Even today, few states except perhaps Illinois and California offer such a diverse base of railroading as Pennsylvania. Historically, the state has been home to some of the best known railroads of all time such as its own, the powerful Pennsylvania Railroad. If you are interested in Pennsylvania railroad jobs the state is home to four Class Is (CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific), four Class IIs (Buffalo & Pittsburgh; Wheeling & Lake Erie; Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad; and New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway), and an endless list of Class III, short lines. Traditionally, the state has carried a traffic base that was predominantly coal but also other freight, and that still holds true today (coal continues to make up about 61% of the total).
If you live in Pennsylvania and are interested in a job on the railroad you are certainly blessed with the number of companies that operate within the state. However, if you are not very familiar with the industry it would definitely be worth taking the time to learn much more about it before deciding. I was interested in being a railroader myself until I learned just how much time one is required to be out on the road and away from family. Because of this many railroaders say it is as much a lifestyle as it is a job. Typically, it is Class I railroads that demand such long hours. However, there are plenty of benefits including a nearly unmatched level of pay (some engineers, for instance, earn a six-digit salary in a single year) and excellent retirement. Finally, if you are attending college and are looking for internships or graduate work during the summer months you may want to check out the career pages of the Class Is listed below, as some offer such programs.
(Lastly, to search for Pennsylvania railroad jobs directly please use the below search box from Indeed.com.)
Class I Railroads
Canadian National Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway
Short Line And Regional Railroads
Many of the regional and short line railroads listed below are
subsidiaries of one of the following companies.
Genesee & Wyoming
North Shore Railroad Company
Genesee Valley Transportation
Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad: The Buffalo &
Pittsburgh Railroad is a nearly 370-mile regional operating in western
Pennsylvania that connects to Buffalo, New York. The company is
currently owned by Genesee & Wyoming, which operates a large number
of small railroads.
New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway: The historic
NYS&W (also known as the "Susie-Q") dates back to 1881 and is almost
entirely located in New York and New Jersey although it does have a
minor presence in northeastern Pennsylvania along the New York/PA
border. Overall the regional operates more than 400 miles of track
Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad (Reading & Northern Railroad): This regional has been in operation since 1983 operating former Reading and Lehigh Valley trackage along a main line that stretches from Reading to Pittston. The railroad also operates numerous coal branches and during the summer months provides excursion services for the public.
Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway: The historic W&LE dates
back to the early 1870s serving northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania
with the Lake Erie ports. However, while the original company was
dissolved in 1989 it was restarted anew in 1990 operating trackage
spun-off by Norfolk Southern that included most of the original
W&LE; Akron, Canton & Youngstown; and Pittsburgh & West
Virginia stretching from Connellsville, Pennsylvania to Toledo and Lima,
Ohio (via trackage rights).
Aliquippa & Ohio River Railroad: The A&OR is another railroad owned by Genesee & Wyoming operating just a short stretch of track (six miles) north of Pittsburgh with a connection to CSX.
Allegheny Valley Railroad: This railroad is owned by Carload Express, Inc. and began operations in 1992 serving Washington, Pennsylvania with areas just northeast of Pittsburgh. In total the railroad operates about 70 miles of track connecting with both Class Is in the area, Norfolk Southern and CSX, as well as regionals Buffalo & Pittsburgh and Wheeling & Lake Erie. To contact them regarding job opportunities please visit Carload Express's website.
Belvidere & Delaware River Railway: This shortline is operated by the Black River Railroad and is mostly located in New Jersey although it does reach Easton, Pennsylvania. To contact them about employment please click here.
Brandywine Valley Railroad: This switching railroad is currently
owned by Mittal Steel and dates back to the early 1980s operating
trackage between Coatesville and Modena. To inquire about job openings;
50 South 1st Avenue, Coatesville, Pennsylvania 19320-3418.
Central New York Railroad: The Central New York Railroad operates about 123 miles of track between Binghamton and Port Jervis, New York with 50 of those miles located within Pennsylvania. To contact the railroad about job openings please visit their website.
Chestnut Ridge Railroad: For contact information; 900 Delaware Avenue, Palmerton, Pennsyvlania 18071-2008.
Delaware-Lackawanna Railroad: The DL is operated by Genesee
Valley Transportation and owns close to 90 miles of railroad in
northeastern Pennsylvania. The railroad is famous among railfans for
its use of historic Alco diesel locomotives.
East Erie Commercial Railroad: To contact this shortline; 1030 Lawrence Parkway, Erie, Pennsylvania 16511.
East Penn Railroad: The East Penn Railroad operates more than 100 miles of unconnected track north and west of Philadelphia. For job inquiries please visit their website.
Everett Railroad: Along with its subsidiary, the Hollidaysburg & Roaring Spring Railroad this shortline operates about 23 miles of ex-Pennsylvania Railroad track serving such communities as Claysburg, Duncansville, Hollidaysburg, Martinsburg, and Roaring Spring. The railroad also provides excursion services for the public during the spring, summer, and fall. To contact the railroad about job openings please click here to visit their website.
Gettysburg & Northern Railroad: The Gettysburg &
Northern is owned by the Pioneer Rail Corporation and operates a 25-mile
railroad between Gettysburg and Mt. Holly Springs.
Hollidaysburg & Roaring Spring Railroad: A subsidiary of the Everett Railroad, please visit their website listed above.
Juniata Valley Railroad: This railroad, owned by the North Shore
Railroad Company, began operations in 1996 and owns 11 miles of track
(originally PRR) between Lewistown, Burnham, and Maitland.
