Railroad Jobs in Indiana – The Ultimate Guide

Are you interested in starting a career on the railroad? Railroad jobs in Indiana are an excellent place to start. It’s a beautiful place to get a job in the railroad industry.

Firstly, there are plenty of railroad jobs in Indiana. Much like Illinois, five Class I railways operate in the state. Not only that, but it also boasts many regionals and shortlines. Indiana holds 42 freight railways, with a cumulative distance of 4,273 miles.

Secondly, there is a wide range of positions. Jobs span from engineers to dispatchers. So whether you’re shifting jobs or starting as a beginner, you’ve got a lot of options.

Finally, did you know that Indiana also has a fascinating railroad history? As it turns out, railways contribute in a large way to the state’s economic growth. However the best part, you can be a part of it!

We’ll be more than happy to help you with your career search. In this post, we tackle Indiana’s economy and how the railroad sector influences it.

Besides this, we also outline the different companies in various railroad classes. So, let’s get started!

railroad jobs in indiana

Indiana’s Railroad History and Employment

It wasn’t until 1838 that the railroads took off in Indiana. At this time, the inaugural steam train departed from North Madison. It transported members of congress and other guests on a short drive inspection ride.

There were eight probable railroad lines in Indiana in 1832. But, none came to fruition. This was because the government prioritized canal construction.

Due to this, the canals connected Indiana and the eastern shore. It spanned a distance of roughly 1,015 miles.

Fast forward to 1880, the state’s railroad network had grown to almost 4,000 miles. Since then, it has been a part of the driving economy of the USA.

Freight railways have played a vital part in the economic growth of the United States. Up until today, the sector connects industries locally and overseas. They continue to be indispensable, servicing every sector imaginable.

Did you know that people who work for freight railroads are among the best-paid in the country? Class I train workers in the United States receive a yearly salary of approximately $135,000.

The Railroad Retirement System supports railroad workers too. More than 500,000 received retirement and survivor payouts in 2020. In fact, the total amount reached $13.5 billion in that year.

Additionally, America’s freight railways have made millions of American jobs more competitive worldwide.

Lastly, freight railroads haul approximately one-third of all U.S. exports. The American economy would not be able to engage as extensively in globalized trade as it does now.

That said, working a part in the railroad sector makes you a contributor to the growing economy. You also get to enjoy its benefits and good pay on the side. It makes the job wholly worthwhile and fulfilling.

train on bridge railway

Where To Find Railroad Jobs in Indiana

If you’re a beginner in the railroad industry, you might wonder if you need a college diploma to qualify. The good news is that you don’t! Well, most of the time. It depends on the job and the company.

Take train engineers and operators for instance. These jobs require a high school diploma. Some companies also offer scholarship grants. These are great for those who want to pursue railroading from the ground up.

Along with that, some companies offer training too. On-the-job learning for railway engineers typically lasts between two and three months.

Before applying, you should also think about your capabilities. Some jobs demand more time for you than others — usually in Class Is.

Most rail Class I railways run 24/7. If you apply for a conductor position, you’ll unlikely have a 9-5 schedule. You might also work on holidays.

Another possibility is relocation. Are you willing to travel further than expected? These will also help you in your job interview questions down the line. So, keep these in mind.

Three classes make up Indiana railroads. These are classes I, II, and III. Some also call them Class Is, regional railroads, and shortlines. Here’s an overview of the companies you can work for:

Class I Railroad Jobs in Indiana

These railroads compensate their employees well. The salaries are among the best in the business. Plus, they also provide outstanding benefits and pension plans. Thus, becoming a Class I railroader has a lot going for it.

Some railways additionally grant summer internships and scholarships. If you’re a college student or fresh graduate, you might want to look into this. It gets your foot in the door and helps you know which part of the industry you want to pursue.

But, these jobs work long shifts. Some companies require a 12-hour daily shift. You should also expect frequent travel and hotel stays. As a result, you’ll be on the road often, and away from your family.

CSX Transportation

This company is one of North America’s most prominent freight transportation providers. They have a long, reputable, and distinguished railway history. Furthermore, CSX is also hailed as one of the best employers in America.

Its offerings include rail transportation, cargo, intercity transfers, and bulk services.

There is a wide range of positions available in this railroad corporation. Some of these include:

  • Conductors
  • Engineers
  • Pier technicians
  • Diesel mechanics
  • Intermodal service workers

CSX even dominates the job market outside the railroad too. For instance, they are one of the highest-ranking transportation firms in IT.

Finally, they care about employees. CSX can provide you with a wide range of career options. Among its benefits are charitable services, gifts, promotions, and internships.

Learn more about their job opportunities here.

Canadian National

About $200 billion worth of commodities is transported annually by CN, mainly by rail.

In 2016, they generated $12 billion in sales throughout Canada and the USA. Besides that, the company employed more than 22,000 people.

Moreover, Canadian National offers relatively good benefits. This includes retirement plans, professional support, PTO, and health insurance.

According to Glassdoor, CN scored a 3.3 out of 5. In this source, CN also scored an A rating for its physical workplace and an A+ for community involvement.

View more opportunities on CN by clicking here.

