Career summary

Details for Rail Car Repairers


Description

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

Tasks

  • Repair or replace defective or worn parts such as bearings, pistons, and gears, using hand tools, torque wrenches, power tools, and welding equipment.
  • Test units for operability before and after repairs.
  • Record conditions of cars, and repair and maintenance work performed or to be performed.
  • Remove locomotives, car mechanical units, or other components, using pneumatic hoists and jacks, pinch bars, hand tools, and cutting torches.
  • Inspect components such as bearings, seals, gaskets, wheels, and coupler assemblies to determine if repairs are needed.
  • Inspect the interior and exterior of rail cars coming into rail yards to identify defects and to determine the extent of wear and damage.
  • Adjust repaired or replaced units as needed to ensure proper operation.
  • Perform scheduled maintenance, and clean units and components.
  • Repair, fabricate, and install steel or wood fittings, using blueprints, shop sketches, and instruction manuals.
  • 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.
  • Measure diameters of axle wheel seats, using micrometers, and mark dimensions on axles so that wheels can be bored to specified dimensions.
  • Align car sides for installation of car ends and crossties, using width gauges, turnbuckles, and wrenches.
  • 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.
  • Install and repair interior flooring, fixtures, walls, plumbing, steps, and platforms.
  • 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.
  • Repair car upholstery.
  • Repair window sash frames, attach weather stripping and channels to frames, and replace window glass, using hand tools.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

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