British Columbia Institute of

Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response


RAIL 1020 - Railway Conductor and Operations

Railway Part-time Studies Course

School of Transportation

BCIT is planning for a substantial return to on-campus activity for the fall 2021 term as informed by BC Public Health Officer guidelines. Refer to each course listing for details.

Course Details

​This is an advanced course in railway operations, covering the important skills and knowledge essential for employment as a railway conductor. This includes the role and responsibilities of a railway conductor handling train operations. There are approximately 60 hours of practical hands-on tasks and exercises throughout the course which will provide you with the skills, abilities, and confidence to successfully work in a variety of railway-related careers. Key tasks and responsibilities for a conductor included in this course are railway freight/passenger equipment handling and inspection, air brakes, securement, detectors, marshalling, and radio procedures. This course will also cover advanced skills for dangerous goods, dimensional traffic, positive train control, end of train, and passenger train safety. Finally, this course will teach entry-level management skills including accident handling, investigations, and advanced crew resource management.


​Completion of BCIT PTS courses: RAIL 1001, and RAIL 1010, or possess an an active CROR rules certification





Fall 2021

Below is one offering of this course for the Fall 2021 term.

CRN 48094

Mon Nov 15 - Fri Dec 17 5 Weeks

Class Meeting Times

Dates Days Times Locations
Nov 15 - Dec 17 Mon - Fri 08:00 - 14:30 AIC
Nov 15 - Dec 17 Online



Course Outline

TBD – see Learning Outcomes in the interim




  1. This is a blended course. Theory training will be delivered via Virtual Classroom and practical training will be in the Railway Yard at AIC Campus. 2. PPE Requirements: High visibility vest, work gloves, safety glasses, and CSA approved footwear required. Footwear must be green equilateral triangle, steel-toed, lace-up, ankle covering boots with a defined heel of minimum 9 mm (3/8 inch) and maximum 25 mm (1 inch).

Winter 2022

Below is one offering of this course for the Winter 2022 term.

CRN 89579

Mon Mar 07 - Fri Apr 08 5 Weeks

Class Meeting Times

Dates Days Times Locations
Mar 07 - Apr 08 Mon - Fri 08:00 - 14:30 AIC AIC



Course Outline

TBD – see Learning Outcomes in the interim




  1. PPE Requirements: High visibility vest, work gloves, safety glasses, and CSA approved footwear required. Footwear must be green equilateral triangle, steel-toed, lace-up, ankle covering boots with a defined heel of minimum 9 mm (3/8 inch) and maximum 25 mm (1 inch). This course is held at BCIT Annacis Island Campus.
  2. Important course information will be sent to you prior to your course start date. Check your myBCIT email account to access this information.

This section is only available for registration starting Wed, Oct 27 at 9:00 am (PDT)

Sneak Preview

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

Module 1: Railway Freight and Passenger Equipment

  • Describe the role and responsibilities of a conductor handling both freight and passenger equipment.
  • Identify rail car types, apply inspection procedures.
  • Identify defects and perform repairs.
  • Describe and report unsafe conditions.

Module 2: Air Brakes

  • Identify air brake components.
  • Describe the operation of the control valve.
  • Demonstrate the use and function of air brake components.
  • Explain application and release dynamics.
  • Identify dangerous conditions.

Module 3: Air Brake Policies and Testing

  • Describe the policies and regulations necessary for safe operation.
  • Demonstrate the procedures for class 1, 1a air brake inspections according to the General Operating Instructions (GOI), where required.
  • Identify inspection failures. Demonstrate repair procedures where required.
  • Demonstrate filling train brake status reports.

Module 4: Securement of Unattended Equipment

  • Explain the use of a securement decision chart.
  • Apply the procedures necessary for proper securement.
  • Describe the challenges and solutions to exceptional situations.
  • Identify damaged securement and apply safe handling procedures.
  • Describe the handling of crew change and unattended situations.

Module 5: Train Inspections and Detectors

  • Identify track side inspection equipment.
  • Demonstrate pull-by inspection procedures.
  • Identify and describe defective conditions.
  • Demonstrate procedures to rectify defects.
  • Describe exceptional conditions and handling procedures.
  • Demonstrate filling out reports.

