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Signal Trainee - Full Rate

Job ID: 5689
Business Unit: Metro-North Railroad
Location: Various, United States
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Department: C&S Signal FRA/Inspection Shop
Date Posted: Feb 2, 2024






POSTING NO.:                  5689 

JOB TITLE:                        Signal Trainee – Full rate  

DEPT/DIV:                         C&S Signal FRA/Inspection Shop 

LOCATION:        North White Plains 

Full/Part Time:            Full 



Application Deadline: Open until filled 


Metro-North Railroad reserves the right to remove this posting prior to the Application Deadline. 




MTA Metro-North Railroad is a dynamic organization, operating out of the jewel of New York City, Grand Central Terminal.  We provide service to over 86.5 million customers, traveling in and out of New York and Connecticut.  A subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro-North Railroad is one of the busiest commuter railroads in the nation.  MTA Metro-North Railroad strives to provide a safe and reliable commute, excellent customer service and rewarding opportunities to its employees. 




Signal Trainees install, construct, inspect, test, maintain and repair signals, signal equipment, grade crossings, track circuit switches, cables and control systems to ensure proper functionality. 


  • Inspect, test, maintain, repair and/or replace all signal equipment (e.g., signals and signal display lights, switch machines, electric switch locks, switch circuit controllers, grade crossings, batteries, wiring, etc.)
  • Inspect, maintain, repair and/or replace switch machines and mounting hardware and adjust and lubricate as needed
  • Inspect, maintain, repair and/or replace signal heads, bulbs, grade crossing apparatus and associated wires and cable as necessary
  • Perform Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) mandated inspections (e.g., switch inspections, ground readings, battery maintenance, grade crossing operation, etc.)
  • Perform preventative maintenance on signal equipment (e.g., apply lubricant to moving parts, paint and clean signal equipment, change signal display bulbs, cribbing of switches, trim trees and remove overgrown shrubs near signal equipment, etc.)
  • Troubleshoot system failures to determine causes and make necessary adjustments and/or repairs
  • Inspect, monitor and replace relays at control points
  • Complete required paperwork (e.g., testing and inspection reports, truck reports, etc.)
  • Clear debris and other obstructions and shovel snow around signals, switches and equipment locations to provide access
  • Check bonds to ensure they are intact and appear in good condition
  • Communicate with others (e.g., Rail Traffic Controllers, C&S employees and the trouble desk, etc.) via radio regarding conditions, work performed and any other pertinent information
  • Take electrical measurements using volt/ohm/amp meters and make adjustments as necessary
  • Use tools (e.g., screwdriver, wrenches, pliers, drills, etc.) to perform tasks
  • Read diagrams and prints to assist with troubleshooting system malfunctions
  • Handle and splice cable and track circuit wire ranging from 22 gauge to 1/0 cable containing up to 37 conductors to make electrical connections
  • Climb signal structures and ladders to access equipment and perform work
  • Transport supplies and equipment to/from vehicles and work site locations
  • Dig holes and trenches for cable placement
  • Extinguish minor debris and timber fires on or about the right of way as first line of fire suppression
  • Operate Metro-North railroad motor vehicle to access work locations
  • Install, maintain and repair snowmelters on the New Haven line
  • Perform cad welding and bonding for track circuits and traction return systems
  • Test and install bond boxes for traction return systems
  • Perform testing and inspections on movable bridges
  • Other duties as assigned



  • High School Diploma or equivalent and
  • Valid NYS Class D driver’s license or equivalent and
  • Experience working with mechanical, electrical, electronic or electromechanical systems/components or
  • Related mechanical or vocational training


  • Experience working on motors and relays/relay logic
  • Associates degree or higher in Electrical Engineering, Electronics, or a related field


  • Skilled in exercising independent judgment
  • Ability to anticipate and analyze problems and take corrective actions
  • Ability to evaluate a situation to make quick decisions under pressure
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to function effectively under changing priorities
  • Reading comprehension ability
  • Detail oriented
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Basic math skills
  • Must be safety conscious
  • Knowledge of basic electrical fundamentals
  • Ability to read and understand technical materials
  • Mechanical aptitude and troubleshooting skills
  • Ability to read and use digital and analog multi-meter
  • Ability to read circuit plans
  • Knowledge of all C&S department instructions, standards and procedures
  • Knowledge of operating and safety rules
  • Knowledge of physical characteristics
  • Familiarity with basic Computer skills


  • Governed by Hours of Service regulation
  • Must pass all training qualification tests and Signal Department promotional tests
  • Must attend annual Roadway Worker Safety training and Book of Rules training and pass required tests to become qualified
  • Must wear prescribed safety apparel

Rate of Pay 

The starting rate for this position is $27.50/hour (70% of the full rate). The wage progression scale is as follows: Year 1=70%>Year 2=70%>Year 3=70%>Year 4=80%>Year 5=92>Year 6=100%. The full 100% rate of pay is $39.29/hour. 