Kasgro Rail Lines: To inquire about job openings please click here to visit their website.
Kiski Junction Railroad: This shortline and tourist railroad began operations in 1995 on former PRR trackage near the city of Pittsburgh. Please contact them concerning possible employment.
Landisville Terminal & Transfer Company: This small terminal railroad owns about two miles of track near the town of Landisville with a connection to Norfolk Southern. Please visit their website for potential job openings.
Luzerne & Susquehanna Railway: This short line began operations in 1994 and owns more than 60 miles of track between Wilkes Barre and Scranton. To contact them about job opening please visit their website.
Lycoming Valley Railroad: Another property owned by the North Shore Railroad Company, the LV operates between Muncy and Avis with two connections to Norfolk Southern. T
Maryland Midland Railway: Today the Maryland Midland Railway is a
Genesee & Wyoming shortline operating 70 miles of railroad mostly
located in Maryland but also reaching just south of the Pennsylvania
border at Highfield, Maryland.
Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad: This popular excursion railroad also operates freight service on 11 miles of railroad connecting its namesake towns. Please visit their website for information regarding employment.
Mount Union Connecting Railroad: Owned by the folks at East Broad Top Railroad (currently a tourist-only railroad), they plan to reactive some of the former EBT track for shortline/terminal service but to-date I do not believe operations have commenced.
New Castle Industrial Railroad: This terminal railroad serves
the industries around New Castle, Pennsylvania with connections to CSX
and regional Buffalo & Pittsburgh. To contact them; 702 Moravia
Street, New Castle, Pennsylvania 16101-3948.
Nittany & Bald Eagle Railroad: The N&BE is another North Shore railroad operating between Tyrone (near Altoona) and Lock Haven as well as a branch serving Pleasant Gap and State College. Overall the railroad operates about 70 miles of track and has multiple connections to Norfolk Southern.
North Shore Railroad: The North Shore Railroad owns a number of
other shortlines but its main railroad connects Northumberland with
Beach Haven, covering about 43 miles of track.
Pennsylvania & Southern Railway: This shortline is owned by the Raritan Central Railroad and operates terminal service near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. To contact them about job openings please visit Raritan's website.
Pennsylvania Southwestern Railroad: This shortline is a Watco
Companies property operating right around Midland serving location
industries with a connection to NS.
Philadelphia Belt Line Railroad: This small terminal railroad
operates just over 2 miles of track along Philadelphia's waterfront
serving local industries. To contact the company; 601 Walnut Street,
Suite 410W, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106.
Pittsburgh, Allegheny & McKees Rocks Railroad: The PAM as it
is known serves industries near McKees. To contact the railroad; 1A
Nichol Avenue, McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania 15136-2625.
Pittsburgh & Ohio Central Railroad: Another of Genesee &
Wyoming's shortlines, the P&OC serves the communities located just
west of Pittsburgh along a 35-mile system.
R.J. Corman Railroad: RJ Corman is a multifaceted railroad
business that operates numerous shortlines in Kentucky, Tennessee,
Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Shamokin Valley Railroad: Another of North Shore's railroads,
this shortline operates between Northumberland and Mt. Carmel Junction
connecting with both Norfolk Southern and the Reading & Northern.
SMS Rail Service: SMS Rail Lines offers shortline rail service
to locations in New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania
(operating around the Philadelphia area).
Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad: This railroad is owned by Carload Express and began operations in 1995 using 60 miles of trackage between Uniontown and an interchange with Norfolk Southern north of Greensburg. Please visit Carload Express's website to contact them about job opportunities.
Stourbridge Railroad: This shortline operates about 24 miles of track between Honesdale and Lackawaxen Township with a connection to Norfolk Southern located there. The railroad is also well known for its excursion services available to the public during warmer weather.
Turtle Creek Industrial Railroad: This small railroad operates
between Pittsburgh and Export on 11 miles of track serving local
industries. To contact them; 2658 Puckety Drive, Export, Pennsylvania
Tyburn Railroad: To contact this shortline which operates around
the Morrisville area; 1535 South Pennsylvania Avenue, Morrisville,
Union Railroad: This historic shortline has been in operation since 1896 and is currently owned by Transtar. Today, it serves industries located near Pittsburgh. Please contact Transtar for job inquiries.
Union County Industrial Railroad: This short line is yet another
property owned by North Shore operating between Allenwood and Windfield
with a connection to NS at Milto.
Wellsboro & Corning Railroad: The Wellsboro & Corning Railroad connects its namesake cities operating between Corning, New York (where it interchange with CP and NS) and Wellsboro, Pennsylvania on a 35-mile line. To contact the railroad about job openings please click here to visit their website.
Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad: The WNY&P began operations in 2001 and operates well over 300 miles of track in northwestern Pennsylvania and western New York. It is currently owned by the Livonia, Avon & Lakeville, a nearby shortline itself. Please visit the WNY&P's website to inquire about job openings.
York Railway: Today, the York Railway is operated by the Genesee & Wyoming although its history dates back to the famous little Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad (the Ma & Pa). The railroad currently operates about 42 miles of track.
Youngstown & Southeastern Railroad: This railroad is owned by the Indiana Boxcar Corporation and began operations in 2006 between Youngstown, Ohio and Darlington, Pennsylvania with connections to both CSX and NS. Please Indiana Boxcar to inquire about employment.
Check out the website's digital book (E-book), An Atlas To Classic Short Lines, which features system maps and a brief background of 46 different historic railroads. To learn more please click on the image below.