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Principal Train Control Engineer

OUTSOURCE Consulting Services, Inc. (
Oakland, California, United States
December 26, 2018


Seeking a full time permanent Principal Train Control Engineer to join our client’s Train Control Maintenance and Engineering (M&E) Department in Oakland, CA.


This posting covers Principal Train Control Engineers within the Train Control Engineering (TCE) Division of the Maintenance and Engineering (M&E) Department.

Beyond the minimum qualifications, Principal Engineers Must have a minimum of 10 years work experience in engineering project administration. Work on larger projects, have more areas of subject matter expertise, provide mentoring to junior staff, lead small project teams, and interact with outside groups as required.

Principal Train Control Engineers provide leadership on complex projects; participate in the development of project scopes, schedules and cost estimates; lead/supervise Train Control Engineers, review asset/equipment performance to ascertain root cause, and design/implement improvements. P.E. is preferred.

Incumbents in these positions will receive assignments on a variety of ongoing projects, including project management, technical design, documentation, implementation, testing and maintenance support of both hardware and software modifications to the Automatic Train Control (ATC), Automatic Train Operation (ATO), and Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems of the District’s train control system.

These systems include, but are not limited to, the following:

Communication Based Train Control

Microprocessor Based Interlocking Systems

VHLC (Vital Harmon Logic Controller)

VPI (Vital Processor Interlocking)

Relay Based Interlocking Systems

Sequential Occupancy Release System (SORS)

Positive Stop & Train ID System (PS/ID)

Train Control Room Multiplex Speed Encoding Systems

Microprocessor based Multiplex Speed Encoding System (NSMUX)

Legacy Westinghouse Multiplex Speed Encoding System (MUX)

Wayside Multiplex Speed Encoding System (WMUX)

Vehicle Automatic Train Control Systems (VATC)

Ideal candidates will posses the following skills:

Experience supervising staff and consultants

Experience in programming and reverse engineering of train control software systems using ladder logic or Boolean equation logic

Experience with design, programming and administration of database systems, specifically VHLC, VPI, and other train control industry systems

Experience with software configuration management and version control, using tools such as PVCS, CVS, subversion or similar, coupled with a comprehensive bug-tracking system such as Bugzilla

An understanding of modern communications networks and protocols

Experience with systems and application implementation interfacing with other internal or external systems

Experience with real-time, distributed data collection systems and associated system architectures

Experience with working in a critical time-sensitive operational environment:

Providing close support and troubleshooting in such an environment

Introducing changes in a controlled and reversible manner

Investigating incidents both historically and in real-time

Seeing the big picture and triaging problems

Maintaining an end-user/customer focus and timely support to Operations

Investigating and resolving reported problems while maintaining end-user/customer focus, and

Preparing detailed reports to document the problem, troubleshooting methods and eventual resolution.

Developing/implementing improvements in order to improve on incident response

Experience with process automation for remote data collection, transformation, reporting, and analysis

Experience working with a mixture of legacy and modern systems in order to facilitate system updates, and maintain system compatibility

Experience with design and operation of systems handling vital safety sensitive data

Experience with devising software testing procedures and perform software testing

Understanding of computer systems security and security procedures and practices

Experience with user-interface engineering, knowledge of applicable display and input devices and familiarity with human-machine interface principles

Excellent problem-solving ability, either individually or in a team environment

Excellent communication skills, including the ability to make clear presentations, produce concise technical reports, and explain complex/technical issues to BART management and leaders

Experience working with and managing contractors and vendors in the execution of contracts and agreements, including implementation planning, deployment coordination, and quality evaluation of work product

Experience with gathering user requirements from internal and external stakeholders, and developing system technical specifications for implementation

Keep up to date with emerging technology such as CBTC and developments and trends in the computer, software and transit and railroad industry, while maintaining membership of appropriate professional institutions, such as AREMA

Design and lead risk management projects, risk register analytics, root cause analysis, drive resolution of complex program including risk registers

Engineering projects in close cooperation with Maintenance, which may include engineering standards/drawings, reviews, and updates

Measure project performance using appropriate tools and techniques, and apply innovative techniques to improve project performance

Ensure that all projects are delivered on-time, within scope and within budget, and troubleshoot and resolve complex challenges in all aspects of project closeout

