RailCrew Xpress

  www.railcrewxpress.com
  www.railcrewxpress.com
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RailCrew Xpress Reviews

Updated September 21, 2014
Updated September 21, 2014
8 Reviews
2.8
8 Reviews
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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    I Mostly Like It, But Your Terminal Makes All the Difference

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Long Haul Driver  in  West Quincy, MO
    Current Employee - Long Haul Driver in West Quincy, MO

    I have been working at RailCrew Xpress full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you enjoy driving, if you are one of those people who can get by on irregular work shifts, if you like trains and railroaders, if you like a certain amount of freedom within the confinies of your work, this is a decent gig. If you get on at a terminal with a good supervisor and fellow drivers, it can be incredibly fun and fulfilling.

    Training is three days, with one day on video and book teaching, a second day riding along with an experienced driver, and a third day of driving yourself with an experienced driver to guide you. There are monthly safety meetings, and bi-annual or annual driving and safety assessments/trainings. At least there are in my division.

    Since we got Garmin GPS in the vans, it is pretty easy to get to the places we need to take our crews, so even if you have never been there, you can get there. Also at least at our location we share our numbers with new drivers and let them call us if they need help finding a location and the crew can't help ("we know how to get there...on a train!" :).

    You do a lot of sitting and waiting, just like the railroad crews. If you work a complete 12 hour shift (you don't always) you may sit around waiting for up to half that time. Bring a book or your tablet so you have something to do while you wait!

    Vacation is fairly standard--5 days after a year, 10 days after 3 years, based on average weekly pay. I have never had a problem getting unpaid time off, just as long as you let your supervisor know AND let dispatch know BEFORE they call you for a trip. Holidays is just six days a year which is skimpy, but you get a reasonable holiday bonus if you get called out.

    When I started we got quarterly bonuses based on the location's on-time and safety records. They seem to have backed off on that now though there continue to be rumors that a new bonus system will be coming online soon.

    I am pleased overall with the job, but I fulfill every one of those items in the first paragraph. Your mileage may vary significantly. It is a relatively simple job, but not necessarily easy, and there are cons. Oh, there are cons...

    Cons

    In spite of some decent pros, there are things about RCX that are frustrating, irritating, maddening. Some could be addressed, some are things which will never change.

    First: pay. It sucks, mostly, though it depends on what terminal you work out of: a handful fo terminals are unionized and get relatively decent pay (over $12 an hour). But most only start at federal minimum ($7.25). I am lucky to work in a place where RCX uses the state minimum of the state across the Mississippi River so I started at $8.25. Raises are few and far between (one in three years) and small (it was $0.25 for those less than two years and $0.50 for those more than two years) AND not dependent on any kind of assessment of your work so everyone gets the same raise. You do get time and a half over 40 hours, which is handy, but NOT for holidays if you work--then you get a "holiday bonus".

    Second, the weird hours can be hard on your sleep cycle and put a major crimp in your lifestyle if you like to get out and do stuff or have a family. To be full time you need to be available AT LEAST five days a week and they prefer six. You are "on call" 24 hours a day. A work shift is defined as 12 hours, of which only 10 may be driving (a federal requirement), and during busy times they may ask you to extend your shift to 15 hours (but still no more than 10 hours driving in that time period). It can also be a lot like split shifts: you may get called for a 4-hour trip at 5am, return home at 9am and not get another call til 1pm for another 6 hours. And they will not call you for another trip if it is after 12 hours from when you started. Confused yet? So if your call was for 5am, dispatch will NOT call you after 5pm that same day for another trip. You also have to be firm in telling dispatch to put you on 8 hours (or 10 hours) rest and not let them wheedle you into exceeding hours of service (driving or duty--remember 10 hours driving, 12 hours duty).

    Speaking of hours, depending on the busyness of your terminal, you could be getting out a lot, or if its not busy you could be scraping for hours. My location is right in the middle tending toward the latter which can be a problem. But you have to decide if you will make yourself available for as many trips as you can get in the federally mandated 15 hours on duty.

    Some complain about working over 15 hours--if you don't speak up for yourself you have no one to blame but you. LEGALLY you are not supposed to work over 15 hours and YOU have to tell dispatch that when you are approaching 15 hours. Note that this is a problem endemic to all the rail crew transport companies--and it is worse at a really busy terminal, such as Alliance Nebraska, but not much a problem at someplace smaller such as West Quincy Illinois. But the bottom line it is all on YOU as a driver.

    Third: there is not a lot of room for promotion, most terminals have just a "lead driver" and the supervisor is usually over two or three terminals in your area. I understand it is fairly easy to get transferred from one terminal to another, but why would you go to that expense unless you had some assurance of a greatly increased workload?

    Fourth: almost everything depends on the terminal where you work. I am fortunate that my terminal has a good super and lead driver and good drivers. We don't get threatened, and everyone seems to be on the same page mostly with regard to the work. But I have met drivers who tell me horror stories about their terminals, being threatened by bosses and dispatch, and so on. So it's kind of a "buyer beware" point to consider.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I know of one crew transport company (not RCX) that assigns shifts in 12-hour increments. They change on a monthly basis but are solid for the whole month. That is, this monthyou may be 3am-3pm but you will work in that time frame every day. Next month you might be in the 6p-6a time frame. I think something like this would be a good idea since it would allow drivers to have a life outside driving. I wish they would consider this.

