Locomotive Engineers


Locomotive Engineers


One of the nation’s largest railroads providing rail transportation and distribution services to more than 18,000 route miles in the East, Midwest, and South as well as Canada wanted to improve their recruitment process for Locomotive Engineer Trainees. Locomotive Engineers operate electric, diesel-electric, or gas turbine-electric locomotives. They also interpret train orders, train signals, and railroad rules and regulations to transport freight or passengers in a safe and satisfactory manner.


The process of training engineers is a substantial investment for both employer and trainee. Therefore, to ensure success, a personnel selection system that identifies applicants most likely to complete training requirements is prerequisite. Hogan conducted a criterion study to identify high performing Locomotive Engineer Trainees. Sixty-four Locomotive Engineer Trainees completed the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), which is the industry standard in measuring normal personality characteristics. In addition, Hogan obtained certified Locomotive Engineer ratings of performance for each study participant.


Results revealed that successful Locomotive Engineer Trainees act calm and even-tempered (high Adjustment); good listeners (low Sociability); dependable and organized (high Prudence); and foresighted and thorough (high Learning Approach). Supervisors rated individuals meeting the Hogan profile higher in the following areas:

• Taking advantage of the training
• Taking operating rules seriously
• Having a positive attitude about work
• Ability to handle stress
• Attending to details of the train operations
• Concern for safety
• Confidence in train handling capabilities
• Positive work attitude
• Training class preparation
• Training class progress
• Grasping new material
• Handling the pressure of training
• Ability to work independently
• Good judgment
• Overall potential

Individuals who met the profile were more likely to be rated higher in core training dimensions of Locomotive Engineers. The results of the above research confirm the utility of using the HPI for selecting Locomotive Engineers.