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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Railroad Safety Specialist (S&TC) -GS - 2121-13 (Open to Status Candidates) - BP
Department:  Department Of Transportation
Agency:  Federal Railroad Administration
Job Announcement Number:  FRA.S-2014-0009

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$81,823.00 to $106,369.00 / Per Year
Friday, November 15, 2013 to Monday, December 02, 2013
Full Time - - Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location(s):
Kansas City, MO View Map
Omaha, NE View Map
  • Current or former federal employees with status OR
  • Veterans eligible under VEOA
If you are NOT a status employee or VEOA eligible, you may wish to apply under announcement FRA.S-2014-0010, which is open to all U.S. Citizens.


The Federal Railroad Administration’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future. FRA promulgates and enforces rail safety regulations; consolidates government support of rail transportation activities; administers financial assistance programs; conducts research and development in support of improved railroad safety and efficiency, and national transportation policy, including improved intercity passenger service.

FRA is committed to fostering a diverse, highly skilled workforce capable of meeting or exceeding our strategic goals with efficiency, innovation, and a constant focus on better serving our customers.
This position is assigned to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Office of the Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, Chief Safety Officer (Associate Administrator), Office of Safety Assurance and Compliance, Signal and Train Control (S&TC) Division Staff. You will address the regional oversight of the design and implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) systems that are occurring within the S&TC discipline of railroad safety. Under the direction of the PTC Group Chief, you will provide advice and guidance within FRA, other agencies, industry signal engineering officials, manufacturers of signal equipment, and labor organizations on the requirements of Federal rules and regulations in this area of expertise.

This position is ideal for a mid-career professional who has experience in the design, construction, maintenance, testing, and use of railroad signal and train control systems in general, and PTC systems in particular.
PLEASE NOTE: There is only one position being filled. You must identify the location(s) for which you wish to be considered. This is a mobile work position, meaning the work requires the selectee to travel off site the majority of the time and use the selectee's home as his or her duty location. The Agency has determined that this duty location must be in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of any of the listed cities.
This position is eligible for full-time telework, and the selectee must reside (or be willing to move at his/her own expense) within the geographic area(s) of the duty location(s) stated above. The duty location for a full-time teleworker is usually the residence or other approved telework site.  Salary will be adjusted based on the duty location. 
The 2013 Salary information can be viewed for specific locations by visiting,


  • You must be eligible for status consideration & meet specialized experience
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
  • Review How to Apply Section as documents are required by closing date.
  • Position is eligible for Full-time Telework, see Benefits & Other Info Tab.
  • Announcement also advertised open to all U.S. Citizens: FRA.S-2014-0010.
  • Job announcement may be used to fill similar positions within 30 days.


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The Railroad Safety Specialist (Signal & Train Control):

  • Serves as regional PTC specialist and test monitor for the development and implementation of PTC systems includes both laboratory and field testing of PTC systems presently under development and test as well as future systems. Monitors the testing of PTC projects and reviews and provides recommendations on PTC systems as they are developed.
  • Provides written reports of the status of PTC projects to the PTC Group Chief, S&TC Staff Director and other members of the team working on individual projects for appropriate handling and attend review meetings associated with the individual PTC projects and to provide written reports of these meetings.
  • Provides information and advice to the PTC Senior Test Monitors, the PTC Group Chief, the S&TC Staff Director, and the Senior Technical Staff of the Associate Administrator, related to PTC system development and test results, and provides the railroads and system developers with technical advice on any problems found during testing.
  • Provides advice on regulations pertaining to PTC performance standards and provides advice on issues involving the rules, standards, and instructions pertaining to these systems.
  • Provides technical advice to the railroads and helps assure that the applicable Federal regulations are adhered to and that safety principles are appropriately applied to these projects and programs.


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To be basically qualified for a Railroad Safety Specialist (S &TC), you MUST have demonstrated knowledge and skill in the following areas:

  • Broad knowledge of the railroad industry including economic and operating considerations and equipment;
  • Knowledge of the general safety and health principles and practices applicable to the railroad industry;
  • Knowledge of railroad accident investigation techniques; 
  • Skill in written and oral communication.
  • Knowledge of the design, installation, maintenance, testing or inspection of signals and train control systems.

IN ADDITION TO THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS, to meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must meet the specialized experience requirements.
LEVEL To qualify, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equal or equivalent to the following:
  • Experience applying policies, guidance, and regulations used for evaluating performance of programs associated with the design, implementation, and test of software and hardware for processor-based/communication-based signal and train control systems, and/or, locomotive propulsion systems associated with, or that interface with, processor-based/ communication-based signal or train control systems.
  • Experience using rules, regulations, and/or guidelines pertaining to the design, implementation, test, or certification of processor based/communication-based signal and train control systems (Positive Train Control).
  • Experience using regulations and principles associated with conventional signal or train control systems.
Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service.
  • PROBATIONARY PERIOD: You must complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
  • INTERVIEW: Applicants may be required to demonstrate in a pre-employment interview that they possess the personal characteristics necessary for Railroad Safety work.
  • DECLARATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT: The selectees for railroad safety positions will be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.
  • DRUG TEST: Railroad Safety Specialists have been determined to be a critical safety/security position as defined in the Department of Transportation (DOT) Order, DOT 3910.1D entitled "Drug and Alcohol-Free Departmental Workplace." Therefore, if selected for the position you will be required to submit to a pre-employment/pre-appointment drug test, you will also be subject to Random Drug Testing.
  • TRAVEL: This position requires extensive travel. The travel is a condition of employment.
  • DRIVER'S LICENSE: Railroad Safety Specialists travel frequently, which requires being away from the official duty station for several consecutive nights. All specialists are required to possess a valid state drivers license at all times while employed by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) in order to perform the duties of their positions.
  • GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD REQUIREMENT: You must be able to obtain and retain a Government contractor-issued travel card to be used for official business as a condition of employment. If unable to obtain and/or retain a card, you may be subject to removal. Those who fail to meet this condition of employment will have our offer of employment rescinded.
  • TRAVEL EXPENSES:  Will not be paid for this position.
  • TIME-IN-GRADE REQUIREMENT: Federal applicants must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade to satisfy time-in-grade restrictions contained in 5 CFR 300, Subpart F.


