I am going to provide you with details about the Hang Test that my husband went through a few weeks into his training. Just so you know- this test may be regional. It may be peculiar to a certain region in his railroad, or to his railroad in general. You might not encounter this test, or you might encounter something similar but different. That having been said, here are the details of what he encountered. Even if this test isn't exactly what you will encounter, it wouldn't hurt to prepare for it. It will help you to be as physically prepared as possible for the demanding job of freight conductor.
As I posted earlier, two people flunked this test. Maybe they would still be employed by the railroad if they had known in advance about the test, and if they would have prepared.
Here is an exact description of what my husband went through.
He had to hang on the ladder on the side of a car for several six minutes. At all times both feet were on the ladder. You can practice this on a jungle gym at a park or on a play set in your yard if you are luck enough to have one.
1. Climb onto the ladder. Keeping both feet on the ladder, hang for two minutes with both arms supporting you.
2. Then, keeping both feet on the ladder, let go with one hand. Use the freehand to perform railroad hand signals such as: Go Ahead, Keep Her Coming, Stop, Car Counts, Go This Way.
3. Continuing to keep both feet on the ladder, hang for 1 Minute with BOTH HANDS supporting you.
4. Keeping both feet on the ladder, let go with one hand. (This should be the hand that was holding on during the first one hand test). Hang one-handed for 1 minute while performing the hand signals.
My husband's instructor didn't demand absolute accuracy with the signals. Lots of people messed up the signals, and still passed the test. They were looking for the physical ability to hang on to the side of a car and to move the other hand to signal.
If you take this test they may demand a higher degree of proficiency than was demanded of my husband's class-- ask the instructor what the expectations are.
I am going to try to post diagrams for the hand signals in the near future.