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'Conductor' Walker Coe

Walker Coe collection. December 23, 2005. Alliston, Ontario

A little about me now. Here I'm seen standing on the front of CP SD40-2 5612 (in the ugliest paint scheme imaginable!). This is the day after I wrote my final exam to qualify as a conductor. I passed it with a 96%, averaging 95% through the course.

I started working for Canadian Pacific on May 3, 2004 hired as a Toplift Operator at the Vaughan Intermodal Terminal. I'll post a couple of photos of there later.

In February 2005 I was trained on the overhead gantry cranes at the same location. At that time CP was hiring conductors in Toronto again. I submitted my name for it, and was accepted for training.

I left Vaughan Terminal on September 20, 2005 after 17 months of accident and injury free service when I finished my afternoon shift working the empty pool. The following Tuesday I began my training.

The first day of training really reminded me of the first day of school. Here I was with 11 other trainee's, 10 of whom I had never met before sitting in a room with an instructor none of us knew. We were issued all of our class work for the course, and radios, batteries, lanterns, vests, safety glasses, rule books, earplugs, binders you name it. It took all of us 2 or 3 trips out to our cars at the end of the day to put the stuff away! The next day was just a brief overview of what was to come, and a bit of a walk around the yard and equipment to familiarize those that had never worked for the railway. 5 people, including myself had previous experience with CPR. Thursday and Friday that week were familiarization trips. Being 2nd in seniority in my class I was assigned to a mainline call.

The next day I got called for 435 with THE BEST conductor I have ever met, bar none. Since then I trained with the same conductor for 3 full weeks. I absorbed all the information, stories, and even a bit of bullsh*t from him. He was the best learning tool. I am really grateful to have had such a great mentor to learn from.

That's all for now, I'll finish my stories later. -Walker


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