Can You Pass a Train Conductor Exam?


By: Todd Betzold

6 Min Quiz

Image: shaunl / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

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.  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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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 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 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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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


What part of 49 CFR regulates the Hours of Service law?

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?

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?

If there is a delay, the passengers need to be informed of the cause and the duration of the delay.


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