Observe train signals along routes and verify their meanings for engineers.
Signal locomotive engineers to start or stop trains when coupling or uncoupling cars, using hand signals, lanterns, or radio communication.
Pull or push track switches to reroute cars.
Observe signals from other crew members so that work activities can be coordinated.
Monitor trains as they go around curves to detect dragging equipment and smoking journal boxes.
Inspect couplings, air hoses, journal boxes, and handbrakes to ensure that they are securely fastened and functioning properly.
Observe tracks from left sides of locomotives to detect obstructions on tracks.
Operate locomotives in emergency situations.
Raise levers to couple and uncouple cars for makeup and breakup of trains.
Operate and drive locomotives, diesel switch engines, dinkey engines, flatcars, and railcars in train yards and at industrial sites.