The Automated Staffing Office is ultimately responsible for determining your final rating. Please ensure that your resume and application provide enough detail to support your answers to the Vacancy Specific Questions. Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. Your answers to the Vacancy Specific Questions, your self-determined rating, resume and supporting documentation are reviewed. If your resume and supporting documents do not support your answers to the Vacancy Specific Questions, your final rating may be modified.
To preview questions please click here.


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  • Benefits include health and life insurance, annual and sick leave, and retirement benefits. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal Employees here.
  • This position eligible for Full-Time Telework, which means an employee is not required to report to an FRA office during a pay period. 


Displaced employees may be eligible for ICTAP or CTAP priority consideration. For more information, please review the OPM Employee's Guide to Career Transition.

SENIORITY RIGHTS - LEAVES OF ABSENCE - RE-EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS: The FRA has determined that seniority rights, leaves of absence, and reemployment rights from prior railroad employment generally constitute an actual or an appearance of a conflict of interest. New employees may be required to divest themselves of such rights immediately upon hire if these rights are determined to constitute an actual or appearance of a conflict of interest. If new employees are permitted to retain such rights, which is generally the case for Railroad Safety positions, the rights must be divested at the end of the one year probationary period which begins with the date of appointment. Divestiture is a requisite to continued employment with the Federal Railroad Administration. No waivers will be granted of the divestiture requirement. Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. Parts 2635.403 and 6001.104, all FRA employees (or spouses or minor children of FRA employees) are specifically prohibited from holding railroad stock (including shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. which owns 100% of BNSF), whether held outright, in an IRA, or in a 401(k) or other plan. (Employees may hold a mutual fund which invests in railroad stocks, so long as the mutual fund does not invest more than 30% of its assets in such prohibited investments.) Employees having a prohibited financial interest must divest themselves of railroad stock within 90 days after their appointment to their positions. Neither the rule against holding railroad stock, nor the divestiture period, is in any way affected by the existence of re-employment rights which employees might have with railroad companies. Nor is there any monetary threshold for applicability of the rule against ownership of railroad stock; all dollar amounts are prohibited. If selected, you will be subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct applicable to all executive branch employees. Selectees will be required to complete a new entrant confidential financial disclosure report (Office of Government Ethics Form 450) within 30 days of hire (except if hired between Nov.15 and Dec. 31). Thereafter, selectees will be required to annually file a confidential financial disclosure report by Feb. 15 of each year, pursuant to instructions issued in early January.


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You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents)no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.
  • To begin, click the "Apply Online" button on the job posting.
  • Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.
  • You may review your saved application(s) at
If you are having difficulty applying online, please contact the DOT Automated Staffing Office during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET) at (202) 366-1298.  You may also email us at 


The following documents must be provided by the closing date:
  • RESUME - Showing relevant experience and education and fully supporting the required specialized experience.
  • SF-50 - Which verifies grade, full performance level of position, and eligibility for consideration as a status applicant
  • DD214: verifying military service and eligibility for consideration.
  • SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY DOCUMENTS - If requesting concurrent consideration for Non-competitive (NC) appointment eligibility (e.g. military spouse or persons with disabilities), you must provide appropriate supporting documentation such as PCS orders describing move & marriage certificate; letter from VA or DD214 describing 100% disability of spouse; letter from State Vocational Office certifying disability, etc. For more information, visit military spouse NC appointments or Persons with Disabilities NC appointments. Documents are only required if requesting non-competitive consideration.
  • DISPLACED EMPLOYEE PLACEMENT DOCUMENTS: Only required if requesting priority consideration under: CTAP/ICTAP. You must submit ALL of the following: (1) your most recent performance appraisal, (2) the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency and (3) your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade. In addition, you MUST meet the well qualified standards for this vacancy (meeting minimum requirements for position and scoring at least an 85).

Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position.


Automated Staffing Office
Phone: 202-366-1298
Fax: 571-258-4052
Agency Information:
Submit Application and Documents Online
1200 New Jersey Ave SE / HAHR - 50
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-4052


You may check your application status by logging into Within two weeks of the closing date, a Human Resources Specialist will evaluate your application. Ratings will be determined based on the documents and information received by the closing date. The most highly qualified candidates are then referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. If you are selected for an interview, the hiring manager will contact you directly. Once the position is filled, we will notify all applicants of their final status.

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