Western Railroad

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Work For Class ll Railroad Or Class l RR ?

I live in Oregon & I want to become a freight train conductor.. what would be better. To apply for Union Pacific as a conductor or to the Portland & Western Railroad which is a class ll regional. Where would it be better overall? Which one would be easier to get hired. Please give me all the info you can.. and pros and cons.

Also.. on a class ll do you also have to work irregular hours and on the extra board?


Answer:

Personally, i would apply to both. your chances of being hired are doubled. in my opinion there is no diff betwixt the classes. its still an enviable position, and ofcourse.... its a railroad job. while UP may have more glamour to it being a class 1, if you truely love working on the railroad, even a tourist line would make you happy.

some folks have family, and are not too happy when having to work the long, tedius hours away from home (and holidays!). just remember, there are those of us who dont have those obligations, and would love to have the job no matter whos moniker is on the pay stub.

if its just a job to you (like some), then UP would prolly be your best choice. larger railroad, more benifits, and prolly a higher pay rate. as for the the extra board, on either road, thats part of your job. it comes with the territory and should not be a concern for a railroad employee. you accept thats the way it is when you hire on.

being a railfan, i personally would look forward to the work, and the job no matter what the situation. for some of us, it would be a dream job, and id be thankful to have it no matter what the hours, or who its with.

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Western Railroad

The 1st Heavy Working Week After The Summer Holidays Has Produced A Cornucopia Of Stories Here In The Western Balkans.

The first serious working week after the summer vacations has produced a plethora of stories here in the western Balkans. Some are more serious than others, unless you live here, when they are all very serious. Here is a roundup of some of them.

Outside of the old Yugoslav Fed Parliament building in the Serbian capital they're rolling up the red carpet which had been unrolled to welcome delegates to the fiftieth birthday bash of the Non-Aligned Movement, which I wrote about here. Serbia, which hosted the gathering, is not a member, but never mind that. It finds it handy to lobby over the Kosovo issue and for business.

In the aftermath of the meeting, Serbian papers are reporting that two countries which had so far been understood to have recognised Kosovo, now say that they did not. Oman explains it just, kind of, um ah, sort of said it wanted Kosovo in the U. N, but that is different. The West African state of Guinea Bissau claims that recognition was held up in parliament.

Vuk Jeremic, Serbia's foreign minister adds that a criminal investigation has begun in one African country against a senior official. He revealed :

"There are set up suspicions that he received a bribe from an Albanian businessman from Kosovo so as to start the process to recognise Kosovo independence. If that investigation gives results we are expecting, this country will also withdraw its recognition of Kosovo independence."

In the piece I wrote in this week's print edition I noted that many countries find the Non-Aligned Movement's conferences handy because they enable states to lobby and network. However in a stinging commentary (behind a paywall,) at Balkan Understanding Milan Misic, the Washington journalist of the Serbian daily Politika, argues the whole shebang was mounted because Belgrade "needed something to boost its confidence". It was simply a show of nostalgia for all its players argues Mr Misic and "dwelled on the past feats of the movement. "

At the meeting the ex-Yugoslavs all sat together. They had better be careful. Folk (particularly Croatia's Nova television) are raising questions. Why Ivo (Josipovic, the president of Croatia) was spending so much time with Boris (Tadic, the president of Serbia). Two men of the same age, same background, same roles, same Problems, what a scandal...

In the meantime, as some Croatian hacks were obsessing about Ivo and Boris a small Croatian paper, the Makarska Kronika, appears to have a world-beating scoop, if true for course. In Feb I wrote about the close connections between the former Yugoslavia and Colonel Qaddafi. The press then wrote that his spouse Safiya was initially Sofija Farkas, a Croat with Hungarian roots from Mostar in Hercegovina. According to the paper, Mrs Qaddafi has just lately been attempting to buy land and property in Igrane on the Croatian Adriatic coast not far away from Mostar.

Mrs Qaddafi and some of the family are now in Algeria. This summer the Balkan press has been full of stories of various celebrities in assorted stages of inebriation or strip, from Prince Harry to Beyonc, who have been taking a vacation in Croatia. Whether Mrs Qaddafi fits the profile the Croats need, I'm not sure, however if she is really a Bosnian Croat she has the right to a Croatian passport and therefore visa free travel through Europe.

On a rather more sombre note, Dimitar Bechev of the Sofia office of the Western european Council on Foreign Relations writes about the "protracted death of democratic Albania." Discussing the political conflict that has paralysed Albania for the last two years he says that both Edi Rama, the leader of the opposition Socialists and Sali Berisha, the P. M. are to blame . However Mr Berisha "must take the lion's share." He is hell bent, announces Mr Bechev, on gaining control of all the Albanian establishments which still remain beyond his grip.

Why are standard Albanians willing to permit such de-democratisation? One reason may be that, unlike the other previous Red states, ordinary folk see in the EU nothing different from Albania. To one side, across the Mediterranean, is Italy, with its unique type of game-show politics ; to the south, over the mountain ranges, lies broke Greece. If this is what it suggests to be an ECU state, many Albanian baby-kissers can be excused for thinking they already live in one, or should qualify for membership."

Not as dramatic, but still, alarm bells have begun to ring in Montenegro too. Thomas Roser, of the Austrian daily Die Presse has written about the crop of attacks on vehicles belonging to Vijesti, one of the nations main dailies. 4 have been torched in the last couple of months. Zeljko Ivanovic, the paper's managing editor claims that the media situation in the country is dire and that the attacks are messages from folks connected to orgainised crime which in Montenengro have invariably been believed to overlap with political interests that "they are stronger than the state" and thus Vijesti's reporting about issues like this is useless. Who cares about the world economy when you can stress about media freedom in Montenegro. Watch this space, writes tagza.com.
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