Can you make the grade as a GO train conductor? Take our exclusive quiz.

Not a fair comparison to how well commuter train operators know their stuff, we’ve created a small test to give you a hint at how well trained they are.

If you thought learning the rules of the road was tough – remember how much the ‘merge’ sign terrified you – try becoming a GO Train conductor.

A set of three signal stands loom over rail lines, and a level crossing, on the Lakeshore East line.

Signal lights wait to guide trains along the Lakeshore East line. (Photo by Hung Duc Hin)

According to Paul Robinson, manager of the training department at Bombardier, on top of spending countless hours learning every route, the conductors (officially known as GO commuter train operators) also need to memorize more than 100 possible signal combinations. To pass the test, they have to get 100 per cent – leaving no margin for error.

Signals are similar to the traffic lights you might see on the road. They tell the conductor what to do at the current signal and how to approach the next signal.

We know most of you have no training in this, but take the quiz and see how many you can reason – or luck – out. And then consider having to get more than 100 right – with no errors.

1. What does this signal mean?
Clear Signal: Proceed
Yes! Nice job.
Slow down
Nope. Try again.
Unicorn on the tracks
Negative. You’ve watched one too many Harry Potter movies.

What does this signal mean? (keep in mind the yellow light is flashing)
Advance Clear to Stop
This means proceed but be prepared to stop at the second signal.
Proceed with Caution
Nice try, better luck next time.
Washed out Bridge Ahead
Thankfully, no! There’s no washed out bridge.

What does this signal mean?
Clear to Stop: Proceed
Nice one! This tells the conductor to proceed but to prepare to stop at next signal.
Do an immediate u-turn
That might be tough to do in a GO Train.
Full speed ahead
Nope, keep guessing.
What does this signal mean? (keep in mind the green light is flashing)
Limited to Clear: Proceed
Limited speed (Not exceeding 45 mph) passing signal and through turnouts
Bathroom break in less than 100-metres
Incorrect. Fun fact, there’s actually a small washroom at the front of each GO locomotive for the conductors.
Clear Signal: Proceed
Nice try. Keep studying.

What does this signal mean?
Medium to Stop: Proceed
Medium speed (Not exceeding 30 mph) passing signal and through turnouts, preparing to stop at the next signal
 HOV lane ahead
Sadly, no. All GO Trains are high occupancy vehicles, they can hold more than 1,900 people.
Clear to Medium: Proceed
Close, but no cigar.

What does this signal mean?
Stop.
You got it, this tells the conductor to stop.
Clear Signal: Proceed
No…
Honk if you’re stuck in traffic.
Come on, this is an easy one.

What does this signal mean? (keep in mind the yellow and green lights are blinking)
Advance Clear to Limited
Proceed, approaching second signal at limited speed (Not exceeding 45 mph).
Upcoming scenic-view turn-off
Negative. All GO Train rides are scenic.
Clear to Slow: Proceed
Nope. This is a tough one.

What does this signal mean?
Clear to Slow: Proceed
This means the conductor should approach the next signal at slow speed (Not exceeding 15 mph).
Hazard lights must be used at speeds below 2 km/h
GO Trains don’t have hazard lights, silly.
Station approaching
You better get back to studying.

What does this signal mean? (keep in mind the green light is flashing)
Limited to Medium: Proceed
Yes! Limited speed (Not exceeding 45 mph) passing signal and through turnouts, approaching next signal at medium speed (Not exceeding 30 mph).
Stop
Not quite.
Advance Clear to Stop
Keep on guessing.

What does this signal mean?
Medium to Slow: Proceed
Medium speed (Not exceeding 30 mph) passing signal and through turnouts, approaching next signal at slow speed (Not exceeding 15 mph).
Advanced left turn Signal
Not quite. GO Trains don’t really turn.
Medium to Stop
Almost, but no. This is a tricky one.

How many did you get right?

10 (all of them!): You might want to consider a career change. For more information on becoming a GO Commuter Train Operator, please head directly to the Bombardier Transportation career page to apply. *Bombardier is contracted by GO Transit/Metrolinx to operate and maintain the GO Train fleet*

6-9: Well done! But if you want to be a real GO Train conductor you need to get 100 per cent on your test. Keep in mind, the real test includes more than 100 signal combinations.

5 and under: Keep on studying. You might have to leave the driving to the real pros. Professionals like Tyler Austin, a real life GO Train conductor that recently graduated from “conductor school“.

*This quiz is for educational purposes only. Please note that none of the data is collected, we just wanted to show how smart our conductors are.