    Pay is the big one. Yes I understand that the business is highly competitive, but really you are entrusting us with valuable vehicles and even more valuable lives but only paying us a pittance. Starting pay ACROSS THE BOARD ought to be $10 an hour at least. That would have a double benefit--a larger pool of applicants to draw from, and drivers who will be a bit more loyal (come on--money is the ONLY thing you have to generate loyalty, so use it). And raises should be annual--whether you choose to continue the length of service raise or actually go to an individual review and raise process.

    Benefits. Come on, I work part time at another job that both pays substantially better than RCX AND offers a real insurance benefit--and with just 40 employees. There is no reason in the world RCX can't offer a real insurance plan to its 1500+ employees at a reasonable rate. Get into the 21st century already. It *is* nice that you offer dental and vision, but how about a health savings account? Or if you want to get out of insurance altogether, how about an "company insurance subsidy" to help us pay for our Obamacare plan? And how about a 401k, and other retirement oriented benefits?

    Training needs to be uniform across the company, with a sub-unit of training devoted to specific issues at a specific terminal. Right now it seems very haphazard. I've met drivers from other terminals that don't know basic safety and driving rules, and others that seem to me to have been trained to a much higher standard than I was. Let's get everybody trained the same way!

    Local management also needs to be MUCH more supervised! The horrible bullying and persecution aimed at some drivers in some locations is unconscionable and ought to be stopped, firmly, from upper management. Nobody should be treated badly in a job where you basically have to be on call 24/7. If anything management ought to be working hard to convince employees of their intrinsic value to the company. I'm fortunate that both my local super and my regional super are good people and don't abuse the drivers under them, but not every place is like that. Abusers need to be brought to heel, told to shape up and start treating employees decently, or fired.

    I understand that a lot of how things happen depends on what is going on with the railroads we serve, but basic issues of fair pay, fair benefits, and fair treatment have nothing to do with what the railroad does. RCX upper management needs to remember that and start doing a better job on those three issues, at the very least.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    horrible pay for the type of work being done.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Driver  in  Beardstown, IL
    Former Employee - Driver in Beardstown, IL

    I worked at RailCrew Xpress full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    my favorite part about working here was getting the opportunity to experience what its like to work an on call job and to explore new places.

    Cons

    some challenges of working here include: working 6 days a week, being on call 24 hours a day, not being able to really have much of a life outside of work. definitely deserve more pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    my advice to management is to provide your employees with somewhat of a schedule and better benefits, including better pay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    Seedy and Unprofessional

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Driver  in  Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Driver in Houston, TX

    I worked at RailCrew Xpress full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great way to meet railroaders and learn about the railroading and transportation industry, if that happens to be your passion in this life.

    Cons

    Will not let you sleep your full 8 hours before calling you again; never paid attention to days off - you had to stand your ground on that; never willing to give the driver information to do their job and relied on the railroaders to fill the driver in; no real example set by any of the supervisors

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rework your business model, perhaps attempt doing 8 hour shifts instead of 12 hour shifts, and please let your management know that the difference between UP 5742 and CSX 5742 is the the difference between looking for the Magic School Bus and Thomas the Tank Engine in a huge yard like Englewood at night.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    Very greedy Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Long Haul Driver  in  Newton, KS
    Current Employee - Long Haul Driver in Newton, KS

    I have been working at RailCrew Xpress full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    If you like to driving for a job

    Cons

    They don't value their driver, when they only pay 7.25hr 24/7 on call and no benefits. They don't stick up for their drivers when they get in a conflict with the railroad. That's why their is a big turn around in drivers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat people like humans instead of a number ,and pay a good wage, we are responsible for transporting a human life to there destination. The Company's that deliver packages pay their driver a lot more and give them benefits.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6.  

    THEY SUCK

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at RailCrew Xpress

    Pros

    It's a job, im actually legally employed, im not selling/doin drugs nor robbing people nor homeless in a shelter

    Cons

    All kinds especially lack of proper pay, no time & a half overtime pay, $4.13 is the overtime pay, also if you work over 15 hours in a day and ur still on duty, you'll be working for free. The train crew you transport make MORE MONEY riding in the van than you do driving it

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    PAY YOUR DRIVERS AT LEAST $15 an hour

  7.  

    NIce place to work if you like to drive an love trains

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Long Haul Driver  in  Wellington, KS
    Current Employee - Long Haul Driver in Wellington, KS

    I have been working at RailCrew Xpress full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lots of driving an meeting people an lots of trains

    Cons

    pay could be a lot better

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  8.  

    RAILCREWXPRESS

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Driver  in  Saint Louis, MO
    Current Employee - Driver in Saint Louis, MO

    I have been working at RailCrew Xpress full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Goos job, I'd u like driving in St. LOUIS

    Cons

    Pay is missouri min wage

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need pay raise

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9.  

    Fun but can't make any money

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Driver  in  Amarillo, TX
    Current Employee - Driver in Amarillo, TX

    I have been working at RailCrew Xpress part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Meeting different people, going different places, traveling

    Cons

    Salary is minimum wage with no benefits & no advancement in sight

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It would be nice to hear some positive reenforcement once in awhile instead of threats to fire for mistakes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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