As stated in a previous edition of this newsletter, like most of the rail industry, the BNSF signal department is having difficulty recruiting new employees. And that is evident by the hiring numbers in 2022.
In the early fall of 2022, the BNSF increased its target new hire number for the year to 158. This was due, in part, to the rapid increase in attrition rates among signalmen. It appears the year-end total new hire number will fall well short of that goal. To date, the Committee has record of 130 total new hires for 2022. Combined with the fact we had over 70 resignations for the year, the result is the BNSF fell well short of its target workforce number.
Looking ahead to 2023, BNSF has announced they intend to pursue another year of robust recruitment as they seek to hire at least another 135. And senior management has stated they will likely increase that target throughout the year. The question remains – will they be able to overcome their poor public image and successfully recruit signalmen? Time will tell.