Oregon has never been home to a large base of railroads, at its peak it only featured a little over 3,000 miles of track and today the state still has well over 2,000 miles. If you are interested in Oregon railroad jobs both of large western Class Is, BNSF Railway and Union Pacific, operate nearly 1,500 miles of track there. Additionally, Class IIs Central Oregon & Pacific and Portland & Western operate nearly 1,000 miles with several Class III, shortlines making up the rest (just under 500 miles). Given Oregon's rich timber reserves it's probably not surprising that wood products make up nearly 65% of the state's originated freight traffic. In any event, to learn more about the state's railroads and the freight they usually haul on an annual basis please click here to view the Association of American Railroads' report of Oregon.
A career in railroading can be difficult enough but add to this Oregon's wet, rainy, and snowy weather and it only adds to the difficulty. It is certainly an industry which requires a special breed to do the most difficult jobs such as operating the trains themselves and maintaining the track and infrastructure. To enjoy this type of work you must enjoy the outdoors, be at least somewhat physically fit, and able to endure long hours away from home and family (often without knowing when you will next receive a day off). Typically, these long hours occur on the large Class I railroads, which while demanding long work schedules offer incredible pay, benefits and retirement.
Lastly, for more information regarding Oregon railroad jobs, please visit the links below or the railroad's individual contact information concerning possible openings. Also, if you are attending college you may want to check into some of the summer programs Class Is have available such as internships. To learn more about these simply check out their career pages listed below. Finally, I try to strive for accuracy regarding the information presented here but I cannot guarantee that it is always up-to-date.
Also, to search for Oregon railroad jobs directly please use the below search box from Indeed.com.
Class I Railroads
Regional, Class III Railroads
Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad: The CO&P is owned by RailAmerica, which operates a large number of small railroads, and operates nearly 400 miles of trackage in eastern Oregon, which stretches into northern California (all of which was originally owned by Southern Pacific). To contact them regarding employment please click here.
Portland & Western Railroad: This regional, owned by Genesee & Wyoming (another company which owns a large number of railroads) operates throughout much of northeastern Oregon on a system more than 500 miles in length connecting such cities as Portland, Eugene, Salem, Albany, and many others. To contact them about job openings please click here.
Shortline, Class III Railroads
Albany & Eastern Railroad: This railroad began operations in the late 1990s when it took over a former BNSF Railway branch, which was about 50 miles in length. To contact the railroad about employment please click here to visit their website.
City of Prineville Railway: Dating back to the early 20th century, this shortline operates about 18 miles of railroad between Prineville and Redmond. To inquire about openings please click here to visit their website.
Hampton Railway: This small shortline operates between Fort Hill and Willamina, Oregon. To contact them; 9600 Southwest Barnes Road, Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97225. Phone 503-203-6489.
Idaho, Northern & Pacific Railroad: The IN&P is a Rio Grande Pacific Corporation operating more than 200 miles of ex-Union Pacific property northeastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho. Please contact Rio Grande for information about employment.
Klamath Northern Railway: This small shortline dates back to 1940 and operates just under 11 miles of railroad between Gilchrist Junction and Gilchrist, Oregon (the property was originally a private logging line). To contact the railroad; #1 Sawmill Road, P. O. Box 638, Gilchrist, Oregon 97737. Phone 503-274-7100.
Lake County Railroad: This 55-mile shortline is mostly timber-based and operates between Alturas, California and Lakeview, Oregon. To contact the railroad; 513 Center Street, Lakeview, Oregon 97630. Phone 541-947-6003.
Oregon Pacific Railroad: The Oregon Pacific Railroad dates back to 1991 to take over the historic Portland Traction Company property located in East Portland. The terminal railroad continues to prosper 20 years later. To contact them about employment please click here to visit their website.
Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad: This shortline is another Watco property, operating more than 200 miles of unconnected railroad in northeastern Oregon, southeastern Washington, and western Idaho. To contact them about job openings please click here.
Peninsula Terminal Company: This terminal railroad dates back to the early 20th century serving North Portland on just 2 miles of track. To contact the railroad about potential job opportunities please click here to visit their website.
Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad: Owned by the Port of Tillamook Bay to serve the area's local industries on an ex-Southern Pacific branch line that today includes 101 miles of track (including spurs). Unfortunately, heavy rains in late 2007 mothballed part of the route, which likely will not be rebuilt. To contact the port about working for their railroad please click here to visit their website.
Portland Terminal Railroad: Another terminal railroad that serves Portland it is jointly owned by BNSF and UP.
Wallowa Union Railroad: This shortline is owned by the local counties of Union and Wallowa and operates 63 miles of a former Union Pacific branch. The railroad also operates excursion trains for the public in the spring, summer, and early fall. To contact them about job opportunities please click here to visit their website.
White City Terminal & Utility Company (WCTU Railway): This 14-mile shortline owned by RailServe, Inc. operating near White City, Oregon. Please contact RailServe for employment opportunities.
Willamette & Pacific Railroad: This railroad is operated by the Portland & Western, a Genesee & Wyoming property. Please visit the P&W's web page listed above for job inquiries.
Willamette Valley Railway: This small shortline operates about 30 miles of former Southern Pacific trackage between Geer and East Salem, Oregon. To contact them; P. O. Box 917, McMinnville, Oregon 97128. Phone 503-474-1892.
Commuter and Light Rail Transit
As with about all commuter agencies, I do not know if they hire their own employees or contract out the work to a private company. In any event, those which operate in Oregon are listed below if you are interested in contacting them to find out.
For more information about shortline railroads that serve Oregon 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.