Locomotive Mechanic Job Description
A locomotive mechanic is a person who conducts scheduled inspections on locomotives, makes repairs and performs preventive maintenance. Locomotive mechanics inspect, service, repair, and maintain the engines, wheels and trucks, air brakes, air compressors and other mechanical and electrical components on locomotives.
A locomotive mechanic should be responsible, analytical, methodical and accurate, and have strong mechanical aptitude and the ability to use a variety of technical tools to diagnose and solve locomotive engine and machinery problems. They should be reasonable fit and healthy, as they may work at heights, in confined spaces, and lift heavy objects.
What does a Locomotive Mechanic do?
Locomotive mechanics may do some or all of the following:
- inspect and diagnose malfunctions in locomotives
- repair or replace faulty locomotive systems and components
- use hand tools, power tools and precision measuring and testing tools
- perform routine maintenance and servicing such as air brake cleaning and testing, and engine air filter changing, and fuelling
- repair locomotive electrical systems
- write reports on maintenance and repair works
Where does a Locomotive Mechanic work?
Locomotive mechanics may work normal office hours or shifts that include early morning, late night, weekends and public holidays. They work indoors in workshops and outdoors in all weather conditions.
Locomotive mechanics may be required to wear protective equipment such as overalls, hearing protection, safety-toe boots and safety glasses when working. Their job may require them to bend, kneel, stoop, crouch, crawl and stand for long periods, as well as to lift heavy objects, ascend and descend ladders and locomotives, and work in confined spaces and around engines.
What is Required to Become a Locomotive Mechanic?
To become a locomotive mechanic, you need to complete a locomotive mechanic training program at a railroad transport company or a technical school. The minimum educational requirement to be admitted into the program is a certificate of secondary education.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Locomotive mechanics need to have:
- dexterity and agility
- honesty and dependability
- precision and accuracy
- self motivation
- mechanical aptitude
- physical strength and stamina
- good eyesight and normal color vision
- good hand-eye coordination
- good attention to detail
- good interpersonal skills
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- math and computer skills
- time management and organizational skills
- observational skills
- the ability to climb, bend, kneel, crawl and stoop frequently in confined spaces
- the ability to read and interpret mechanical diagrams and schematics
- the ability to read and interpret precision measuring instruments accurately
- the ability to work well under pressure
- knowledge of and experience in using hand, power and hydraulic tools
- knowledge of electrical systems
- knowledge of locomotive inspection and repair
- knowledge of welding and welding techniques
- knowledge of handling hazardous and non-hazardous waste products
Should I be a Locomotive Mechanic?
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