Kansas Railroad Jobs

Header Photo: Drew Jacksich

The state of Kansas is still home to more than 6,000 miles of railroads despite the wide scale abandonments which took place across many of the granger states in the 1970s and 1980s. If you are interested in Kansas railroad jobs the state is home to four Class Is, several Class IIs (regionals), and a handful of Class III shortlines. So, with that said, there are several different options to choose from along with the fact that Amtrak also operates through the state. Please note, there is not much more I can provide aside from what I have already added here and elsewhere on the site; for direct job requests you will need to contact the railroad personally to find out more. 

A career as a railroader isn't exactly all that its hyped up to be, particularly by Hollywood. For instance, I long had an interest working in the railroad industry but decided against it after realizing just how long one must be out on the road. This is particularly true for Class I railroads which operate such large systems that it requires workers to be on the job for the maximum allowed workday of 12 hours. Couple this with the fact that you must spend many nights away from home at hotels and you can begin to see why they save railroading becomes a lifestyle. Of course, you don't have to take a job in the more traditional fields of transportation or maintenance.   For instance, many Class Is today offer internships and scholarships for college students interested in various management positions. 

Class I Railroads/Amtrak


BNSF Railway

Kansas City Southern

Union Pacific

Short Lines And Regionals

Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad: This small short line is owned by the Blackwell Industrial Authority Oklahoma Department of Transportation while the line is operated by US Rail Partners. Its trackage consists of about 35 miles between Blackwell, Oklahoma and Hunnewell, Kansas. Please visit the company's website for job information. Cimarron Valley Railroad: This privately-owned short line, a subsidiary of The Western Group, has been in service since early 1996 when it acquired former Santa Fe trackage in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas. In all the road operates roughly 254 miles. To learn about possible job opportunities please visit the Western Group website. 

Garden City Western Railway: This railroad is owned by the Pioneer RailCorp and operates 40 miles of track between Garden City and Shallow Water with a branch to Wolf. The history of the line dates back to 1916. Please visit the company's web page for contact information and employment opportunities. 

Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad: This large regional, a Watco system, operates roughly 840 miles track across much of central and western Kansas, reaching the Colorado border. The K&O began service in 2001 and the property's history primarily traces back to the Santa Fe with a few Missouri Pacific segments. 

Kansas City Terminal Railway: This terminal railroad, which has been in operation since 1906 serves the city of Kansas City providing switching service for the larger railroads which operate through the area. The company's address is: 4501 Kansas Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 66106. 

Kyle Railroad: This large, Class II, regional system operates more than 500 miles of which most is the Rock Island's former main line between Chicago and Denver. The system has been a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming since 2012 and handles a wide array of freight. 

Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad: This regional system, currently a division of Genesee & Wyoming, began service in 1992 by acquiring more than 102 miles from Union Pacific late that year. Today, the M&NA operates nearly 600 miles of track handling more than 100,000 carloads annually. 

Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado Railway: This Class II, regional is another OmniTRAX property and operates roughly 559 miles of disconnected track predominantly based in Kansas. For contact and employment information please visit the NK&C's web page. 

V&S Railway: This short line, owned by A&K Railroad Materials, operates two disconnected lines in Kansas; between Medicine Lodge and Attica as well as the former Hutchinson & Northern property. For information regarding employment please visit the company's website. 

South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad: The SK&O is another Watco regional railroad Tulsa, Oklahoma to several points throughout southeastern Kansas including Winfield, Humboldt, and Pittsburg among others. Its property totals 404 miles and annual carloads exceed 50,000. 

Wichita Union Terminal Railway: This road is jointly owned by UP and BNSF. It was first established in 1910 although the tracks serving stockyard and packing companies at Wichita had been in service since 1889. Address: 1537 North Barwise Street, Wichita, Kansas 67214. 

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› Kansas Railroad Jobs

Researching Rights-Of-Way

A popular pastime for many is studying and/or exploring abandoned rights-of-way.  Today, there are tens of thousands of miles scattered throughout the country.  Many were pulled up in the 1970's and 1980's although others were removed long before that.  If you are researching active or abandoned corridors you might want to check out the United States Geological Survery's (USGS) Historical Topographic Map Explorer.  It is an excellent resource with thousands of historic maps on file throughout the country.  Just type in a town or city and click on the timeline of maps at the bottom of the page!

Studying Diesels

You will be hard pressed at finding a better online resource regarding diesel locomotives than Craig Rutherford's TheDieselShop.us.  The website contains everything from historic (fallen flags) to contemporary (Class I's, regionals, short lines, and even some museums/tourist lines) rosters, locomotive production information, technical data, all notable models cataloged by the five major builders (American Locomotive, Electro-Motive, General Electric, Fairbanks-Morse, and Baldwin), and much more.  A highly recommended database!

Electro-Motive Database

In 1998 a gentleman by the name of Andre Kristopans put together a web page highlighting virtually every unit every out-shopped by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division.  Alas, in 2013 the site closed by thankfully Don Strack rescued the data and transferred it over to his UtahRails.net site (another fine resource).  If you are researching anything EMD related please visit this page first.  The information includes original numbers, serials, and order numbers.