The UP Train Crew New Hire Reading Test is a test of your reading skills. Below you will see reading passages followed by questions related to each passage. You should read each passage carefully and then answer the questions that relate to it.

Your answers to the questions in this test should be based only on the passages provided. You should not rely on your knowledge of railroading when answering these questions. Be sure to choose the single best answer for each question.

Please refer to this passage to answer Questions 1-2.

Employees may use hand signals only if all crew members understand the signals. When employees are not giving hand signals, they must not make any gestures or movements that may resemble a hand signal.

Giving Signals:

Employees who give signals must:

  • Make sure they can be plainly seen.
  • Give signals clearly so they can be understood.
  • Give signals on the engineer's side of the track when practical.

Signal to Stop:

Any object waved violently by any person on or near the track is a signal to stop.

Radio and Voice Communication:

Employees may use radio and other means of voice communication to give information when using hand signals is not practical. Employees must make sure crew members:

  • Know which train moves will be made by radio communication.
  • Understand that while using the radio, the engineer will not accept any hand signals, unless they are Stop signals.

1. Where is it preferred that an employee stand when giving hand signals?
A) Either side of the track is fine.
B) Opposite the engineer’s side of the track is preferred.
C) Standing in the center of the track.
D) The engineer’s side of the track is preferred.
E) From behind the train.

2. A man near the track is seen waving his arms wildly above his head. What should the engineer do?
A) Speed up to get away from the person.
B) Slow down and radio the dispatcher to report the incident.
C) Proceed with caution.
D) Call the local police.
E) Stop.

Please refer to this passage to answer Questions 3-4.

Special precautions must be made in order to protect the equipment or load when switching the following:

  • Passenger cars.
  • Cabooses.
  • Multilevel loads.
  • Cars containing livestock.
  • Open top loads subject to shifting.

Before switching passenger cars:

  • Couple the air hoses.
  • Fully charge the brake system.
  • Use the automatic brake valve when switching.

When coupling passenger cars:

  • Stop the movement approximately 50 feet before the coupling is made.
  • Have an employee on the ground directing the coupling.
  • Ensure couplers are fully compressed and stretched to ensure that knuckles are locked.

3. Which of the following is necessary before switching passenger equipment?
A) Couple the air hoses.
B) Ensure couplers are fully stretched.
C) Ensure the couplers are fully compressed.
D) Ensure knuckles are locked.
E) Have an employee on the ground directing activity.

4. At what distance should all passenger car movement be stopped prior to coupling?
A) 25 feet
B) 50 feet
C) 75 feet
D) 100 feet
E) 50 yards

Once you have completed the practice questions, you should check your answers.


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1) D 2) E 3) A 4) B