This salary is non-negotiable, based on the ACRE Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

MNR Health Insurance & Vacation 

As a full-time employee, you are eligible for the following health and welfare benefits. 

Our benefits program provides flexibility, protection and value through: 

  • Health care benefits, including medical, dental, and vision plans
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Welfare Benefits, including basic and optional life, dependent life, basic and optional Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
  • Disability benefits
  • Flexible Spending Accounts, including a Health Care Account and Dependent Care Account
  • Retirement benefits, including a retirement plan, 401(k) and 457 savings plans


New employees will establish seniority in the Association of Commuter Rail Employees (ACRE-166), the union representing Signal Trainees, in accordance with the union's current collective bargaining agreement. 

Members of ACRE are subject to an initiation fee and monthly membership dues. 



Ability to work various hours, days, shifts and locations throughout Metro-North territory is required. 


Selection Criteria 

Due to the competitive nature of the selection process, not all qualified candidates who meet the minimum requirements for the position are guaranteed an interview. To be selected for a position, one must meet the following criteria: (1) satisfy the minimum requirements listed in the job posting, (2) if applicable, successfully pass a written and practical exam, (3) satisfy a background investigation (including but not limited to, employment, education, and criminal history), and (4) pass a verbal interview. Metro-North may also require the applicant to undergo a physical ability test, and, if the Company extends a conditional offer, may require him or her to undergo a medical examination, which may include toxicological testing. Failure to pass any step within the hiring process will result in the disqualification of your application. 

Additional Criteria for Current Employees: Current Metro-North employees must be in active service to be eligible for consideration. Agreement Employees applying for a position outside of their present craft are required to have worked in your current union for at least one (1) year preceding the Application Deadline to be eligible to apply for a posted position, and have completed the agreed upon formal training commitment, including on-the-job training or lock-in requirement, if applicable (for example: Signal Trainee, Foreman-In-Training, etc.). If you are transferring to another craft, you may be required to forfeit your seniority in your present union. Non-agreement employees must have worked in your current position for a minimum of one (1) year preceding the Application Deadline. Along with a background investigation (including but not limited to, employment, education, and criminal history), employees are also subject to an internal investigation, which includes an evaluation not limited to discipline records and performance assessments. 

We offer a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. If interested, please apply online at 



This is a federally regulated position subject to both pre-employment and continuous random toxicological screening.  

As an employee of Metro-North Railroad you may be required to complete a New York State financial disclosure statement, if you earn more than $108,638.00 or if you hold a position designated as a policy maker. 

Employees driving company vehicles must complete defensive driver training once every three years for current MNR drivers; or within 180 days of hire or transfer for an employee entering an authorized driving position.  


  • Must be able to lift and carry tools and equipment weighing up to 45 lbs. on a regular basis and occasionally up to 75lbs.
  • Must be able to walk and work along uneven surfaces
  • Ability to climb on/off train equipment, and climb signal structures and ladders to access signal equipment
  • Must able to work in various positions to perform tasks (e.g., sit on a switch and turn a crank, bend over to inspect switch equipment and work down low or up high to access equipment and circuitry, etc.)
  • Ability to use tools to perform tasks involving holding, twisting, turning, pushing, reaching, pulling, etc.
  • Color vision required to interpret multi-conductor colored cable using A.I.W. Corp 18 AWG 30/C 1000V cable sample, as test standard, and to interpret AREMA standard railroad signal colors


  • Works along right-of-way in close proximity to moving railroad equipment and moving objects
  • Works on or about tracks, indoors and in tunnels
  • May be exposed to loud noises and/or fumes while performing job duties
  • Works in close proximity to 700 volts direct current third rail
  • Works outdoors exposed to all weather conditions
  • Works on bridges and cantilevers at heights up to approximately 50 feet from the ground or above water
  • Works in signal houses in temperatures which may exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit 


Qualified applicants can submit an online application by clicking on the 'APPLY NOW' button from either the CAREERS HOME page or the JOB DESCRIPTION page. 


For instructions on completing the online application, go to the MTA intranet site and click on the PeopleSoft Information hyperlink. From there select the User Guides hyperlink to gain access to the "Viewing/Applying for Jobs Online" guide under the Recruiting section of the page. 


Equal Employment Opportunity  

MTA and its subsidiary and affiliated agencies are Equal Opportunity Employers, including with respect to veteran status and individuals with disabilities. 


The MTA encourages qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and abilities, including military service members, to apply. 


MTA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  




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