While the state's terrain is quite rugged being in the heart of Appalachia Tennessee was blessed with a sound railroad system given that so many large cities popped up within its borders such as Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville. While the state has lost nearly 1,500 miles from its peak network of just over 4,500 miles Tennessee is still plays a vital role for the indusry. If you are interested in Tennessee railroad jobs the state is home to six of the seven Class Is (four of which only reach Memphis including the Kansas City Southern Railway, Union Pacific, BNSF Railway, and Canadian National) and more than a dozen shortlines. Despite its location in Appalachia, coal is not a major producer of originated freight tonnage for Tennessee. Instead, it is quite diversified from chemicals and timber products to food and intermodal.
A career in the railroad is certainly something which I would recommend taking your time to research beforehand, particularly if you are not all that familiar with the industry. Working for a Class I in the fields of transportation or maintenance offers excellent pay, retirement, and benefits. However, it requires incredibly long hours, on-call whenever you are needed, and a schedule that is completely unpredictable. As such, some realize it's not for them as it's very difficult trying to juggle a family life while constantly being out on the road. If you are lucky enough to hire on with a smaller railroad this may be the way to go if you truly want to work in the industry.
While the pay not be quite as good the hours and schedule are usually much more predictable (for instance, many short lines only operate Monday through Friday). Finally, if you are attending college and looking for an internship or graduate program in the field of business during the summer months please check out the career pages of the Class Is listed here, many offer such.
(Lastly, to search for Tennessee railroad jobs directly please use the below search box from Indeed.com.)
Class I Railroads
Canadian National Railway
Kansas City Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway
Short Line Railroads
Some of the short line railroads listed below are
subsidiaries of one of the following companies.
Genesee & Wyoming
Patriot Rail Corporation
Gulf & Ohio Railways
Caney Fork & Western Railroad: The CF&W, owned by Ironhorse Resources, Inc., is shortline connecting Tullahoma (where it has a connection with CSX) with Sparta, a distance of about 61 miles. To contact them concerning possible job openings please click here to visit their website.
Chattooga & Chickamauga Railway: The C&C is part of
Genesee & Wyoming's vast collection of shortlines and operates
between Berryton Georgia and Chattanooga, on a system that stretches
about 50 miles.
East Chattanooga Belt Railway: This terminal/switching railroad serves the local area of Chattanooga owns about 4 miles of track. The railroad is operated by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. To contact them about employment please visit the TVRM's website.
East Tennessee Railway: Another Genesee & Wyoming property
this shortline operates a 14-mile section of line between Johnson City
Heritage Railroad: This small shortline is owned by Energy Solutions, LLC and operates about a 12-mile section of railroad near Blair serving local industries. For contact information please click here.
Knoxville & Holston River Railroad: This short line is one of Gulf
& Ohio's family of railroads, operating about 20 miles of trackage
near Knoxville where it connects with both NS and CSX.
Kentucky West Tennessee Railway: The KWT Railway, a G&W subsidiary operates two
unconnected section of track, totaling just about 70 miles, in
northwestern Tennessee that also reaches Murray, Kentucky.
Mississippi Central Railroad: This short line is one of Pioneer
Rail Corporation's railroads, operating mostly in northern Mississippi
but also reaches Grand Junction, Tennessee.
Nashville & Eastern Railroad: The NERR began operations in the mid-1980s and today operates about 130 miles of track between Nashville and Monterey. The railroad also hosts occasional excursion trains as well as the recently started Music City Star, a commuter train serving Nashville. To contact the railroad concerning job openings please click here to visit their website.
Nashville & Western Railroad: The Nashville & Western is
owned and operated by the Nashville & Eastern.
R.J. Corman Railroad: RJ Corman operates several rail-related
businesses, including shortlines in a number of eastern states. One of
these is the Tennessee Terminal which operates between Memphis,
Tennessee and Olive Branch, Mississippi.
Sequatchie Valley Railroad: This shortline operates between Bridgeport, Alabama and Jasper, Tennessee. To contact the railroad; P. O. Box 296, Bell Buckle, Tennessee 37020-0296.
South Central Tennessee Railroad: For contact information; P. O. Box 259, Centerville, Tennessee 37033.
Tennessee Southern Railroad: This railroad is owned by the Patriot Rail Corporation and operates nearly 150 miles of track between Columbia and Pulaski, and also reaches Florence, Alabama.
Tennken Railroad: For contact information; 1200 Cherry Street, Dyersburg, Tennessee 38024-4135.
Walking Horse & Eastern Railroad: This eight-mile shortline serves the communities of Shelbyville and Wartrace with an interchange to CSX. To contact the railroad; 559 Minkslide Road, Shelbyville, Tennessee 37160.
West Tennessee Railroad: The West Tennessee Railroad dates back
to 1984 operating ex-Illinois Central Gulf trackage between Corinth,
Mississippi and Fulton, Kentucky that reaches into western Tennessee.
The railroad is headquartered in Jackson. To contact them; 1061 James
Buchanan Drive, Jackson, Tennessee 38301.