Chicago CCTD Qualified All Desks - 90359608 - Chicago, IL

Date: May 23, 2023

Location: Chicago, Illinois, US, 60606

Company: Amtrak

Your success is a train ride away!

As we move America’s workforce toward the future, Amtrak connects businesses and communities across the country. We employ more than 20,000 diverse, energetic professionals in a variety of career fields throughout the United States. The safety of our passengers, our employees, the public and our operating environment is our priority, and the success of our railroad is due to our employees.


Are you ready to join our team?

Our values of ‘Do the Right Thing, Excel Together and Put Customers First’ are at the heart of what matters most to us, and our Core Capabilities, ‘Building Trust, Accountability, Effective Communication, Customer Focus, and Proactive Safety & Security’ are what every employee needs to know and do to be most impactful at Amtrak. By living the Amtrak values, focusing on our capabilities, and actively embracing and fostering diverse ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives, together we will honor our past and make Amtrak a company of the future.



The Amtrak Chicago Control Center is welcoming applicants for its key leadership position of Train Director. Once selected, applicants would be considered for the operation of, and all duties associated with passenger and freight movement on the lines and sections dispatched by the Chicago Control Center. The Chicago Control Center, and the position of Train Director, is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, including holidays. Candidates must be aware that they are subject to around the clock call periods and must be able to work when required any time of day or night, or any date on the calendar, without exception.



  • The Train Director position is an indispensable mission critical role for Amtrak Midwest and Long-Distance Services, as well as Metra Suburban services and tens of thousands of freight cars per month. Candidates must be able to successfully manage high volume intense pressure safety critical tasks in logical sequences that assign a variety of priorities: ensuring organized execution of a railway enterprise in service to its customers and safety is a must.

  • Chicago Control Center employees are dedicated to the safe and efficient movement of all train traffic on territories dispatched. Qualified candidates must be able to work self-directed for up to 9 hours without break devoting both eye and ear to the vigilance required in managing the ceaseless regulated motion of: audio-based transmissions via radio, telephone, and other electric communication devices; computer and paper-based traffic management tasks; and other duties as required or assigned.

  • Train Directors are required to execute and protect all aspects of the operation and have the leadership, courage, and stamina to detect errors and/or anomalies and take immediate action to protect and then resolve same in the fields of track and infrastructure, communications and signals, passenger services coordination, rules and special instructions compliance, mechanical, and other railroad disciplines as needed. Qualified candidates will have demonstrable success with computer-based applications and are also able to follow rigid protocols, safety rules, and other special instructions as related to the operation of large complex computing systems governing detailed safety critical operations.

  • Qualified candidates will be responsible for managing traffic under GCOR operating rules and other Amtrak Special Instructions placed in effect; employees will be required to ensure trains keep to schedule under safe operating practices while ensuring accurate calculations of the meeting and routing of trains. Such candidates will also be expected to become familiar with all minimum and maximum run times to ensure excellent delivery of high-speed passenger traffic while ensuring maintenance of the lines they dispatch as well as the movement of freight in between. Candidates must be able to issue safe and clear direction to dozens of other leadership employees throughout their daily tour of duty, both verbally and written, without error.

  • Candidates must also take interest in the improvement of the business of train movement and must be able to work in multiple threads of concurrent conversations with both internal parties (trainmasters, yardmasters, other operating desks, CNOC, etc.) and railroad groups as well as external railroad partners, adjoining territories, and other entities such as police, fire, and other emergency services when required.



  • Candidates must have 2-4 years of experience in Transportation, Logistics, Planning, Engineering, or related discipline or a minimum of 2 years Train Dispatching experience (or any Train Dispatching/ Rail Traffic Control course offered at an approved educational institution).

  • Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook; basic computer file system structures; ability to use various menu-based computer software systems; ability to use a mouse and execute at least one mouse movement and click every two seconds.

  • Ability to sit for a period of up to 9 hours under mentally stressful conditions; ability to work any shift around the clock on any day or date; ability to ensure timely arrival for duty at the Control Center no matter what weather conditions prevail.