Module 6: Train Information Braking Systems (TIBS)

  • Identify different types of TIBS equipment.
  • Identify end of train and head of train components.
  • Demonstrate the operation of the SBU and HOT equipment.
  • Describe the functions of the TIBS system during operation.
  • Demonstrate TIBS testing procedures.
  • Identify TIBS failures and Demonstrate repair procedures.

Module 7: Train Marshalling

  • Identify train types and car type definitions.
  • Describe conventional, mixed, and remote operation.
  • Describe marshalling requirements and when they are required.
  • Demonstrate marshalling procedures.
  • Describe length, tonnage, and intermodal regulations.
  • Identify and describe train marshalling failures
  • Describe exceptional conditions and handling procedures.
  • Describe marshalling procedures for special rail car types.
  • Describe conditions for safe handling and speed restrictions.

Module 8: Transportation of Dangerous Goods Level 3

  • Describe regulations and carrier responsibilities when working with dangerous goods.
  • Demonstrate the use of the Emergency Response Guidebook.
  • Demonstrate filling out dangerous goods waybills and shipping documentation.
  • Describe exceptional conditions and handling procedures.
  • Describe intermodal, container, and mixed DG handling procedures.
  • Describe document custody and care procedures.
  • Demonstrate the use of dangerous goods marshalling charts.
  • Describe the emergency response procedures and how to handle first responders.
  • Identify and describe special, alert, key, and international shipments.

Module 9: Radio Equipment and Procedures

  • Identify radio components
  • Identify and demonstrate the use of the radio console.
  • Demonstrate proper care and use of portable radios.
  • Describe radio modes and channels.
  • Demonstrate the use of the keypad to change channels and modes.
  • Demonstrate the correct radio procedures in an emergency.
  • Describe troubleshooting procedures.

Module 10: Handling Dimensional Traffic

  • Describe the conditions necessary for equipment to be considered dimensional.
  • Demonstrate the use and filling out of protection notices and other forms.
  • Demonstrate the use of dimensional load handling charts.
  • Describe meet and pass procedures.
  • Describe procedures used for curves, sidings, and dimensional load zones.
  • Describe crew responsibilities when handling dimensional traffic.

Module 11: Passenger Train Safety

  • Describe the regulations for passenger train safety.
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of crew members.
  • Demonstrate crew pre-departure procedures.
  • Demonstrate procedures during an evacuation.
  • Describe emergency notification procedures.
  • Demonstrate procedures during exceptional situations.

Module 12: Positive Train Control Systems

  • Describe what positive train control is and how it works.
  • Identify and describe PTC components.
  • Describe the benefits and constraints of PTC.
  • Describe or demonstrate PTC during train operation.

Module 13: Railway Management

  • Describe the railway management structure
  • Describe the various railway departments.
  • Demonstrate effective communication techniques.
  • Describe operational best practices.
  • Demonstrate asset management, utilizations and principles.
  • Demonstrate decision skills.
  • Demonstrate the keeping of accurate records.
  • Describe proper leadership and its importance.

Module 14: Accident Handling and Investigation

  • Describe the concept of accident scene management
  • Identify and describe the fundamentals of Safety Critical Elements.
  • Demonstrate the initial response procedures.
  • Describe and demonstrate the procedures necessary to handle and accident safely.
  • Describe the delegation of staff and teams.
  • Demonstration filling out accident investigation forms and regulations reports.
  • Describe formal procedures and hearings.
  • Demonstrate procedures for root cause analysis and future recurrence prevention.

Module 15: Advanced Crew Resource Management

  • Describe the importance of situational awareness.
  • Describe how assumptions and intuition work in unsafe situations.
  • Describe the influence of factors such as fatigue on safety.
  • Identify and describe when a situation becomes unmanageable.
  • Demonstrate assertive communication techniques.
  • Demonstrate conflict resolution methods to ensure safety.

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2020

Related Programs

RAIL 1020 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Transportation

  1. Railway Conductor and Operations
    Part-time   Associate Certificate


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Registration is currently open for the Fall 2021 term.

A sneak preview of Winter 2022 term courses is also now available here.

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