Shunters move shunting units with or without wagons or groups of wagons in order to build trains. They manage the driving of locomotives and are involved in switching wagons, making or splitting up trains in shunting yards or sidings. They operate according to the technical features, such as controlling movement via a remote control device.
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- Realistic / Conventional
- Enterprising / Realistic
- Physical characteristics of railways
Familiar with all physical aspects of the railway, including train stations, the incline and decline of the right-of-way and speed limits.
- Railway framework legislation
Know and apply railway framework legislation where requirements for railways in the EU are established. Know legislation that applies to the field of cross-border freight transit.
- Principles of mechanical engineering
Understand principles of mechanical engineering, physics, and materials science.
- Mechanics of trains
Possess basic knowledge of the mechanics involved in trains, understand the technicalities and participate in discussions on related topics in order to solve problems related to the mechanics.
- Rail infrastructure
Thoroughly understand the characteristics of railway infrastructure: rail technologies, track gauges, rail signalling, rail junctions, etc.
- Train operating procedures
The different practices, routines, and procedures regarding the safe operation of trains in order to prevent collisions, derailments, or unplanned exceeding of speed limits.
- Dangers of marshalling activity
Understand the dangers and difficulties that accompany marshalling activity, including noise, dust, ingestions or vehicle collisions.
- Drive vehicles
Be able to drive vehicles; have the approapriate type of driving license according to the type of motor vehicle used.
- Read railway circuit plans
Read and comprehend circuit plans during initial construction, during troubleshooting, maintenance, and testing activities and while repairing or replacing components.
- Deal with challenging work conditions
Deal with challenging circumstances in which to perform work, such as night work, shift work, and atypical working conditions.
- Shunt inbound loads
Shunt inbound freight loads to and from railcars for inbound and outbound trains.
- Test the braking force of trains
Test that the breaking force of trains functions as required after coupling.
- Perform maintenance on locomotives
Perform general maintenance of locomotive parts such as wheels, springs and brake rigging traction motors; test and repair safety appliances, air compressors, safety valves, fuel systems, shutters and radiators; install, assemble, disassemble, repair or replace locomotive diesel engine components.
- Operate railway warning systems
Operate and maintain grade crossing warning systems, signals and railroad signal equipment such as hot box detectors and interlocks.
- Manage operational safety on trains
Oversee all operations in a defined area, as part of a team that manages operational safety and train services for a specific geographical location.
- Assess railway operations
Review and study existing railroad equipment, facilities, systems and processes in order to improve railway safety and efficiency, increase quality, and reduce costs.
- Operate switching locomotives
Operate locomotives for switching, coupling and uncoupling rail cars for loading and unloading freight.
- Control train movement
Control acceleration, braking, and overall operation of train in motion.
- Operate railway control panels
Operate various types of railway control panels such as Individual Function Switch (IFS), One Control Switch (OCS) or Entrance Exit (NX).
- Check train engines
Ensure that train engines comply with regulations before commencing a journey.
- Perform routine maintenance on railway engines
Perform routine tasks to maintain railway engines, such as replacing oil and lubricating engines.
- Use hand signal for transport procedures
Use hand signals for transport procedures such as shunting loads and trains in long curves.
- Operate railway switches
Operate railroad switches to control the direction of trains in order to route them to their destinations.
- Perform rail track inspections
Plan and implement regular inspections and investigations of the rail track system in order to provide optimal coverage of the railway network in a given area. Inspect aspects such as track alignment, features of the terrain, and existence of ditches, embankments, and loose rock debris on the network.
- Enforce railway safety regulations
Promote and enforce safety procedures and EU regulations to ensure that railway safety is generally maintained and continuously improved, taking into consideration the development of European legislation.
- Follow switching instructions in rail operations
Read and comprehend the instructions on switching rail cars and wagons, and perform switching operations accordingly.
- Operate radio equipment
Set up and operate radio devices and accessories, such as broadcast consoles, amplifiers, and microphones. Understand the basics of radio operator language and, when necessary, provide instruction in handling radio equipment correctly.
- Operate railway vehicles
Drive railroad vehicles or other railway equipment in a competent and safe manner.
- Perform wagon coupling
Performs wagon coupling in marshalling yards. Use coupler mechanisms to connect rolling stock in trains.
- Shunt outbound loads
Shunt outbound freight loads to and from inbound and outbound trains.
- Shunt rolling stock in marshalling yards
Shunt rolling stock to form trains in marshalling yards.
- Operate railway communication systems
Operate railway communication systems; make announcements over the public address system or communicate with central train administration.
- Comply with railway safety standards
Ensure compliance with minimum safety standards for freight cars operated by railway companies subject to European legislation.
Optional knowledge and skillscompare shipment contents with waybill keep written records of cargo load animals for transportation electrical wiring plans assist in the movement of heavy loads ensure train stability after loading electrical engineering
Common job titles
- Yard jockey/shunter
- Shunt/spotter driver
- Az driver/shunter/owner operators
- Material technician
- Truck driver - hiker/ vehicle transporter/cdl – part time
- Truck driver/ hiker/ vehicle transporter/cdl class a – part time