Rail Car Repairer Career

Job Description: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul railroad rolling stock, mine cars, or mass transit rail cars.


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Rail Car Repairer Career

What Rail Car Repairers do:

  • Inspect components such as bearings, seals, gaskets, wheels, and coupler assemblies to determine if repairs are needed.
  • Remove locomotives, car mechanical units, or other components, using pneumatic hoists and jacks, pinch bars, hand tools, and cutting torches.
  • Adjust repaired or replaced units as needed to ensure proper operation.
  • Record conditions of cars, and repair and maintenance work performed or to be performed.
  • Repair or replace defective or worn parts such as bearings, pistons, and gears, using hand tools, torque wrenches, power tools, and welding equipment.
  • Repair, fabricate, and install steel or wood fittings, using blueprints, shop sketches, and instruction manuals.
  • Align car sides for installation of car ends and crossties, using width gauges, turnbuckles, and wrenches.
  • Test units for operability before and after repairs.
  • Perform scheduled maintenance, and clean units and components.
  • Examine car roofs for wear and damage, and repair defective sections, using roofing material, cement, nails, and waterproof paint.
  • Paint car exteriors, interiors, and fixtures.
  • Inspect the interior and exterior of rail cars coming into rail yards to identify defects and to determine the extent of wear and damage.
  • Install and repair interior flooring, fixtures, walls, plumbing, steps, and platforms.
  • Measure diameters of axle wheel seats, using micrometers, and mark dimensions on axles so that wheels can be bored to specified dimensions.
  • Repair and maintain electrical and electronic controls for propulsion and braking systems.
  • Disassemble units such as water pumps, control valves, and compressors so that repairs can be made.
  • Repair car upholstery.
  • Repair window sash frames, attach weather stripping and channels to frames, and replace window glass, using hand tools.
  • Replace defective wiring and insulation, and tighten electrical connections, using hand tools.
  • Test electrical systems of cars by operating systems and using testing equipment such as ammeters.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Holland Code Chart for a Rail Car Repairer