Being a native West Virginian the state's railroad history is near and dear to me. While West Virginia's rail mileage once topped out at nearly 4,000 today just over 2,200 is currently active. If you are interested in West Virginia railroad jobs you will most likely be working for a Class I, as both CSX Transportation and Norfolk own more than 2,100 miles of the state's trackage (the rest is home to a few Class III, shortlines). Not surprisingly, coal derives greater than 95% of West Virginia's total originated freight with things like chemicals, stone, waste, etc. making up the remaining 5%. If you would like to learn more about the state's railroads and they freight they both import and export please click here.
These days Class I railroads offer a wide variety of positions to choose from allowing you to either take an office positions (usually requiring a college degree) or work out "in the field" doing everything from maintaining the track to operating the trains themselves. Very unique in this day and age is the fact that positions like engineer and conductor, which offer very good pay (particularly the former), do not require a college education to attain (although it does take both a lot of classroom time and skill on the job to obtain). However, both of these demand an incredible amount of your time (literally 12-hour days with no weekends off) and it's not something that everyone can handle.
For more information regarding West Virginia railroad jobs, please visit the links below or the railroad's individual contact information concerning possible openings. Also, I apologize in in advance for any errors with the information. I try very hard to make sure everything here is updated although I cannot 100% guarantee that it is (if you do find something wrong please let me know, I would very much appreciate it). Lastly, to search for West Virginia railroad jobs directly please use the below search box from Indeed.com.
Class I Railroads
Regional, Class II Railroads
Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway: The W&LE is primarily located in western Pennsylvania and northern Ohio serving such towns as Pittsburgh, Akron, Toledo, Canton, and Lima. Its history dates back to 1916 but was eventually dissolved in the late 1980s under owner Norfolk Southern. In 1990 the railroad was reborn when the Class I sold off much of its original W&LE trackage and that of historic lines Pittsburgh & West Virginia and Akron, Canton & Youngstown. Today, with trackage rights the W&LE operates nearly 850 route miles reaching Wheeling and Benwood, West Virginia. To inquire about job openings please visit their website.
Shortline, Class III Railroads
Appalachian & Ohio Railroad: The A&O is currently owned by Four Rivers Transportation, a CSX subsidiary. It operates on CSX-owned trackage between Grafton and Cowen, a former B&O line, that spans nearly 160 miles.
Beech Mountain Railroad: This tiny shortline ebbs and flows from dormancy and active status as it serves a local coal mine near Alexander and Palace Valley. Most likely they do not have any openings (they are currently active). However, they may be contacted at; 2262 French Creek, French Creek, West Virginia 26218-9731. Phone 304-924-6328.
Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad (Oversees freight operations on the West Virginia Central Railroad): The WVC provides freight service on the Western Maryland Railway's former trackage south of Elkins. The railroad also operates excursion trains during much of the year. To inquire about job openings please visit their website.
Elk River Railroad: This railroad operates part of the B&O's former Charleston to Grafton line although it is currently inactive aside from storing rail cars at its yard in Gassaway.
R.J. Corman Railroad: RJ Corman operates a multifaceted rail-related business from operating shortlines to selling locomotives. The company's operations in West Virginia currently include a former C&O branch located near Thurmond and a connection with CSX. To contact them about job openings please visit their website.
South Branch Valley Railroad: The SBVR is operated by the West Virginia State Rail Authority on state-owned tracks spanning just over 52 miles between Petersburg and Green Spring. The property was originally owned by the B&O and also hosts excursions during the summer months. Please contact the West Virginia State Rail Authority for inquiries regarding employment.
Winchester & Western Railroad: The W&W operates a 54 mile system between Gore, Virginia (just south of Winchester) and Hagerstown, Maryland. Along the way the railroad passes through the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia reaching Martinsburg. To contact the railroad; P. O. Box 264, Winchester, Virginia 22604. Phone 540-662-2600.
Commuter and Light Rail Transit
MARC Train: MARC operates commuter service extending to Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry. I am unsure if they hire their own employees or contract the work to an outside contractor. In any event, their website is listed for inquiries.
For more information about shortline railroads that serve West Virginia 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.