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Get on track with a rewarding career at SkyTrain  

Get on track with a rewarding career at SkyTrain  

Leslie Broacto, SkyTrain Guideway Serviceperson

There’s an adage that teamwork makes the dream work — or it takes a village to raise a child.

Nowhere does it ring more true than at British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC), or SkyTrain as it’s better known by. More than 1,100 employees work 24/7/365 to deliver safe and reliable transit service along the Expo and Millennium Lines to about 350,000 passengers each weekday.

It’s the collaborative, can-do and safety-first attitude of SkyTrain employees like Leslie Brocato, a guideway serviceperson, who help make it possible.

Each night, there are only a few hours to complete maintenance.

The last train carrying customers on the Expo Line leaves Waterfront Station at 1:16 a.m. and arrives at King George Station at 1:56 a.m. Just over three hours’ later, the first train departs from Edmonds at 5:17 a.m., bound for Waterfront Station with the first customers of the day.

That makes the work a delicate task.

“We have to cut and prep the rail, bring it to the job site, and you have to screw and unscrew everything [in a matter of hours],” explains Leslie, recalling a recent project she worked on with her colleagues. They were working on the rails that power the trains and the rails that allow the trains to switch directions.

A guideway technician cuts rail on the SkyTrain tracks overnight

Leslie is new to working on railways such as SkyTrain. Prior to joining BCRTC, Leslie was a water damage technician for a restoration company for eight years.

Leaning on her colleagues for support and mentorship has been crucial as she pivots to another skilled trade.

“People are really nice here; they’re really helpful. Everybody helps each other,” Leslie says of her newfound colleagues and working family.

“They’re funny, they joke a lot. When we’re on our breaks, we know how to have fun and nothing is serious. And when it’s time to be serious, we are all ready to focus on the job,” she adds.

As a guideway serviceperson, Leslie assists technicians with inspecting and repairing the SkyTrain tracks, commonly referred to as the “guideway”. It includes everything from the rails the train runs on and the rails that power the trains, to drainage, walkways, and fencing. Think anything and everything on the concrete structures the train operates on.

“Working here is always a learning experience — every day is experience,” says Leslie. “There’s a lot of things to learn and I’m happy for that.”

A team of guideway staff work on the SkyTrain tracks overnight

The SkyTrain is unique as it is one of the few automated rapid transit systems in the world. Because of this, SkyTrain has developed their own training program with courses in SkyTrain maintenance.

This training program means there’s plenty of growth opportunities for Leslie and everyone working in SkyTrain maintenance.

“I really like working in a skilled job, and here I get to use my brain. There’s a lot to learn and I’m looking forward to next steps to grow here.” Leslie offers as she looks to the future.

That’s one of the reasons latching on to a career at SkyTrain has been a boon for Leslie, who notes she’s in good hands with BCRTC.

Comprehensive benefits packages includes extended health benefits — such as massage therapy, physiotherapy, and other therapeutic treatments — mental health and wellbeing resources, as well as defined benefit pension plan. It also includes a transit pass for the employee and up to two eligible family members (some restrictions apply).

Leslie adds, “I know my company is growing, which means more opportunity, more jobs, and more people that can help.”

BCRTC alone is filling about 500 jobs over the next five years to meet demand for major upcoming projects. This includes 205 new SkyTrain cars, extensions to the Millennium Line (i.e. the Broadway Subway project) and the Expo Line (i.e. the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project), as well as new operations and maintenance facilities.

That’s why SkyTrain is looking for qualified people. Join the team in myriad areas of operations and maintenance — including tradespeople, technicians, and electricians.

Want to work with Leslie and think you have what it takes to join SkyTrain? Visit today to apply.

Says Leslie, “You will get scared of the name guideway, but I will tell you, it’s fun to work in guideway.”

With files from Alex Jackson


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