductor announce every time?
Destination
Current time
Day of the week
Station, train time and destination

When arriving at a station, the conductor must let passengers know the name of the station they are at and the current time. They also need to state the destination for the train.

What does a blue signal mean?
Proceed with caution.
Stop the train.
It means workmen are on, under or between rolling equipment.
Shift is done.

During the day, a blue signal is a blue flag, blue light or blue tag. At night, it is a blue light or an illuminated blue tag.

What happens if a conductor knowingly commits a violation against the FRA regulations?
If the violation continues, each day is counted as a separate offense.
Each violation type is counted as one offense only.
For every 30 days a violation continues, it will be treated as a separate offense.
For each day it continues, the FRA will add an additional fine.

The FRA regulations require each day the offense happens to be recorded as a separate offense. Those are some strict rules.

If something is found that might interfere with the safe movement of the train, what action must be taken by the conductor?
Stop the train.
Notify the Movement Bureau immediately.
Switch tracks for the train.
Do nothing until it's a known danger to the train.

The Movement Bureau keeps the trains moving or stopping. If interference is happening, they would be the ones to fix the situation.

At what point does an individual get the chance to rebut or explain information that leads to the denial of certification?
Before denial happens
Within 30 days from the denial
Within 60 days from the denial
Within 90 days from the denial

Before the denial takes place, the individual has the chance to explain or rebut the charges against them.

49 CFR, Part 220 states that a railroad-supplied electronic device can be used when?
Deadheading employees can use it outside the controlling cab if it doesn't interfere with employee's safety.
It can be never used for authorized business purposes.
It can never be used for personal reasons.
You may use it any time you want.

Deadheading is when you a member of the transport company's own staff rides, free of charge, on a normal passenger trip. This allows them to be in the right place to begin their duties.

How often is periodic training for 49 CFR, Part 239 required?
Annually
Every two years
Every five years
Only during new hire process

49 CFR Part 239 is for passenger train emergency preparedness. This training must happen every two years.

Trains operating on an excepted track may not exceed what speed limit?
10 mph
20 mph
30 mph
No speed limit on excepted track.

FRA track standards give us six numbered classes. However, there is also the "excepted" track and that has a 10 mph speed limit for freight.

A customer owes \$18.90 for their ticket and paid with one \$10 bill, one \$5 bill and four \$1 bills. How much change do you owe them?
\$0.10
\$1.00
\$1.10
\$0.90

This customer was pretty close to the total, as they gave you \$19 total. That means you owe them \$0.10 in change.

How can the train proceed if the communicating signal becomes inoperative?
Continues with no signal or plan needed
The conductor and engineer must reach an agreement on how the train will operate and then it can proceed.
The train must stop immediately.
Call the Movement Bureau for instructions.

The conductor and engineer are working together to come up with a plan to handle the inoperative signal. This allows the train to run smoothly, even if that is not working.

Can the FRA personally fine a T&E employee for using a personal electronic device or leaving it turned on in situations where they are prohibited?
No, FRA can never fine T&E employees.
Yes, for a willful violation, up to \$100,000 where circumstances warrant.
No, FRA would fine Amtrak for the violations and not the T&E employees.
Yes, but only if the violation happened in the locomotive or operating cab of the train.

For any willful violation, the T&E employees could be fined up to \$100,000 by the FRA. So it might be wise to leave that cellphone in your pocket!

What is to happen if a crew member has been on duty for 10 hours?
They get paid overtime.
They must stop working immediately and get off the clock.
Just continue working, per normal.
The conductor or engineer must contact the Movement Bureau and be governed by their instructions.

If the Movement Bureau doesn't give any immediate instructions, then they must be contacted in intervals of 30 minutes.

On-the-job training includes which of the following?
16 hours of classroom training
A manual or checklist to use while training
A Q&A session at the end of each training event

While in training, each employee is given a manual or checklist. This allows them to know where they are in the training process.

What is 5/8 as a decimal?
0.58
0.6
0.625
0.265

For this, you would divide 5 by 8. That gives you a decimal of 0.625.

What is the purpose of 49 CFR, Part 220?
Monitor cellphone use by passengers on the train
To allow workers to communicate with family members at all times while on the train
To protect employees and passengers from the dangers of the improper use of electronic devices
None of the above

The point of 49 CFR, Part 220 is to monitor the use of electronic devices on the train. This is to keep employees and passengers safe.

A customer owes you \$32.58 for their tickets and gives you two \$20 bills. How much change do you own them?
\$7.22
\$2.58
\$7.42
\$8.42

The customer gave you \$40, so you would subtract out the \$32.58 they owe you. That leaves you with \$7.42, which you owe them in change.

Of the following, who is qualified to perform a Class I Brake test?
Passenger Conductor
Locomotive Engineer
Qualified Maintenance Person
Passenger

When a Class I Brake test is done, it should be completed by the Qualified Maintenance Person.

Who must meet the federal standards put in place under 49 CFR, Part 242?
Train Engineers
Passenger Conductors/Conductors
Supervisors
Assistant Conductors

49 CFR, Part 242 deals with the qualification and certification of conductors.

What part of 49 CFR regulates the Hours of Service law?
Part 218
Part 220
Part 228
Part 239

Part 228 of 49 CFR regulates the hours of service for train employees. This was put in place to promote the safety of employees and travelers upon railroads.

What is 1/3 plus 5/4 equal to?
1/4
1 2/3
6/7
1 7/12

For this, you need to come up with a common denominator to add the fraction together, which would be 12. From there, it would be 4/12 plus 15/12, which equals 1 7/12.

If a train is delayed, the conductor, engineer or other crew members must inform passengers what?
What the discount will be for being late