"What I like about my job is I have a lot of autonomy. As much as I am given instructions by somebody, it is up to me to figure out the best way to perform those tasks…"

A yard foreman earns $45,000 or more per year.


Brenda Cox is a yard foreman in Delta, British Columbia. Brenda organizes rail cars for loading and assembly into trains that travel East, dropping cars off en route. She likens it to a chess game with extra big pieces to move around.

Brenda got her start with a major railway several years ago. She competed against hundreds of applicants and was one of only 12 people hired. Her first job interview was held at 3:00 a.m, just to give her an idea of what the shift work was like. She got the idea, and the job.

Did you know? Modern railway contributes $10 billion to the Canadian economy annually.

Brenda is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Her pager may go off at any time and she will be expected to come to the yard within 2 hours. As Brenda gains seniority, she will know when she is going to work ahead of time.

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Brenda's rail yard is part of an intermodal transportation network. What does that mean? Containers arrive by ship and are loaded onto rail cars. These are eventually unloaded and put on trucks for final delivery. Or vice versa! Some containers are also transported by plane. Four modes of transportation: intermodal. Coordinating train movement to and from the ship docks is also part of Brenda's job.


Education: 'A card' - conductors' card Training at a major railway company.

Hobbies: Creative writing, nature, animals, horseback riding.