Railway Conductor

City: Sarnia
12 Weeks Board of Governors Certificate
SEP Open


Are you a hands-on learner? Would you like a rewarding and well-paying career in the growing railway industry?

Do you want to explore a rewarding and well-paid career in the growing railway industry? Lambton College has partnered with the Railway Association of Canada to offer the Railway Conductor program. This unique program is taught by industry experts and combines classroom learning with hands-on experience in local rail yards.

While studying in this 12-week program, students are introduced to a number of industry sites and have the opportunity to meet with recruiters from Class 1 and short-line employers. Graduates of the Railway Conductor program are in-demand and the experience gained in the program gives graduates an advantage in employers' new hire training programs.

Students enrolled in this program will learn to utilize professional railway communications and gain a deeper understanding of industry rules and regulations; they will also learn fundamental concepts in safety, switching, marshaling, and crewing. Graduation from conductor training is also the base-level training required for higher-level roles such as locomotive engineer, rail maintenance, and railway management and administration.

Professor at the front of the classroom teaching a class.

Program Schedule

The Railway Conductor program is scheduled Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (excluding statutory holidays) and runs for 12 consecutive weeks. Since this program is only 12 weeks long, student will not have a reading week or breaks.

Admission Requirements

O.S.S.D. or equivalent with:

  • Grade 12 English C or U


This program does not accept applications through ontariocolleges.ca and it is not eligible for OSAP funding.

To register for this program, complete the following forms and email rail@lambtoncollege.ca:

Off-Site Training

Field placement and field trip experiences involve third-party locations for which you will be required to sign a waiver and assumption of risk to participate. These waivers will often contain clauses wherein you will completely indemnify the third-party provider and facility of any and all liability and claims. To be successful in the program, the field placement and field trip experiences are required, and there are no alternate structures available.


  • Year 1 $10,975.00

Please Note: These fees apply to the 2024-2025 academic year and are subject to change. Fees do not include books (unless specifically noted), supplies or living costs.

Additional Fees

Students are required to have the following items in order to participate in the practical experiences of the program:

Practical experiences will take place outside no matter the weather conditions. Students should come wearing appropriate attire and be prepared for the various weather conditions.
Safety Boots
Each student is required to supply their own safety boots. Safety boots must be CSA approved steel toe, leather, lace-up, 6" tall and 0.5" - 1" health at a right angle to the sole. These are mandatory during all practical experiences.
Safety Glasses
If you require prescription glasses, you will also need to supply your own safety glasses. Otherwise, safety glasses will be provided for you. These are mandatory during all practical experiences.

Technology Requirements

In order to keep pace with the requirements of each and every course in your program, Lambton College requires that each student have access to a laptop while studying at our college.


Introduction to Railway Operations

This course offers a comprehensive exploration of railway operations, advancements, equipment, non-main track (NMT) operations, switches, switching procedures, and main track operations. In this course, students explore the significance of railways, the types of freight transported, major industry players, key departments within railway companies, job roles, operational terminology, technological advancements impacting track inspections, safety programs, and operating efficiencies. They also learn about intermodal freight transport, locomotive / railcar technology advancements, and track / equipment advancements shaping the modern railway landscape. Students will also learn about NMT, Switches, and Main Track sections, while gaining knowledge about different freight cars and locomotives, switch basics and components, NMT operations and yard familiarization, switching planning and execution, main track operations, and train control methods using various signal systems. Through this course, students develop a comprehensive understanding of the railway industry, from its operational intricacies to technological innovations driving efficiency and safety, preparing them for diverse roles within this dynamic sector.

Railway Conductor Duties & Responsibilities

This course is designed to equip individuals with the essential skills and knowledge required for a successful career as a railway conductor. The course comprises six key topics covering conductor responsibilities, communication strategies, inspection techniques, operational procedures, and brake systems. Participants will learn about core duties such as train preparation, crew coordination, and passenger safety, as well as how to conduct thorough inspections, apply emergency protocols, and operate hand and air brake systems effectively. Through a combination of theoretical learning and interactive sessions, participants will develop critical skills in communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and regulatory compliance. Emphasis is placed on safety protocols, operational efficiency, and ensuring smooth railway operations. Upon completion of the course, students will be well-prepared to take on the responsibilities of a railway conductor, contributing to the safe and efficient functioning of railway services.

