The days start early for Leanna Turcotte, West Coast Express Train Conductor, but that doesn’t stop this cheerful, happy go lucky and self-proclaimed morning person from being head over heels in love with her career. Leanna has a growing career on the rails. After 12 years of working for CP Rail, she found herself with West Coast Express and Bombardier. Leanna’s on the job training as both an locomotive engineer and conductor paved the way for her current role.
The one hour and fifteen minute run in each direction of the West Coast Express commute can be an intense one for all locomotive staff. Precision is key in stopping a heavy rail passenger train perfectly at a platform, and every second counts when assisting passengers on and off trains to ensure they get to work and home safely and on time. Life on the rails does hold some challenges. Rules, procedures and protocol make up a big part of being on duty. Things happen fast and staff are trained to respond quickly to ensure rules are followed and passenger safety is kept at the forefront of operations.
When asked about what she loves most about her career, without hesitation Leanna responds,
“I am a people person. Talking and dealing with people every day is probably what I love most about my job. Driving trains is pretty fun too, so that’s a close second! Working for West Coast Express allows for a day shift schedule with weekends off which is a rarity in a railway that runs 24/7, so this is a dream.”
Leanna stays motivated on the job knowing that her riders, or her “regulars” as she fondly calls them, depend on her.
“They depend on me to get them to and from work safely and on time. I do my best to do that. I take pride in my work, always, in any job I have done. Wanting to do a good job is pretty good motivation!”
Early on as a female employed in a male dominant work force Leanna learned some crucial lessons. Respect is key–if you do a good job, you will earn the trust and respect of your co-workers. Leanna feels she had to work hard to prove that she knew what she was doing, and is proud to have earned her place in this demanding job.
A career in the railway industry requires dedication and often difficult on-call hours. Leanna gives praise to her career with West Coast Express and Bombardier for allowing her to work a day shift with weekends off enjoying an excellent work-life balance.
“I used to say that I loved my job, even when working nights and weekends or getting called into work at 2 am at CP Rail. But now can say I truly love my job on the West Coast Express. The railway isn’t for everyone, but it is fulfilling and amazing. Be good at your job. Take pride in your job and everything after that just falls into place.”
Thank you for sharing a look into your career with us Leanna! We look forward to seeing what you do next!
Author: Sarah Kertcher