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  • 12-week certificate program
  • Entry dates: January, April, September
  • Notre Dame Campus, Winnipeg
  • Field Training (scheduled throughout the 12-week program)

Take this program to gain the knowledge and skills required to work in the railway industry as a member of a train crew, in either road or yard service. This program integrates knowledge in safety, business, communications, and wellness with the management of trains, including switching and marshaling cars, transporting dangerous goods, performing inspections, copying authorities and keeping records – all within the context of the Canadian Rail Operating Rules and railway General Operating Instructions.

The program provides pre-employment education and training for those who are looking to enter the railway industry as members of train crews. You will receive a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on application through the use of lab facilities, worksite visits, and an on-going practicum simulating real working conditions.

The program has been designed and developed in cooperation with the railway industry under the guidance of representatives from railway companies in Canada.

You are recommended to attend an information session before applying for the program.

Sign up for an information session while seats are available!

Admission Requirements

Your Academic History
If your academic history includes any of the following, please visit My Education for important information: post-secondary studies at an institution other than Red River College Polytechnic; Modified (M), English as an Additional Language (E), or GED high school courses; or home schooling; international secondary (high school) studies.


Upload Through Your Future Student Account

  • Scan your document(s) and save the file. Ensure you keep your original documents as the College may request to see them at any time.
  • Go to apply.rrc.ca and log in.
  • Click on your application, then Supplemental Items & Documents.

If you do not have a Future Student Account or require assistance, please contact our Student Service Centre at 204-632-2327.

Internationally Educated Applicants - visit www.rrc.ca/credentials for credential assessment information.

Submission of required documentation indicating proof of completion of admission requirements is due within 30 days of applying unless otherwise noted in the program's admission requirements.

Industry Requirements

Students are responsible for:

Checking with hiring railway(s) for their policies and requirements
Determining the medical and physical standards required by individual railway companies.

Regular Admission Requirements

Regular Admission Requirements

  1. Grade 12
    • Submit proof of graduation from or enrolment in Grade 12, including one credit in each of the following:
      • Grade 12 English 40S
      • Grade 12 Math 40S
    • If you provide proof of enrolment at time of application, your official final grades indicating successful completion must be submitted by July 15 for fall enrolment or by the deadline specified in your admission letter.
    • If you are required to complete an English language assessment, do not submit your transcripts until requested to do so.  See English Language Requirements (ELRs) for more information.
  2. English Language Requirements (ELRs)
    • Have you successfully completed the equivalent of three years of full-time secondary (high school) education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country where English was the language of instruction?
      • If yes, you appear to meet English language requirements. Submit your transcripts for verification purposes.
      • If no, submit proof of meeting an English language requirements option.  If you choose to complete an English language assessment, review this program's approved assessments and required levels.
      • If you completed all of your education in Canada, the United States, or an ELR exempt country in English but did not complete three years of high school, submit your transcripts for review.
    • If you apply within six weeks of the start date of the program, this item is due within 5 days of applying.
    • Approved English language assessments and required levels for this program are:
      • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Certificate - exit Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels from an English as a second language (ESL) program:
        Listening 9, Speaking 8, Reading 8, Writing 8
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS - Academic):
        Listening 7.5, Speaking 7.5, Reading 6.5, Writing 6.5
      • Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST):
        Listening 5.0,  Speaking 4.5,  Reading 4.5,  Writing 3.5
      • If completing an assessment, we strongly advise you complete it before submitting your application to ensure you meet language requirements and can submit your results within 30 days of applying.
      • Assessment results must be dated within two years of your application date.
      • After confirming you’ve met English language requirements through your assessment results, the College will send you an e-mail requesting submission of your transcripts.

English Language Assessments

English Language AssessmentMinimum Required Levels
L - Listening, S - Speaking, R - Reading, W - WritingLSRW
CanTEST (Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees)
As of October 20, 2021 the RRC CanTEST is no longer offered at RRC Polytechnic. RRC Institutional CanTEST results dated within 2 years of your application date will still be accepted to meet English language proficiency requirements. Please note the Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS)program requires the Official CanTEST (The RRC Institutional CanTEST will not be accepted)
Duolingo (Duolingo English Test)


There are no minimum required levels for L,S,R,W.

Due to closures related to COVID-19, RRC is temporarily allowing applicants to provide Duolingo English Test results to meet RRC's English language requirements.

Red River College Polytechnic will accept Duolingo assessments up to December 31, 2022.

IELTS - Academic (International English Language Testing System)
PTE - Academic Online Assessment (Pearson Test of English)

Locations, Dates and Fees

Costs (estimates only; subject to change)

Program/Student Fees
Year 1
Books and Supplies
Year 1
1Includes Health and Dental
2Books included in tuition price. Student is responsible for providing own Personal Protective Equipment, including: Safety shoes (CSA approved, 6 inch in-step, hard toe, defined heel), Safety glasses (CSA approved), leather gloves.

Red River College Polytechnic is a participating institution in the HigherEdPoints program. Through this program, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and TD Points into funds to help cover their tuition. Family members and friends can also contribute to a student’s education by converting their loyalty points - anyone can donate their points to an individual student.

Visit the HigherEdPoints website for more information about the program and/or to set up an account to convert your points.

Courses and Descriptions

(Click the course name to view the description of the course)
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In addition to Transfer of Credit from a recognized post secondary institution, other RPL processes are available for RPL courses. Click here for more information. For courses with no RPL, please check www.rrc.ca/rpl for additional contact information.
RAIL-1020RC - Signals
More Information

Much of a Conductor’s work involves recognition of railway signals. After completing this course, students should be able to recognize and interpret the variety of signals and signal sequences used by the railways.

