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A conductor (American and Canadian English) or guard (Commonwealth English) is a train crew member responsible for operational and safety duties that do not involve actual operation of the train. The conductor title is most common in North American railway operations, but the role is common worldwide under various job titles. In Commonwealth English, a conductor is also known as guard or train manager

The responsibilities of a conductor in North America and of a guard in Commonwealth English typically include the following:

  • Making sure the train stays on schedule
  • Ensuring that any cars and cargo are picked up and dropped off properly
  • Completing en-route paperwork
  • Ensuring the train follows applicable safety rules and practices
  • Controlling the train's movement while operating in reverse
  • Coupling or uncoupling cars
  • Assisting with setting out or picking up of rolling stock
  • Carrying out running repairs
  • Ticket collection and other customer service duties
  • Opening and closing train doors

Some rapid transit systems employ conductors to make announcements and open and close doors—as opposed to a train operator performing those duties. The conductor often stays in the center of the train where they can best view the platform. While advances in automation allow most transit systems to use one person train operation (OPTO), a few, such as the New York City Subway, Toronto Transit Commission and Sydney Trains continue to employ conductors.

Conductor is also a crew member in some bus, trolleybus or tram operations.

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