While Oklahoma has lost about 3,000 of its peak rail mileage (which occurred in the 1920s), today it still boasts nearly 4,000 miles. If you are interested in Oklahoma railroad jobs the state is home to three of the seven Class Is (Kansas City Southern, Union Pacific, and BNSF Railway), one Class II (South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad), and more than a dozen, Class III shortlines (which themselves make up nearly 33% of Oklahoma's current rail mileage). Interestingly, despite the state being known for its agriculture, farming makes up only 10% of originated freight for railroads as chemicals and non-metallic minerals derive the majority (68%). If you are interested in learning more about the railroads that operate in Oklahoma and the type of freight they typically carry please click here.
Please understand that a career as a railroader is something not everyone can handle. Working in the industry requires one to be able to cope with criticism well and, especially in the case of operating the trains themselves, an ability to deal with stress. This, of course, doesn't even include the constant fatigue issues and long hours away from home one must also deal with. If you are lucky enough to hire on with a smaller railroad, such as a shortline or regional, given their smaller size the hours and schedule will probably a little more predictable. However, they cannot match the pay that Class Is offer (which is partly just due to all of the hours you work).
In the end you will need to make the decision yourself on whether being a railroader is truly a career you are interested. Lastly, for more information regarding Oklahoma railroad jobs, please visit the links below or the railroad's individual contact information concerning possible openings.
Also, to search for Oklahoma railroad jobs directly please use the below search box from Indeed.com.
Class I Railroads
For college students: If you are working to obtain a degree in the business field such as management you may want to visit the career pages of the Class Is listed here as several offer internship and graduate programs during the summer.
Regional, Class II Railroads
South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad: The SK&O is owned by the Watco Companies (which owns a large number of small railroads), and operates more than 400 miles of track (originally Missouri Pacific) north of Tulsa through southeastern Kansas, and into Liberal, Missouri. To contact the company about job opportunities please click here.
Shortline, Class III Railroads
Arkansas-Oklahoma Railroad: This railroad began operations in 1996 over former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific (Rock Island) trackage east of Oklahoma City. Overall, they own just over 70 miles of railroad. To contact the railroad about job openings please click here.
Arkansas Southern Railroad: Another shortline owned by Watco, this railroad operates over 60 miles of branchline trackage between Ashdown and Nashville, Arkansas and between Heavener, Oklahoma and Waldron, Arkansas. To contact the railroad please click here.
AT&L Railroad: Owned by the Wheeler Brothers Grain Company, this railroad, started in 1985, operates about 50 miles of former Rock Island grain branch. To contact the AT&L; P. O. Box 29, Watonga, Oklahoma 73772. Phone 580-623-5477.
Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad: This privately-owned shortline operates just over 35 miles of track Blackwell, Oklahoma and Hunnewell, Kansas which is owned by the state of Oklahoma. The railroad has interchange connections with both BNSF and UP. To contact them about job openings please visit their website.
Cimarron Valley Railroad: This shortline has been in operation since 1996 and is owned by the Western Group. It currently operates nearly 250 miles of track (originally owned by the Santa Fe) from Dodge City, Kansas to Boise City, Oklahoma and Pritchett, Colorado. To contact the railroad concerning job openings please click here.
Farmrail: As its name implies, this shortline serves agricultural interests in western Oklahoma connecting such towns as Clinton, Weatherford, Erick, and Elmer. The railroad also runs excursion trains for the public during the summer months. For inquiries about job openings please click here to visit their website.
Grainbelt: This shortline is also operated by Farmrail and connects Enid (where it interchanges with the Union Pacific and BNSF Railway) with Frederick. For contact information please visit Farmrail's site listed above.
Hollis & Eastern Railroad: The H&E dates back to the late 1950s when local business owners took over trackage owned by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. Today, the railroad is owned by Eagle Materials, Inc. and operates about 13 miles of trackage. To contact the company; P. O. Drawer C, Duke, Oklahoma 73532. Phone 580-679-3791.
Kiamichi Railroad: The Kiamichi Railroad is owned by G&W, and operates more than 260 miles of track between Hope, Arkansas and Lakeside, Oklahoma with branches reaching Antlers as well as Paris, Texas.
Northwestern Oklahoma Railroad: This railroad is based in Woodward, Oklahoma. For contact information; 923 12th Street, Woodward, Oklahoma 73801-2600. Phone 580-256-8901.
Sand Springs Railway: The historic Sand Springs Railway dates back to 1911 and was once an interurban and electrically powered although it switched to diesel locomotives in 1955. Today, the railroad is owned by Gerdau Ameristeel and still operates between Sand Springs and Tulsa, its original main line. To contact the railroad; 1650 South 81 West Avenue, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127-4833. Phone 918-245-8625.
Stillwater Central Railroad: Another Watco property this large shortline operates more than 275 miles of track between Tulsa, Duke, Pawnee, and Stillwater. To contact the railroad please click here.
Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad: The TO&E is a historic shortline dating back to 1910. Today, the railroad operates between Valliant, Oklahoma and De Queen, Arkansas, where it is headquartered and is owned by Patriot Rail Corporation. Currently the railroad owns about 87 miles of track. To contact the railroad please click here.
Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway: Another of Oklahoma's historic railroads, the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union connects its namesake cities and dates back to 1907. To contact them about employment please click here.
Wichita, Tillman & Jackson Railway: The WT&J is currently owned by the Rio Grande Corporation, running on trackage in Texas and Oklahoma once owned by the Rock Island and Union Pacific. To contact them about job openings please visit Rio Grande's website.
For more information about shortline railroads that serve Oklahoma 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.