  • Strong written and verbal skills; ability to give and take direction; ability to read, learn, and apply a variety of railroad operating rules; professional leadership demeanor which fosters growth and success in self and others.

  • Provide internal/external customer service with professional interpersonal skills.


    • Employees will be regularly monitored on the following areas:

      • Understanding and knowledge of the Passenger and Operating Timetables, Special     Instructions, Safety Rules, Amtrak of Excellence, and other Amtrak policies in effect

      • Appropriately apply the Operating, Special Instructions, and Safety Rules in effect

      • Appropriately apply application of Centralized Traffic Control

      • Appropriately manage both passenger (high speed, long distance, and suburban) and freight traffic

      • Appropriately apply Track Bulletin rules and issue Mandatory Directives

      • Appropriately apply Track and Time and other Roadway Worker Protection Rules

      • Understanding and Use of Dispatch, Communication, and Train Management Software

      • Knowledge and familiarity with the geography and characteristics of dispatch district

      • Knowledge and protection of the Federal Hours of Service Law, Federal Train Sheet Law, Federal Railroad Radio Rules, etc.

      • Knowledge and protection of the Federal Hours of Service Law as it relates to the management of Train and Engine crew movement

      • Ability to prioritize and execute tasks in the appropriate order

      • Ability to plan ahead, and to recognize and resolve future conflicts

      • Ability to remain focused on duties, performing such duties safely and logically under demanding scenarios in a professional manner

      • Ability to consistently take the safest course of action

      • Desire to create a working leadership role amongst peers and field employees





Must have excellent written and oral communication skills.


Preferences will be given to previously qualified Train Dispatchers, candidates qualified on operating rules (particularly GCOR), and those who have been in positions of demonstrable leadership whose functions were safety, sequence, or military operations related.


The hourly rate is $33.99 - $42.49 (with opportunity for increases, as per the applicable collective bargaining agreement, after beginning employment). Amtrak offers a comprehensive benefit package that includes health, dental, and vision plans; wellness programs; flexible spending accounts; 401K retirement plan; life insurance; paid time off; reimbursement of education; Public Service Loan Forgiveness eligibility; Railroad Retirement sickness and retirement benefits; and rail pass privileges. Some benefits are subject to the collective bargaining agreement. Learn more about our benefits offerings here.​​​​​​​


Requisition ID:158684
Posting Location(s):Illinois
Job Family/Function:Transportation 
Relocation Offered:No 
Travel Requirements:Up to 25% 

You power our progress through your performance.

We want your work at Amtrak to be more than a job. We want your career at Amtrak to be a fulfilling experience where you find challenging work, rewarding opportunities, respect among colleagues, and attractive compensation. Amtrak maintains a culture that values high performance and recognizes individual employee contributions. 

Amtrak is committed to a safe workplace free of drugs and alcohol. All Amtrak positions requires a pre-employment background check that includes prior employment verification, a criminal history check and a pre-employment drug screen. 

Candidates who test positive for marijuana will be disqualified, regardless of any start or local statue, ordinance, regulation, or other law that legalizes or decriminalizes the use or possession of marijuana, whether for medical, recreational, or other use. Amtrak's pre-employment drug testing program is administered in accordance with DOT regulations and applicable law.  

In accordance with DOT regulations (49 CFR § 40.25), Amtrak is required to obtain prior drug and alcohol testing records for applicants/employees intending to perform safety-sensitive duties for covered Department of Transportation positions. If an applicant/employee refuses to provide written consent for Amtrak to obtain these records, the individual will not be permitted to perform safety-sensitive functions.


In accordance with federal law governing security checks of covered individuals for providers of public transportation (Title 6 U.S.C. §1143), Amtrak is required to screen applicants for any permanent or interim disqualifying criminal offenses. 

Note that any education requirement listed above may be deemed satisfied if you have an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Amtrak is an EOE/Affirmative Action Minority/Female employer, and we welcome all to apply. We consider candidates regardless of race/color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions), national origin/ethnicity, age, disability (intellectual, mental and physical), veteran status, marital status, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, genetic information, citizenship or any other personal characteristics protected by law.