The Top 3 – Best Railroads to Work for

Are you wondering the best railroads to work for? To find the answer to this question, you must first know that there are three classes of railroads. From there, you can decide which is the best railroads for you to work for. 

Railroad Classes

As you may know, the railroads are classified into three classes.

The first one is Class I, which offers the highest paying railroad jobs, the second is the regional railroads (Class II) and the third are the short lines and terminal railroads (Class III).

To be recognized as a Class I railroad, the company has to have a minimum of $433.2 million in revenue. At this moment, there are eight (8) Class I railroads operating in the United States.

  • AmTrak
  • BNSF Railway
  • Canadian National Railway
  • Canadian Pacific Railway
  • CSX Transportation
  • Kansas City Southern Railway
  • Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Union Pacific Railway 

In my opinion, Class I is considered the best railroad companies to work for, at least from a financial point of view. I know this may differ from your own opinion, which is perfectly fine.

Here are my top three best railroad companies to work for based in my opinion:

best railroads to work for bnsf

BNSF Railway Is One Of The Best Railroads To Work For

(The Best Railroad Company to Work for in 2019 and 2020, 2021)

You might ask, how did I reach this conclusion? Well, I came to it after years of experience working in the railroad industry.

I’ve heard & met many employees from many different jobs within the industry and there is definitely a general consensus that BNSF Railway are a great employer.

Furthermore BNSF Railway a rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars online. This data comes from 952 reviews. Based on the reviews, many are super happy with their great health insurance packages, retirement plans, and paid vacation.

It reinforced something that I knew, something that was subjective, but it is not anymore.

Of course, you can compare each railroad and any railroad job position with the same position in another company. You might notice that they may differ from each other. 

For example, it may be best to be a conductor for BNSF, but as an engineer, it would be better to work for Union Pacific. It is just an example, and it might not be true. In regards to this, I didn’t go into such a deep analysis. I looked at this in general, as one big employer, covering all the occupations.

Checkout BNSF jobs HERE

Canadian National Railway

The second best railroad to work for in my book is Canadian National Railway.

Canadian National Railway is a Canadian Class I freight railway. Its headquarters are located in Montreal, Quebec. They serve Canada, the Midwestern and Southern United States. 

When I ranked it as the second one, I applied the same criteria just like my top one. According to the same source, the Canadian National Railway has a rating of 3 out of 5 and has over 592 reviews. It is the same as BNSF, a lot of employees say that the pay is good, as well as the benefits.

With that said, Canadian National has host of great awards on their website.

Checkout Canadian National Railway Jobs HERE

best railroads to work for amtrak


The third best railroad to work for is AmTrak. Some people may disagree with this one. The reason I considered AmTrak as being the third-best railroad company to work for is their work/life balance.

Amtrak have been known for sure offering decent money but more so offering a work life balance

This condition makes them have a good rating on They have about 550 reviews, which give AmTrak a rating of 3.4 out of 5. If you notice that when it comes to the rating, it is higher than BNSF.

When I chose BNSF as being number one, I took into consideration the salary you can get as a railroad worker for them vs. other railroads. 

Best Railroads To Work For – Conclusion

As you know, being a railroader, especially Class I on a freight train, will come with long working hours.

Railroaders work in many extreme environments, with hot, cold snowing or rainy weather. You also are working during weekends and holidays. 

Many even argue that being a railroader is not for someone who has a family, especially kids.

I kind of disagree with this argument since I always look at the big picture. In my opinion, railroaders must have the financial stability of their family in it. They must also have a great package of health insurance too.

At the end of the day, it is your own decision on whom you are going to work for. I hope this article will give you some directions on choosing the right one for you.

I also hope you have a long, fulfilling & successful career on the railroads!

Ever wonder what a train conductor earns, click HERE.