Railway Baggage Handler Jobs
Anyone who’s traveled across the country by train has seen baggage handlers at work.
They’re responsible for making sure that all the luggage that passengers take with them, get matched up with them when they get to their destination. It’s not much different from handling luggage at an airport except for a few minor differences. Instead of carting all the baggage to a conveyor belt and letting the passengers sort out their own bags inside the terminal, as baggage handlers do at an airport, baggage handlers on a train usually have a more personal interaction with the passengers.
Bag Handler Duties
Baggage handlers on a passenger train are responsible for helping passengers get their bags from storage compartments inside or under each rail car.
By using trolleys and baggage carts, the baggage handlers aid the passengers to get their bags to their car or inside the train depot. The number of baggage handlers that work on each train usually depends on the number of passengers that the train is carrying. The railway line doesn’t want their passengers to have to wait too long for a handler to help them with their bags, so the ratio of baggage handlers to passengers is usually kept high.
In many cases, the baggage handlers also perform other duties on a passenger train including helping the diner car staff serve meals and helping the conductor to account for all passengers with tickets.
While baggage handlers don’t make the higher salaries of signal operators or conductors, they still earn a good salary compared to other transportation positions. The average salary for general transportation workers is $12.40 an hour. Passenger train baggage handlers regularly earn as much as $19.75 an hour, with some bonuses added in depending on the area of the country and the length of time the train is on the tracks.