RAIL-1021RC - Rail Security Awareness
More Information

Security is a common issue for a variety of modes of transportation including the railway. The course provides students with the skills and abilities necessary to perform their duties as Conductors in identifying and reporting potential security issues.

RAIL-1022RC - Passenger Evacuation
More Information

This course provides potential Conductors with the skills and abilities to safely evacuate passengers and other on-board staff in the event of an emergency.

RAIL-1023RC - Transportation of Dangerous Goods
More Information

This course focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the Railway Conductor with respect to the safe handling and transportation of dangerous goods. Course content includes handling of dangerous goods, proper processing, labeling and documentation.

RAIL-1024RC - Radio Regulations
More Information

This course focuses on proper and safe radio communication, a key duty in the role of the railway Conductor. Students learn and apply the appropriate rules and regulations for radio communication.

RAIL-1025RC - Air Brake Systems & Tests
More Information

Tests and inspections of equipment and of trains are a major responsibility of Conductors. A train crew must inspect equipment and/or trains as often as possible to detect any condition(s) that could cause costly damages and/or accidents. This course covers the basic Conductor responsibilities and procedures for performing inspections and tests on air brake equipment. It encompasses pre-departure and en route inspections and tests required in accordance with regulations.

RAIL-1026RC - Performing Inspections
More Information

A train crew must inspect equipment and/or trains as often as possible to detect any condition(s) that could cause costly damages and/or accidents.  This course focuses on the Conductor’s roles and responsibilities with respect to train and equipment inspection, wayside detection systems, and monitoring.

RAIL-1027RC - Switching & Marshalling
More Information

One of the key responsibilities of Conductors is to ensure trains pick up and set off the correct rail cars (switching) and that these rail cars are arranged in the correct sequence with the train (marshalling).  This course teaches the roles, responsibilities and duties of the Conductor with respect to switching and marshalling.

RAIL-1028RC - Rules & Regulations for Conductors
More Information

The Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR) govern railway operations of federally regulated railways and often guide the practices of regional and short line railways.  Conductors must know and be able to apply all applicable rules in the performance of their duties.  This course describes how the CROR impact the major functions within railway operations and promote safe operations relative to the movement and handling of trains and engines across a rail system.

RAIL-1029RC - Railway Lab/Field Experience
More Information

Much of a Conductor’s work involves recognition of railway signals as well as direct “hands on” operation of railway equipment.  This course provides learners with practical application of the content knowledge of the program in both a railway laboratory and in a rail yard.

CO-OP/Practicum Information

This program integrates classroom theory with related on-the-job training in the form of a practicum. The practicum is assessed on a pass/fail basis.

You will be required to complete up to 80 hours of supervised practicum in a working rail yard. This includes working outside in prevailing weather conditions.

You must have PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) prior to starting your practicum. This equipment includes:

  • Safety shoes (CSA-approved, 6-inch instep, laced, hard toe with defined heel)
  • Safety glasses (CSA-approved)
  • Leather gloves

Field Training Location
CN Transcona Yards;
Access from 550 Pandora Ave E (CN facility);

Computer/Laptop Requirements

Online learning is a critical component of course delivery in all Red River College programs. To ensure each student has the tools they need to achieve their academic goals, all Red River College students require, at minimum:

1.  Off-campus access to a current computer with a webcam

2.  A high speed internet connection

• Recommended minimum speed: 10 mbps for download, 3 mbps for upload
• Slower internet connection speeds may result in audio and video issues. Please keep in mind that if others in your home are using the same internet connection at the same time as you are, you may also experience audio and video issues.
• Please refer to https://www.rrc.ca/future-students/computer-requirements/for further information on Computer Requirements for Students.

Please note that any anticipated costs are not included in Books and Supplies estimates.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process which documents and compares an individual's prior learning gained from prior education, work and life experiences and personal study to the learning outcomes in College courses/programs. For more information, please visit www.rrc.ca/rpl.

Graduate Employment Report

Red River College Polytechnic surveys its graduates on an annual basis to collect data related to the graduates’ employment status, salary, occupation and skill use. In addition, graduates are asked to indicate their level of satisfaction regarding the education they received at Red River College Polytechnic.

Visit www.rrc.ca/numbers/reports/graduate-satisfaction for graduate satisfaction and employment reports.

Graduation Requirements

You must complete your full-time program within four years from the start of the first course in the program, unless otherwise state in the program outline.

To graduate, you must successfully complete the theory-based portion of the program with a minimum of 85% and pass the practicum. 

You will not be granted more than 75% of the credit requirements for graduation through transfer of credit.

When you have completed all the required courses in this program, be sure to apply for your certificate. For complete details on applying to graduate and convocation, see rrc.ca/convocation.

Questions about graduation? Please call 204-694-1789 or 1-866-242-7073 for assistance. 

Graduation with Honours
If you obtain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.8 or better for the program, you will graduate with honours. If you fail any course in the program, you will not be eligible for this honours designation.

Contact Information

For more information, contact:

School of Continuing Education
E113-2055 Notre Dame Ave
Winnipeg, MB   R3H 0J9
Phone: 204-694-1789 or 1-866-242-7073
Fax: 204-633-6489
Email: cde@rrc.ca

College Support Services

Red River College Polytechnic is committed to student success and provides valuable support services to assist in helping students make the most of their time at RRC Polytech.

Visit www.rrc.ca/supports for more information.

Academic Advising Service
Our academic advising service can provide information about our full-time programs, explain program admission requirements, and help you select the right program to meet your career and academic goals. We can also connect you with helpful people, resources, and supports.
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Red River College Polytechnic endeavours to provide the most current version of all program and course information on this website. Please be advised that classes may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, process, or procedure without notice or prejudice. Fees may change without notice.