Iowa railroad jobs are predominantly home to Class I railroads as four of the seven operate there including Union Pacific, BNSF Railway, Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific (through its ownership of the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern). Norfolk Southern also operates into Iowa but only via trackage rights. Along with a handful of Class III, shortlines and one Class II, regional (which only account for about 35% of the state's trackage), Amtrak also operates through the state. If you are interested, to get an idea of what Iowa's railroad network looks like today and the freight and traditionally hauls year-to-year please click here to view the Association of American Railroads' report of the state.
If you are seriously considering of have an interest in becoming a railroader please be aware that the work can be quite demanding. While railroading has always been a job that requires at least some physical ability, with so much mechanization now available the biggest issue affecting railroaders, especially train crews, is fatigue. This most often occurs on Class I railroads whose systems stretch half way across the country resulting in crewmen/women to spend 12 hour days in the cab of a locomotive for days, and days, at a time (not to mention the time spent in hotels away from home). Of course, the pay is excellent along with retirement and benefits. However, this drawback is something to really consider if time with your family is very important to you or you simply don't think such long hours are worth it.
Smaller railroads, like shortlines and regionals, offer better and more normal working hours although the pay is not quite the same. Also, for college students interested in management positions many Class Is offer graduate or internship summer programs to get your foot in the door. To learn more about these programs please visit their career pages listed below.
In any event, for more information regarding Iowa railroad jobs, please visit the links below or the railroad's individual contact information concerning possible openings. Lastly, contacting me regarding possible openings or inquiries about various positions is of little use as you will need to contact the railroad(s) itself. Also, to search for Iowa railroad jobs directly please use the below search box from Indeed.com.
Class I Railroads
Regional, Class II Railroads
Iowa Interstate Railroad: The Iowa Interstate operates a mostly linear system stretching from Omaha, Nebraska to Chicago (via trackage rights). For contact information about possible job openings please click here.
Shortline, Class III Railroads
Appanoose County Community Railroad: This railroad serves the Centerville area connecting with BNSF Railway. For contact information; P.O. Box 321, Centerville, Iowa 52544. Phone 641-437-7029.
Burlington Junction Railway: This railroad serves a small three-mile section of track near Burlington where is connects with BNSF Railway. For contact information please click here.
Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway: Also known as "The CRANDIC Route", this historic railroad has been in operation since 1903 and was once also an interurban. The railroad currently operates a system that serves the area south of Cedar Rapids. For contact information please visit their website.
D&I Railroad: This railroad is owned by L.G. Everist, Inc. and operates a system which stretches from Dell Rapids, South Dakota to Sioux City. For information regarding job openings please visit their website.
Iowa Northern Railway: The Iowa Northern Railway is a large shortline which operates over 160 miles of track and connects to three of the Class I railroads in the state. For contact information about possible employment please click here.
Iowa River Railroad: 33371 170 Street, Steamboat Rock, Iowa 50627. Phone 641-868-2676.
Iowa Traction Railroad: The last interurban in the country which still serves freight customers, the Iowa Traction Railroad dates back to the late 19th century known originally as the Mason City & Clear Lake Railway. Today the railroad continues to operate the original route between Emery and Clear Lake Junction. For contact information; P. O. Box 309 Mason City, Iowa 50402-0309. Phone 641-424-4600.
Keokuk Junction Railway: The Keokuk Junction Railway, owned by Pioneer Rail Corporation, operates a 114-mile system between Illinois and Iowa. For contact information please click here.
For more information about shortline railroads that serve Iowa please click here to visit the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's website.
Finally, if a career in railroading is right for you but you would like to learn more about what it takes to work in the industry you might want to consider the book Working on the Railroad from noted author Brian Solomon. Solomon's book details the history of working in the railroad industry and the difficulties and hardship employees faced back then as well as today. After reading this book you should have no doubts about whether working in the industry is something you are truly interested in. In any event, if you're interested in perhaps purchasing this book please visit the link below which will take you to ordering information through Amazon.com, the trusted online shopping network.