Railroad Jobs in Alabama – Birmingham, Mobile, Tuscaloosa
The state of Alabama, as many states in the nation, has a very long and rich railroad history. Beginning with the first railroad being constructed in 1832, the Tuscumbia Railway, the Alabama’s railroad industry began to flourish, and once with the railroad expansion, the state itself, today serving as a great place for finding a railroad job.
The railroads solved one big problem, worldwide, not only in Alabama, the problem was how to connect two points, and get from A to B faster, while hauling tons of freight.
Long time has passed since then,and currently Alabama has become the home of over 3,300 miles of track used by over 24 freight railroads.
Before we proceed further, looking at the potential employers, let’s take some notes about Alabama’s economy.
The state economy used to be predominantly based on agriculture, not anymore. Beginning with the 21st century, Alabama’s economy, according to this source, started to diversificate, now with branches in automotive, management, manufacturing, aerospace, healthcare, retail, technology and mineral extraction.
Yes, all these industries are the engine of a great need for transportation, including railroads.
Railroad Jobs in Alabama – Class I
As mentioned above, Alabama has 24 freight railroads, four of which are Class I’s.
As of today, you will get the most (financial wise) from a Class I’s.
Before I go ahead and list these Class I’s operating in Alabama, I want to let you know that being a railroader it’s not as easy as many people believe.
Operating a locomotive with hundreds of tons of freight comes to a great responsibility. Furthermore, most of the Class I railroads will expect you to be ok with a flexible schedule, which means working on weekends and holidays. Make sure you are completely aware of all these things before you proceed further.
Since I mentioned how tough it may be working for a railroad, especially for your social/ family life, I also need to mention that the salaries and benefits are great.
You can read more about differences between a conductor and an engineer to make sure you are informed to best make a decision.
The Class I Railways in Alabama are BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Canadian National Railway and Norfolk Southern. (Please click on the company name to be directed to their jobs and employment pages).
If you are not interested in working for a Class Is, or if they are not momentarily hiring. There are a couple dozen smaller railroads, Class II and III in the state, which might offer employment.
Railroad Jobs In Alabama – Class II & Smaller
Alabama’s Class II railroad is Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway which operates 348 miles of track in total, with a branch in Alabama, from Kimbrough to Mobile, AL. The traffic consists in general of coals, metals and paper products.
The other railroads, which are the smallest called Class III or Shortline and Terminal Railroads that might offer railroad jobs in Alabama are as following:
Alabama Southern Railroad also known as ABS operates 85 miles of track, leased from the Kansas City Southern Railway.
The Alabama Warrior Railway also known as ABWR is a terminal railroad which operates in Birmingham, Alabama on approx. 15 miles of track.
The Autauga Northern Railroad, leased from Norfolk Southern, operates on 43 miles of track between Maplesville, Alabama and a plant of the International Paper Company near Prattville, Alabama.
The Bay Line Railroad is owned by Genesee & Wyoming, with 103 miles of track, it operates between Panama City, Florida and Dothan, Alabama. Most of the traffic consists of brick, cement, chemicals, coal, food and feed products, forest products.
Birmingham Terminal Railway also known as BHRR, operates 79 miles being a subsidiary of Watco Companies.
The CG Railway (reporting mark CGR) is a terminal railroad, headquartered in Mobile, Alabama operates 900 miles of track, between the Port of Mobile at Mobile, Alabama, and the Port of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.
Columbus and Chattahoochee Railroad is a 26-mile-long freight railroad running from Girard, Alabama, to Mahrt, Alabama.
The Conecuh Valley Railway, L.L.C is a short line railroad which was created after 2001 from the former Southern Alabama Railroad and is currently owned and operated by Genesee & Wyoming. The railroad operates 15 miles of tracks, between Troy, Alabama and Goshen, Alabama.
Eastern Alabama Railway, LLC is owned by Genesee and Wyoming, with a total track length of 23 miles, it operates between Talladega, Alabama and Sylacauga, Alabama.
The Georgia Southwestern Railroad is a shortline that operates over 230 miles, mostly in Georgia, but in Alabama as well.
The general traffic consists of over 13,000 carloads/year of chemicals, clay, grain, peanuts, plastics, stone, and wood.
The Huntsville and Madison County Railroad Authority operates on 14 miles of track, between Huntsville, Alabama to Norton, Alabama.
The Luxapalila Valley Railroad is a 38 mile short line freight railroad that operates between Columbus, Mississippi, and Belk, Alabama.
The M&B Railroad, formerly known as the Meridian and Bigbee Railroad, is a Class III railroad that operates 189 miles of railroad from Meridian, Mississippi eastward to Burkville, Alabama.
The Sequatchie Valley Railroad runs between Bridgeport, Alabama, to near Jasper, Tennessee.
The Tennessee Southern Railroad consists of 149 miles of track, the railroad hauls mostly coal, coke, wood pulp, pulpboard, sand, chemicals, steel, aluminum.
The Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks is a subsidiary of Alabama State Port Authority, and it operates around 75 miles of track.
The Three Notch Railroad also known as TNHR, is a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming, and it runs 36 miles of track between Georgiana to Andalusia, Alabama.
The Wiregrass Central Railroad runs between Newton and Enterprise, Alabama, operating 19.5 miles of track.
As you noticed, Alabama has many Class III railroads, but if for some reason you are not finding the job you are looking for, I suggest to keep reading and check out the commuter carries and the heritage railroads in the state.
Alabama has AmTrak crossing through it, you can check on their official website if they’re hiring. Also there are a couple heritage railroads, North Alabama Railroad Museum (Mercury and Chase Railroad) and Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum (Calera and Shelby Railroad) that might offer employment.