Rail Careers



Rail Careers

Brake Operator: Brake operators, also called brakemen, operate train breaks, usually airbrakes. Their job duties may vary depending on the employer. They may ride on trains or be stationed with the switchmen on the ground at junctions. They are often considered assistants to the conductor and engineers. On passenger trains, in addition to their more technical job duties, they may collect tickets at stations or make announcements.

Carman: A carman is a mechanic who specializes in servicing freight cars on trains. They can use their knowledge of industry and government safety rules to assess railcars. Carmen can also use technical skills to perform repairs and maintenance on train cars. Additionally, a carman can test a railcar’s airbrakes to ensure the railcar is in working order.

Conductor: A conductor is a train employee who manages the activities of a train’s crew to ensure the safety of passengers and scheduling of a train. On passenger trains, they can take tickets and alert passengers to a train’s scheduled stops. On freight trains, they can ensure the loading or unloading of cargo before a train departs. Train conductors can also help ensure a train’s crew and passengers comply with corporate and government safety regulations for trains.

Cook: On a passenger train, a cook prepares food orders to passengers’ specifications. They can perform food preparation tasks like washing, peeling and slicing fruits and vegetables. Train cooks can also supervise other employees in a train’s kitchen. Additionally, a railroad cook can ensure the train’s kitchen inventory is sufficient for the number of train passengers and the length of the train’s scheduled trip.

Crew Member: A train crew member ensures the safety and comfort of passengers on trains. They can answer questions from passengers and assist a conductor with safety assurance duties. Crew members on a train can also perform customer service tasks to ensure passengers are satisfied with their train experience. Additionally, a train’s crew members can operate equipment to sell food and beverages to passengers.

Diesel Mechanic: A diesel mechanic performs inspections, maintenance and repairs to diesel locomotive trains. They can ensure trains meet corporate and government safety regulations for passengers and cargo. Diesel mechanics can operate heavy equipment like forklifts and other tools to complete their job duties. Additionally, diesel mechanics can use their knowledge of a locomotive’s mechanical system to diagnose issues with a train’s functions.

Dispatcher: A train dispatcher coordinates trains’ movement based on schedules to ensure the safety of a train’s passengers and cargo. They can communicate with train engineers about a train’s schedule and weather conditions that may lead to a change in scheduling. Train dispatchers can also manage the resources of a rail yard to help freight trains remain on schedule.

Locomotive Electrician: Locomotive electricians work for railway companies to service and maintain all electrical equipment onboard trains and on track systems. This job may also be called a diesel locomotive electrician. Along with technical knowledge of electrical systems, this job requires physical strength and stamina to work outdoors and stand for most of the workday.

Rail Car Loader: Rail car loaders work for private companies that transport goods on rail lines. Rail car loaders work in warehouses and distribution centers and manage the loading and securing of goods into rail cars for transport. They also unload goods that have arrived. They coordinate with railroad companies to ensure the timely delivery of goods. Experience with forklifts and other warehouse machinery is useful in this job.

Signal Maintainer: A signal maintainer performs upkeep tasks to ensure a railway’s signaling equipment remains in working condition. They can follow government regulations for railway signals to help companies comply with signaling laws. Signal maintainers can also perform periodic tests on equipment to ensure its continued operation. These railroad employees can work overtime hours to address equipment malfunctions after hours.

Switchman: It is the job of a switchman to operate the switches at railway intersections to change the direction of trains. Computers and hydraulic engines control contemporary switches. Switchmen coordinate with train dispatchers and engineers to ensure that trains pass through intersections safely and on the correct track. This job requires quick reactions and the ability to work under pressure.

Track Laborer: Track laborers are employed by either passenger or freight railroad companies to perform inspections, maintenance, and repairs on rail tracks and some train equipment. This is a physically demanding job, which requires a high level of strength and stamina. Track laborers work outdoors and cover a wide geographic area. This is an entry-level job. Welding experience may be useful.

Train Engineer: A train engineer drives trains toward their destinations. They can perform train inspections before travel and monitor manual and digital instruments to safely drive a train. Train engineers can interpret radio transmissions from dispatchers and monitor weather conditions, making adjustments to their routes as necessary. Additionally, freight train engineers can adjust their driving to account for different weights and types of freight.

Train Yard Manager: A train yard manager, sometimes called a yardmaster, oversees the operations of a rail yard. They can assign rail yard duties to workers, including placing railcars on the tracks, performing rail car inspections, repairing rail cars and reading train schedules. A railroad yard manager can also track and manage the contents of each car on a freight train to ensure the cargo arrives to the correct destination.

Utility Clerk: A utility clerk in the rail industry assists with the safe movement of rail cars in rail yards. They can order supplies such as parts for trains. Utility clerks can also perform clerical duties to ensure a company’s trains operate with efficiency. A utility clerk can also perform cleaning duties to ensure the sanitation of a train station’s work areas.

Welder: A welder can work for a railroad company to repair and maintain railroad tracks to ensure safe and efficient train travel. They can use equipment to drive railroad spikes and complete railbed repairs. Welders can also inspect railroad tracks for damage or defects to ensure and maintain their quality for railroad companies.

Job descriptions sourced from indeed.com and ziprecruiter.com