Utah Railroad Jobs

Header Photo: Drew Jacksich

Utah has never been a state rich with railroads, at its peak the state only featured a little over 2,000 miles of track. If you are interested in Utah railroad jobs, today the state features close to 1,500 miles of track, much of which is operated by Class I Union Pacific (BNSF operates Utah via trackage rights) with the rest broken up amongst Class II Utah Railway and a few shortlines. Coal is Utah's main staple of originated freight traffic with chemicals, metals, and others making up the rest. In any event, for more information regarding Utah railroad jobs please contact the railroads listed below concerning possible openings.

When boxcars were king... A handsome set of Rio Grande FT's lead a long freight westbound through Utah's Ruby Canyon (not far from the Colorado state line) along the Colorado River in August, 1948. Otto Roach photo.

If you work for a Class I railroad in the industry there are a multitude of various fields which you can enter from the more well positions of engineer and conductor to things like mechanics, welders, signal maintainers, and various management posts. Please be aware that if you interest lies in operating the trains themselves Class Is require incredibly long and unforgiving work schedules. For instance, you need to be call at all times when needed, and typically work 12-hour days. Of course, in return you can make an excellent income in doing so along with a very good retirement.   In all, it comes down to whether you feel the long hours away from home and family are worth it. An alternative may be to look at hiring on with a smaller railroad which offers better hours but not the same level of pay. 

Class I Railroads/Amtrak


BNSF Railway

Union Pacific

Short Lines And Regionals

Deseret Power Railroad: This privately-owned, electrically operated railroad hauls coal from a mine at Rangely, Colorado to a power plant at Bonanza, Utah owned by Desert Power. 

Salt Lake City Southern Railroad: This railroad operates a 25 mile line between Salt Lake City and Murray serving a number of industries between the two cities and a diversified traffic base. The railroad is a subsidiary of the Utah Railway, which is owned by Genesee & Wyoming. 

Salt Lake, Garfield & Western Railway: The SLG&W dates back to the late 19th century with the railroad acquiring its current name in 1918. Today, it operates about 10 miles of trackage around Salt Lake City where it interchanges with UP. To contact the railroad; 1200 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116. 

Savage, Bingham & Garfield Railroad: This railroad is owned by Savage and began operations in 2007 on former Union Pacific branches consisting of about 21 miles of track. Communities the railroad serve include Midvale, Welby, Magna, Kearns, Bacchus, and Bagley. 

Utah Central Railway: This short line is a Patriot Rail property and operates about 34 miles of track west of Ogden reaching Relico, Stratford, and an industrial park north of Ogden. 

Utah Railway: Utah's most famous and best known railroad, the Utah Railway dates back to 1912 and today owns about 47 miles of its own rails and has trackage rights on UP from Grand Junction, Colorado to Ogden. The railroad is now owned by Genesee & Wyoming. 

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› Utah 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.