When engineers first begin their careers, they are placed on the "extra board." Extra board engineers work only when the railroad needs substitutes for regular workers. They often have to work many years in this capacity before they accumulate enough seniority to get a regular assignment. Seniority rules may also allow workers with more years spent on the job to select the type of assignment they desire. It is possible for an experienced engineer to advance into a supervisory position, such as supervisor of engines of the road, but the number of such positions is small.
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