Railroad Jobs in Colorado – The Ultimate Guide

If you’re looking for railroad jobs in Colorado, you’re at the right place.

Railroad lines and passenger carriages in Colorado may seem like quaint artifacts. However, they were instrumental in helping shape the state into what it is today.

Suppose you’re looking to go into railroading. In that case, you’ll want to know more about Colorado’s economy and environment first. These directly impact the business and your future work as a railroader. So, let’s begin!

railroad jobs in Colorado

The Economy of Colorado

The economic landscape of Colorado is as diverse and exciting as the people who inhabit it. Beautiful landscapes, unrivaled recreational activities, and engaging cultural experiences. These all drive visitors from all around the globe to Colorado.

Colorado’s livestock, agriculture, and mining sectors have a storied past. These are essential to the state’s communities and wealth.

The state had the second-largest growth in per-capita individual income in the 2nd period of 2021. A huge part of this rise was due to the earnings in mining, scientific, and technological services.

For personal income, the state placed tenth, reaching $68,106 in the third quarter.

Let’s look more closely at how railways affected Colorado’s history before moving on to career opportunities in the state.

In the late 19th century, Colorado’s developing railroad networks were more than a transport system. They were essential in bringing the fledgling country of the United States together.

Railroads flooded pre-territory Colorado with fresh concepts, connections, and commodities quickly. Because of its newly discovered interconnectedness, it became a recognized territory and then a state.

cargo freight train station

Where To Find Railroad Jobs in Colorado

Colorado is home to 15 freight railways and more than 2000 railroad workers.

There is a slew of job opportunities for railroad personnel working in the state. These include anything from train conductors, railway engineers, yardmasters, and dispatchers. They run over 2,600 miles and earn an average of $75,400 a year.

Class I Railroad Jobs in Colorado

Class I railroads provide the majority of Colorado’s railroad employment opportunities. Union Pacific and BNSF Railway comprise 80% of the total rail miles.

Class I freight train employees earn an average yearly salary of about $135,00 in 2020. These also include benefits.

There are 94% of U.S. workers employed in the Class I sector. Additionally, these employees earn more in total pay than their counterparts.

The Class I’s are the most significant railways to work for. Give it a go if you mainly focus on compensation and perks.

Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway

Since its founding in 1881, BNSF has grown to become one of the largest railroad companies in the North. The company serves 28 states in the West as well as 3 Canadian provinces along with 32,500-mile rail infrastructure.

BNSF has shown its commitment to building and sustaining an inclusive workforce with several industry accolades and distinctions.

To name just a few of their accolades, the BSNF was named one of the best places to work for veterans of the United States military. BSNF was also a top employer for I.T. professionals.

The company values the diversity of its employees’ backgrounds, skills, and talents.

Because of its wide range of perspectives, they maintain its position as a top-performing railroad in North America.

Explore careers at BNSF here.

Union Pacific

Individuals with a passion for operations management may find several rewarding possibilities here. Engineers, mechanics, and technical managers are well-served by their extensive in-house training program.

As a result of completing the training program, Union Pacific offers managerial roles to graduates. Safety and resource management duties are within their purview. For the most part, Union Pacific Railroad operations management roles are only accessible to long-term employees.

Explore careers at Union Pacific here.

Looking into Regional Railroads could be an alternative option if you don’t like working for Class I railroads. This could also be an option if Class Is don’t have any current openings.

cargo train at night

Regional Railroad Jobs in Colorado

Here are some regional railroad jobs in Colorado that might suit you:

Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad

The K.O. comprises trackage stretching north and west from its Wichita, Kansas, headquarters.

The majority of this trackage was formerly controlled by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe.

K.O. operates 820 miles of track and has trackage rights for a further 84 miles (135 km).

Kyle Railroad

Former Rock Island Lines and Union Pacific railroads make up Kyle Railroad’s rail network of 550 miles. Kyle operates the R.I. part of the — owned by the Rhode Island Port Authority.

There are 213 miles between Mahaska and Limon on this railway. Moreover, a portion of their 178-mile rail lines in the northeastern includes:

  • A Stockton to Solomon, passing through Downs and Beloit
  • A route from Downs to Harlan
  • Beloit to Ames.

Grain and agricultural items make up the bulk of their traffic.

Nebraska Kansas Colorado Railway

When it comes to the Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado Railway, you can count on them to move a wide variety of goods over. The company possesses 559 miles of track across three states.

Grain elevators with high throughput have been drawn to NKCR’s lines. This is mainly because of the company’s stellar work record. Moreover, it maintains positive working ties with BNSF.

cargo train platform

Shortline & Terminal Jobs in Colorado

The following Colorado-based shortline and terminal railroads may have openings for you. Check these companies out if you’re interested:

Cimarron Valley Railroad

The Santa Fe C.V. and Manter Subdivisions of the Santa Fe Railway now make up the Cimarron Valley Railroad. The business is headquartered in Satanta, Kan. Grain, and agricultural products make up most of the railroad’s business. However, it also transports chemicals and other miscellaneous commodities on its 254-mile network of tracks.

Colorado & Wyoming Railway

A subsidiary of Evraz North America, the Colorado and Wyoming Railway was founded in 1899.

The ERVAZ – Pueblo, CO Steel Mills complex (previously Colorado Fuel and Iron’s Minnequa factory) near Pueblo, Colorado, uses a five-mile track to transport coal, ore, and steel products.

The Union Pacific and the BNSF Railways are also connected through this track.

Denver Rock Island Railroad

As a privately owned and maintained short line railroad, the Denver Rock Island Railroad has been in operation since 1993.

North Washington Park, Stockyards, and Airlawn are the three-terminal switching yards that comprise the DRIR’s network.

Five days a week, the railroad services its clients and interchanges Union Pacific and Burlington Northern train carriages.

Great Western Railway of Colorado

The GWR has a network of 80 miles of track and connects with the BNSF, and the UP. Ft. Collins, Loveland, Windsor, Loveland, and Greeley are also within a few miles of each other, making the train a crucial part of Northern Colorado’s transportation infrastructure.

The Great Western Railway of Colorado also houses the Great Western Industrial Park.

Colorado’s Great Western Railway Company provides trans-loading services for both rail and truck and inventory control systems. Liquid and dry bulk, timber, steel plate, coil, pipe, plastics, and construction supplies are just a few items they handle.

Rock & Rail

Rock & Rail, LLC. is a Western U.S. freight rail transportation pioneer. They work with clients to provide reliable services. These services include transloading, contract switching, and railcar storage.

San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad

Colorado’s south-central region is served by the San Luis and Rio Grande Railroad. It is a third-class rail line. SLRG uses 154 miles of old Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad rails on three lines that radiate out of Alamosa and connects with the Union Pacific.

Towner Railway

The Towner Railway track is 122 miles long. Its track comprises a longtime Missouri Pacific Railroad line. The line also leads east from the North Avondale Junction.

Moreover, it interchanges between Union Pacific and BNSF. And it also connects interchanging Towner, Colorado and Kansas, and Oklahoma Railroad.

railway station with cargo train

Final Thoughts: Railroad Jobs in Colorado

There’s no better time than right now to start thinking about a future in the railroad industry. If you’re looking for railroad jobs in Colorado, these companies might be what you’re looking for.

Looking for a job in another state, click here.

Best of luck with your job hunt!