Norfolk Southern

The railroad company Norfolk Southern is a prominent player in the business.

Norfolk Southern offers several job opportunities, most are labor-intensive. This includes track workers and conductors. There are also some managerial and in-office positions.

Moreover, the company places value on the well-being and security of its workers. In fact, they have awards for their safety record.

Besides these, NS also places a high value on working together as a team. Learn more about jobs at NS by clicking here.

Soo Line Railroad (Canadian Pacific Railway)

Canadian Pacific Railway was launched in 1881 to link Canada’s different coasts. This railroad is also regarded as one of Canada’s finest mechanical achievements.

SOO (or Soo Line Railroad) is its Ameican subsidiary and a part of the country’s Class I railroads. The company offers excellent on-the-job training and salaries for front-line railroad workers. Moreover, they have an interactive and diverse workplace.

​Learn about CP’s career opportunities by clicking here.

Union Pacific

The Union Pacific amalgamated many times before becoming North America’s fastest-growing railroad.

The company has a long tradition of caring for its workers and extending a helping hand to those in need. They have charity work, childcare services, and financial planning programs.

They also have plenty of voluntary benefit options. This includes car, home, pet, and identity theft protection.

Learn about UP’s careers by clicking here.

empty railroad in indiana

Regional Railroad Jobs in Indiana

There are some benefits to working for a regional railroad over a huge Class I company.

The pay might be higher in Class I’s. But, regional railroads have more forgiving schedules.

So, if you’re expecting a 9-5-like job, you might find it here. Moreover, this is also a good stepping stone job. For instance, if you don’t qualify for a Class I, you can aim for regional.

Down the line, you gain higher experience.

You can turn to regionals if your desired Class I listing is unavailable. It’s certainly a viable opportunity, and you’ll surely learn much.

Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway

The Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad is a ring road. Between Waukegan and Gary, it’s about 50 miles away from the center of Chicago. It usually hauls steel and iron.

EJ&E has no online presence as of the present. Due to this, contact them for employment.

Indiana & Ohio Railway

This G&W (Genesee & Wyoming) shortline has been operating for more than 30 years. In the 1980s, they bought a former NYC branch between Valley Junction and Brookville.

With 570 miles of track and a wide range of cargo, the I&O is still in operation today.

Learn more about them by clicking here.

Indiana Rail Road

The Indiana Rail Road (INRD) is the state’s main rail transit provider in Indianapolis. Its train channel connects Indiana’s southwest regions.

You can learn more about INRD by clicking here. Contact them for job opportunities.

freight train on forest

Shortline I Railroad Jobs in Indiana

Compared to more extensive freight railway networks, shortline railways operate fewer miles. But, shortline railways have a significant influence on freight transportation, despite their size.

They run 50,000 miles, equating to approximately 40% of the country’s railway network.

Shortlines are a good starting point too. If you want to try railroad work, you can apply for a shortline job. It helps you build some experience.

indiana passenger train

Indiana Southwestern Railway

The Indiana Southern began in 2000. There used to be a 17-mile line running from this railway. But, in 2011, the company reduced the distance to only 3.8 miles. Subsequently, they discontinued the grain delivery service.

For more information about available positions, visit their website.

Kendallville Terminal Railway

1.1 miles of track at Kendallville serve as the backbone of this terminal railway. This is another railway managed by the Pioneer Rail Corporation. It also transports maple syrup and sugar.

Learn more about their careers by clicking here.

Louisville & Indiana Railroad

Anacostia Rail Holdings owns and runs this 106-mile route. It runs through Kentucky, Indianapolis and Louisville. Visit their website by clicking here.

Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railroad

For countless years, this shortline railway was titled the Maumee & Western. In part, this was because of the poor condition of the track.

At one point, it joined the Wabash line that ran from Fort Wayne to Napoleon. Pioneer Railcorp bought the facility in early 2012. From there, The ND&W was its new name.

R.J. Corman Railroad, Western Ohio Lines

Several routes link to RJ Corman, and this is one of them. Ninety-four miles are covered by four distinct branches along its first-generation stretch.

Visit RJ Corman’s official website if you’re interested in employment.

Big Four Terminal Railroad

This terminal rail began in 2003. It owns a 1.5-mile course in Craigville, Indiana. Indiana also benefits from its switching service.

Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad

The shortline is a separate system from the main line. From Malden to Kankakee the business travels 28 miles through La Crosse.

And from La Crosse, it runs a northward branch that stretches to Wellsboro. CSX and BNSF also have rail interchanges here. Thomaston is additionally a Norfolk Southern interchange point.

Begin Your Railroad Career At Any Of These Railroad Companies

Well, there you have it! In conclusion, Indiana is home to many Class Is, regionals, and shortlines. The industry is also a significant driver of the economy.

Working in the railroad industry offers a lot of benefits indeed. Searching for a job in Indiana doubles your luck, too. There are additionally many opportunities and hiring companies.

It’s a career that’s ultimately worthwhile.

Expanding your options? Check out our railroad jobs by the state. Click here.

Remember, finding the perfect job isn’t always easy. So, don’t give up.

I wish you all the best in your job search. We hope you have a thriving railroad career!