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Rail News: Labor

KCS adds personal touch to operating rules training

Since April, Kansas City Southern has been stressing a more personal approach to operating rules training and testing. Instead of instructors providing training in a regional classroom setting or offering computerized courses, transportation managers train workers and administer rules exams locally.

"Employees are saying that they appreciate the opportunity to ask questions of managers and gain a greater understanding when interacting with their peers," said J.R. Thornell, KCS general superintendent of field operations, in a prepared statement.

In 2001, KCS began providing computer-based training to experienced train and engine-service (T&E) employees. The Class I still uses computerized courses for some hazardous materials training and engineer certification, but so far this year, 500 of the railroad's 1,300 T&E employees have received personalized training and testing. By October, all T&E workers will receive the "personal touch" training.

"The personal approach … ensures greater ownership and accountability of trainmasters and managers of operating practices, who must thoroughly know [operating rules] to be qualified to instruct others," said Dennis Marzec, KCS general director of rules and testing.

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More News from 6/11/2004