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, short lines). 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%. 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. 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).
(To search for West Virginia railroad jobs directly please use the below search box from Indeed.com.)
Class I Railroads
Norfolk Southern Railway
Short Line And Regional 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.
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. To visit their website please click here.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.