The Railway Association of Canada's Career on Track website offers you some interesting insight into some of the jobs commonly found in a railway environment. One example of a Front Line Supervisor occupation found within Canada's railways is the Mechanical Supervisor.
The Mechanical Supervisor plays an important role in asset utilization: ensuring that rolling stock – such as locomotives and freight cars – is in good mechanical condition to reliably transport customer’s goods and meet service commitments.
Mechanical Supervisors see to it that Railway Car Technicians inspect freight cars on trains, perform routine maintenance and make required repairs – such as replacing worn brake shoes or wheels or broken couplers. Mechanical Supervisors ensure that necessary repairs are done in the quickest and most efficient way possible so that cars can resume carrying customer merchandise to the intended destination, on-time and damage free.
The Mechanical Supervisor is responsible for assigning and supervising such staff as Heavy Duty Mechanics and Locomotive Electricians who perform routine maintenance or make repairs at locomotive shops or out on the road. Careful attention is paid to minimizing locomotive downtime and getting them safely back into service soon as possible.
Mechanical Supervisors continuously strive to improve the repair process and seek better ways of doing things. This critical leadership position is a tough, demanding, yet rewarding job. The expectations are high for Mechanical Supervisors but they are well rewarded for their efforts. In fact, many of those in senior management started out at this level, demonstrating the vast amount of career advancement opportunities in rail.