There is much more to being a DART rail operator than just driving a vehicle. Daryl Brown, vice president of Rail Operations, shares his insight into a day in the life of a DART rail operator.
1. How many hours does an operator work?
There are two shifts for operators, AM and PM. Typically, our operators put in 7.5 to 8 hours a day.
2. What is their work environment like?
Being a rail operator is an exciting career. I’ve heard some operators say that what they enjoy most about their job is the aspect of serving riders and connecting people safely to their destinations. Others like the fact that every day is different, and another operator described it as having the best seat in the house!
The work environment is pretty good, but it can also be stressful – especially if there is equipment failure. There are lots of rules and policies that operators must follow. It’s a job that needs your full attention and focus every minute of your shift.
3. How does an operator’s day begin?
Once an operator reports for their shift, the first thing they need to do is sign in for their shift and obtain the necessary equipment, including a radio, clearance sheet and pocket schedule. They must also read bulletins and sign. Before leaving the Station Office, operators must verify that their radio is functioning properly and synchronize their watch by the Station Office clock.
Rail operators are responsible for performing an inspection before moving a light rail vehicle from the yard storage tracks. Operators must complete a pre-departure inspection to ensure not to overlook any potential hazard.
4. What happens at the end of an operator’s shift?
At the end of a normal working day, the operator either gets relieved by the next shift, or pulls the train into the railyard.
If any incident or accident occurred during their shift, the operator must complete an incident report. Operators must return all equipment checked out at the beginning of their shift to the Station Office before signing out.