Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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Like many other companies, SEPTA has experienced a shift in its workforce as long time employees retire and new employees are hired. With changing technologies, new equipment purchases, and stringent federal regulations guiding Regional Rail operations, individuals hired to fill open positions must complete specialized training and orientation before being able to step into these roles. In recent years, SEPTA has added four Railroad training personnel and worked to optimize all available resources to increase our training efforts.


Current Conductors Goal
243 273
15 Assistant Conductors promoted to Conductor since July 2017
21 Assistant Conductors currently in training scheduled to become Conductors by the end of 2019

Assistant Conductors

In 2018, SEPTA hired and the Training program graduated 48 Assistant Conductors
40 Trainees currently in class
13 Trainees began class - November 2018
23 Trainees began class - December 2018
12 Trainees scheduled to begin class - January 2019


Engineer Training

Current Number of Engineers Goal
210 213
19 Trainees in class scheduled to graduate between now and the end of 2019

  • The Training Department continues to work to meet the Authority's goal to increase the Engineer headcount to 213. Since January 2017, an additional 18 Engineers have been trained and graduated as a result of a focused effort that combines additional training classes along with the innovative use of Railroad Simulator technology as part of the core curriculum. This training program is enhanced by the ability to have experienced Engineers support on-the-job training for new hires. Engineer training is a rigorous program, averaging 12+ months, combining classroom, field, and on-the-job training
    • Headcount fluctuations due to attrition/retirements/promotions to other positions within the Authority

Rail Simulators

  • Railroad Simulator technology was introduced as part of the Engineer Training program (2017)
    • Simulators are an enhancement to actual "train seat" time
    • Provides ability to offer operating scenarios not otherwise possible, i.e. snow and other weather situations
    • One person-one simulator set up allows Authority to run up to 10 different types of training scenarios, at one time, from the Instructor Work Station
  • Experienced Engineers able to complete Recertification rides using simulators
  • SEPTA has created a Rail Simulator facility with 7 Regional Rail consoles:
    • 2 for Silverliner IV
    • 2 for Silverliner V
    • 2 for ACS-64 Locomotives
    • 1 for Generic Diesel Locomotive
  • Equipment installation completed March 2018

PHOTOS: Rail Simulator Training Facility

Rail simulator construction

Rail Simulator


New Train Dispatcher Mentoring Program

  • New Dispatchers teamed with a Senior Dispatcher
  • 3rd party consultant, trained on NORAC (Northeast Operating Rules Advisory Committee) rules developed Mentoring program
  • Program currently being managed by SEPTA Control Center Senior Train Dispatchers
    • Weekly scenarios are created for testing Dispatchers on how to handle situations they will encounter
    • Dispatchers radio communication and day-to-day performance are monitored - feedback and additional training provided as appropriate