Railway Safety Processes & Procedures

This course focuses on equipping participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure safety in various rail work environments. The course consists of five key sections covering safety protocols, hazard protection, Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) regulations, emergency response procedures, and security measures. Students will learn about identifying and mitigating safety hazards, implementing protective measures, complying with TDG regulations, responding to emergencies effectively, and maintaining security protocols. Through a combination of theoretical learning, case studies, and simulations, students will develop a strong understanding of safety principles, regulatory requirements, risk assessment techniques, and crisis management strategies. Emphasis is placed on promoting a culture of safety, minimizing workplace risks, and fostering proactive approaches to addressing safety, security, and emergencies. Upon completion, students will be well-equipped to contribute to creating and maintaining safe, secure, and compliant work environments.

Railway Signals Interpretation

This course is designed to educate students on the fundamentals of railway signals and their importance in safe train operations. This program features sections covering topics such as the purpose of signals, basics of signal systems, attributes of signals, reading signal indications and aspects, modifying signal indications, handling imperfectly displayed signals, track signs awareness, and signal identification. Through interactive learning modules and visual aids, students will gain a deep understanding of signal systems, including how to interpret signal indications, respond to different signal aspects, and identify track signs crucial for safe navigation. Emphasis is placed on developing proficiency in signal recognition, understanding signal modifications, and knowing the appropriate actions to take in various signal-related scenarios. Upon completion of the course, students will possess the knowledge and skills needed to effectively navigate and respond to signals in railway operations.

Railway Industry Readiness Assessment

This course is centered on developing essential soft skills for aspiring conductors. Emphasis is placed on effective communication, teamwork, situational awareness, decision making, problem solving, critical thinking, and industry-specific proficiency. Students undergo evaluations of their skills from the perspective of a conductor, aiming to determine their readiness to transition into the railway industry.

Railway Conductor Field Experience

The field experience provides students with hands on experience in railway operations. Focusing on safety protocols and practical skills essential for working in railway laboratories and rail yards students will investigate key factors influencing safety within rail environments, practicing procedures for entraining and detraining stationary and moving equipment safely, as well as crossing over stationary equipment. Through detailed instruction, learners will understand the operations of hand-operated and dual-control switches, including common switch types, sweeping procedures, and switch operation techniques. Additionally, students will develop competence in radio communications protocols, the care of portable radio batteries, and procedures related to protection of trains, track, equipment, and crossings in various scenarios. Practical tasks such as installing, testing, and removing a Sense and Brake Unit (SBU), operating handbrakes, joining, and replacing air hoses, and performing air brake tests will also be covered to ensure students are equipped with the necessary skills to perform conductor tasks to acceptable standards in the railway industry.


Chris Feimer


After Graduation

Employment Opportunities

Graduates can expect to find employment on Class 1 railways, short-lines, regional carriers, and in industrial settings.

Employment-Specific Criteria

Employment in the railway industry requires a clean record, applicants with a criminal record will not likely obtain employment in the industry even if they are successful in passing the program. Applicants are required to complete a medical as a condition of employment. See the Canadian Railway Medical Rules Handbook (PDF).

More Information


To ensure students are getting the most our of their classroom experience, some software will be required.

Lambton College has made this software easily accessible online. Student can leverage our Microsoft Office 365 software packages and services. In addition, much of the software you require for you courses will be available on demand for use on any device - on or off campus.

Skill Demands

This program demands a high level of physical fitness. Good general health is required including the ability to lift and manipulate heavy weight. Some students with disabilities may require academic accommodations to equalize opportunities to meet the academic demands of a course or program.

Technology Requirements

It is recommended that students purchase a laptop with a Windows operating system.

Internet Speed Requirements

For best performance for students learning remotely, an internet connection with a minimum of 40 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speed is recommended in order to effectively use video conferencing and remote lecture delivery software as well as, other online resources remotely. Due to the large area over which students may be dispersed, we are unable to recommend a specific provider, so you will need to inquire around your area to find one that best suits your needs.

Minimum Laptop Requirements

In order to access the internet and virtually-delivered software and courseware, student laptops should include the following at a minimum. By meeting the following specifications, students will be equipped to access software and courseware on their laptop through the internet:

  • Intel i5 8th Gen Processor or equivalent
  • 16 GB of RAM (with a minimum of 8 GB)
  • 100 GB HDD or more
  • HD Graphics
  • Webcam with a microphone
  • Wireless 802.11n/ac 5ghz capable
  • Windows Operating System (Windows 11)


To ensure students are getting the most our of their classroom experience, some software will be required.

Lambton College has made this software easily accessible online. Students can leverage our Microsoft Office 365 software packages and services. In addition, much of the software you require for your courses will be available on demand for use on any device - on or off campus.