The railroad conductor is the person responsible for the safety and operational duties of the train but is not the person who operates the locomotive—that person is known as the engineer.
The conductor is responsible for keeping the train on schedule, collecting tickets, and opening and closing doors. They are also responsible for paperwork, making sure that cars and cargo are moved correctly, and even coupling and uncoupling rail cars. Conductors are found on both freight and passenger trains. Some railroads require conductors to eventually advance to the role of engineer.
In later years, railroads have considered eliminating the position of conductor on freight trains since an engineer is already qualified as a conductor. Conductors are represented by the United Transportation Union (UTU), and this change would require a renegotiation of contracts.
Uniform worn by E.S. Miller, c. 1964
Donated by R.L. Miller