The FRA is requiring that at least 1 ground employee on a job have 1yr of seniority for a student conductor to be able to stay marked to job. The engineer must have 1yr of seniority (as an engineer) to train a student engineer. 


The crew office will place a new code NX-C (for conductors) and NX-E (for engineers). With this code applied it should keep the student off the job or kick them off if a replacement ground employee gets called for the job off the extra board.


Below is the link to access the information on the BNSF website under certification.



Below are some questions with answers to help understand.


Q. What are these new class codes being added to employees? A. Employees with less than 1 year Seniority or have a decertified certification will have a new restricted Class Code added ▪ NX-C will be added for Conductors/Switchman with less than 1 year seniority or decertified as a Conductor ▪NX-E will be added for Engineers with less than 1 year seniority or decertified as an Engineer


Q. Why do we have to have restricted class codes and why do they need 1 year seniority to have it removed? A. These class codes ensure we are following the FRA regulations for training. FRA regulations under CFR 240 and 242 for certification require that a Qualified Instructor for trainees meet the following criteria: • Must be certified under the corresponding CFR • Has 1 year seniority working in that class of service


Q. We do not have enough employees at our location without the restricted class codes. How can we accommodate for all our trainees? A.Should the need arise, an employee with less than 1 year seniority may have the class code removedIF the designated union representative and BNSF Supervisor agree the employee as adequate knowledge of the subjects under instruction and, where applicable, has the necessary operating experience to effectively instruct in the field. Exemptions will need to be submitted to Work Force Management by emailing .Verbal requests will NOT be accepted.


Q. How does this impact employees who work with conductor or engineer trainees? A. Employees with the class codes cannot work with a trainee for that class code. ▪ Employees with NX-C and working as a conductor cannot have a conductor trainee working with them ▪ Employees with NX-E and working as an engineer cannot have an engineer trainee working with them


Q. If I get decertified and have a class code added, how do I get it removed? A. Class codes will automatically be removed after completion of the decertified period


Q. What jobs can trainees attach to with the roll out of these new restricted class codes? A. Trainees may attach to a job if: ▪ The employee working that job does not have the restricted class code ▪ Or there is no one else currently assigned to the job (vacant or laid off) ▪ Or the Yard job (excluding yard engineer) has at least ONE switchman without the NX-C class code ▪ Or the Engineer Trainee is working in the yard with an engineer without the NX-E class code


Q. What happens if a trainee is attached to a vacant job that gets filled by someone with the restricted class code? A. Should a trainee be attached to a vacant job that is later filled by an employee who has the restricted class code ▪ Trainees will be removed from the job ▪ The trainee will then need to attach themselves to a new job to continue their training/familiarization

Howard Allington


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