Track and evaluate future project technical needs, and coordinate capital funding challenges and improvements

Development of required contract documents to drive optimized purchasing, and ensure contract documents conform to all district, state, and federal requirements

Ensure resource availability and allocation, and track and optimize funding streams including multiple grant sources

Guide and direct resolution of project difficulties and complex control and technical problems around scope, schedules, and/or budget, using analytics for early detection of control issues in large portfolios

Ability to work with multidisciplinary teams, and to handle such diverse aspects of the work as project planning, budgeting, requirements analysis, conceptual engineering, detailed design, system sizing, implementation planning, programming, installation coordination, vendor management, performance measurement, and analysis

Willingness to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days at a time (in rotation with others), to work occasionally during overnight and weekend maintenance windows, and to work occasionally in noisy and dirty environments or in foul weather and in close proximity to moving trains.

Essential Job Functions

Incumbents in these positions will lead projects and assignments of new and ongoing projects, including planning, design, procurement, and engineering support during construction, commissioning, operations, and maintenance of assets

Incorporates safety in all aspects of job performance and is a role model for others in driving a culture of safety first and continuous improvement

Supervise staff and consultants

Positions require coordination with Train Control Maintenance and the Operations Control Center personnel to provide engineering support in troubleshooting operational problems

Procurement of train control equipment, including development of technical specifications, drawings, test tools, quality control and training for Engineering and Maintenance staff

Management of capital projects including preparation of Quarterly FTA Reports, Quarterly Performance Review Reports, status reports, review and approve invoices

Provide engineering and systems integration support to other department projects including, review of contact specifications, attend project meetings and act as the TC Engineering liaison to the project

Provide TC Engineering support to “Top Ten List” of high priority items as identified by TC Maintenance which may include working off-shift hours

Provide TC Engineering support to RS&S which may include working on board revenue vehicles to troubleshoot VATC problems

Develop SOPs, Maintenance Directives and Maintenance Bulletins as required to support TC Maintenance activities

Recommend visions to the Facilities Standards (BFS) to reflect the latest industry best practices.

NOTE: Because some projects are based on capital work, some of the positions are capital positions and are subject to time and funding limitations.


Minimum Qualifications


A Bachelor’s degree in electronics, computer science or a related field from an accredited college or university.


Four (4) years of (full-time equivalent) verifiable train control systems experience which must have included at least one (1) year of administrative or supervisory responsibility.


Additional professional level experience as outlined above may be substituted for the education on a year-for-year basis. A college degree is preferred.


Environmental Conditions: Office environment; exposure to computer screens field environment; exposure to noise, dust, grease, fumes, gases, heat and cold.

Physical Conditions: May require maintaining physical condition necessary for walking, standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Knowledge of:

Operations, services and activities of a comprehensive train control engineering and computer equipment program.

Principles and practices of train control and signaling systems.

Principles and practices of program development and administration.

Materials, tools, methods, and equipment used in the maintenance, modification and installation train control equipment.

Computer software and programming languages used in train control engineering

Principles and practices of contract administration

Principles and practices of project scheduling and management

Principles and practices of budget preparation and administration

Operational characteristics of analog and digital electronics, electrical circuitry, electro-mechanical mechanisms and mini- and micro-computers

Terminology, methods, practices, and techniques used in technical engineering report preparation

Current office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers

Specialized computer programs or systems utilized in project management and design

Related Federal, State and local laws, codes and regulations

Principles of supervision, training and performance evaluation

Skill in:

Planning and evaluating schedules, processes and procedures for the design, installation, and maintenance of train control computer systems and equipment

Directing and coordinating District train control engineering projects

Interpreting and explaining District policies and procedures

Interpreting and revising engineering plans, drawings and specifications

Preparing clear and concise reports

Analyzing complex engineering issues, evaluating alternatives and recommending solutions

Understanding and following oral and written instructions

Communicating clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing

Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work

Selecting, supervising, training, and evaluating staff

Additional Information: is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, arrest and conviction records, or any other characteristic protected by law. is a participant in the U.S. Federal E-Verify program. Women, minorities, disabled and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Thank you for your interest in our jobs. We look forward to seeing your resume!