Railroad Jobs in Maryland – The Ultimate Guide

Are there railroad jobs in Maryland, you ask? Yes, there are! Maryland might not house a lot of railroad companies compared to other states. However, there are still options to choose from.

Plus, Maryland has a mark on the country’s railroad infrastructure. It’s the birthplace of common carrier systems. In fact, the renowned Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was founded in Maryland.

Maryland houses two of the country’s seven Class I railways. These are CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern. The state is also served by Amtrack’s local and intercity lines.

Additionally, Maryland has one regional railway, Wheeling & Lake Erie. It also consists of a couple of shortlines. Overall, the state totals nine freight networks with more than 700 miles of track.

That said, there are a good number of options for you. If you’re a job seeker, look no further. We’re here to help you start your railroad career.

This post outlines the active railroads in Maryland. We also tackle the role of the state in the railroad sector. Let’s start!

railroad jobs in maryland

The History Of Maryland’s Railroads

It all started in the 1820s. During these years, many people started to recognize the convenience of easy transportation.

A group of Baltimore leaders wanted to keep pace with Erie Canal. During this time, everyone hailed this cutting-edge piece of engineering. The canal eased the link from Buffalo’s Port of Albany to New York City.

George Brown and Philip Thomas made a trip to England. During this trip, they learned about the profitable aspects of railways. And in 1826, plans for the B&O took place. By 1827, the B&O finally commenced. Its initial route traveled to the Ohio River.

The formal groundbreaking for the railroad happened on, Independence Day a year later. It was also in 1830, that the first Ellicott City and Baltimore route was established. From here, many networks sprung up during the next years.

Unfortunately, most of these lines are now defunct. Down the road, almost half of Maryland’s railways were abandoned. 46%, to be exact. Most of these were branch and supplementary lines, the renowned Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad is one notable example of this.

Fast forward to today, CSX and NS now manage most of Maryland’s rail infrastructure.

Despite its memorable past, the rail distance in Maryland has never been particularly high.

But, don’t let this discourage you in your job search. These railroads still greatly contribute to the state’s economy.

Without these reimagining railroads, freight wouldn’t be possible. These railroads also make way for a lot of job opportunities. In Maryland today, there are more than 1,300 railroad employees.

And you can be one of them. Starting your railroad career in Maryland can be a great starting point for you.

railroad working checking train

Things To Know Before Applying For Railroad Jobs in Maryland

Just like any other job, railroad work comes with its own set of challenges. The work may be physically and mentally taxing. Fortunately, the good thing about railroad jobs is their wide variety.

Because of this, it’s important to know your capabilities. This way, you can find a job that’s best suited for you. Let’s briefly go through the things you should consider.

First, the railroad duties. What do you feel like doing on the railroad? Take a commuter train for instance. A train conductor is primarily responsible for checking tickets, loading bags, and announcements. On the other hand, freight train conductors supervise the crew. Some other jobs need you to work outside 24/7.

Secondly, the schedule. Most class I railroaders need to work 12-hours shifts daily. You also might not be allocated to your preferred location. Hence, you’ll be away from home often. However, class Is railways typically pay the most.

Regarding salary, the average compensation of railroad workers in Maryland is $50,1000. But, as your experience grows, so does your wage. Also, a lot of factors play a part in your salary. This includes experiences, skills, training, and more.

Overall, it’s an excellently fulfilling career with many benefits. This is especially true if you work for years.

Learn more about the ins and outs of the railroad industry by keeping track of our blog. Click here to view some of them.

Without further ado, let’s explore your options!

moving freight train in maryland

Class I Railroad Jobs in Maryland

Class I railways are those that generate more than $250 million in revenue. These railways operate 70% of the country’s tracks. Because of this, more than half of the country’s railroaders are employed under this class.

But, as stated above, these come with long shifts. However, they pay the most. And working with a class I railroad immediately boosts your credibility.

CSX Transportation

This railroad company is one of the largest in the country. It now has a market value of USD 26.3 billion. This makes CSX the seventh biggest railroad company in the world in 2022. Additionally, it is also renowned as a fortune 500 company.

CSX is a freight railway that runs in the east of the USA, Ontario, and Quebec. All in all, their railways cover 21,000 miles of track.

You’d be glad to know that there are several career paths available at CSX. Their jobs spean from entry-level railroad positions to senior leadership roles. What’s more, the company offers a slew of benefits. This includes scholarships, charitable organizations opportunities to get involved with, and career advancement.

Learn more about careers at CSX by clicking here.

Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern Railway is among the busiest railroads in the entire globe. Previously, people knew it as the Southern Railway. The company’s main facility is in Atlanta, and they operate nearly 20,000 miles of track. Their routes span over 22 states, on top of that the firm also owns Canadian Pacific Railway operations of the Albany route.

In addition, the firm produced 11 billion in revenue in 2021. This made it one of the world’s leading railroad corporations.

View your opportunities at Norfolk Southern on their careers page. Click here.

Regional Railroad Jobs in Maryland

If you’re not keen on working long hours, aim for a regional job. These lines don’t work as long as Class Is do. Hence, you may experience a lighter schedule. And, if your targeted class I job isn’t available, you can apply for a regional job in the meantime.

This way, it will help you gain experience. There is only one regional or class II railroad in Maryland. And that is the W&LE.

Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway

This privately-owned regional railroad dates back to the 1990s. A string of realignments, disagreements, and lack of funding marked the formative life of the W&LE. If it wasn’t for Jay Gould’s financial support, this would have never existed.

Fortunately, all of them resulted in good use. Until today, it still hauls hundreds of carloads every year. The W&LE maintains a vast network across many locations such as:

  • West Virginia
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania (West)
  • Cumberland (trackage rights)
  • Hagerstown (trackage rights)

Overall, it runs more than 500 miles of track.

Learn more about the jobs at Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway on their website. Click here.

open railroad and railway ties

Shortline & Terminal Railroads Railroad Jobs in Maryland

There are a few historical shortlines in Maryland.

Shortlines are very beneficial because of their “first-and-last-mile” or “last-mile” service. This implies that they offer greater client care for large businesses. This is badly needed for a flawless flow of operations.

Additionally, shortlines could be a great starting point for beginners in the railroad. It helps gain experience and opportunity. Plus, you get a closer look at operations.

Canton Railroad

The origins of the Canton Railroad date back to 1906. It serves businesses in East Baltimore and the Port of Baltimore with switching operations. Overall, this shortline runs 6 miles of its main track and 70 of its subsidiary. They also have interchanges with the two Class Is in Maryland. Lastly, they offer a wide range of services. This includes switching, warehousing, track construction, and logistics.

Learn more about the Canton Railroad by clicking here.

Maryland & Delaware Railroad

The Maryland and Delaware Railroad Company commenced in the 1970s. One of its primary functions was to maintain and run a number of Penn Central Railroad lines. Namely, in Maryland and Delaware.

However, the Conrail network design did not include any of these branches. If not for governmental support, this shortline wouldn’t exist. Because of this, the MDDE became its authorized operator.

Today, the network runs approximately 120 miles of track.

Learn more about the network by clicking here.

Maryland Midland Railway

This is a unit of the Genesee & Wyoming shortline network. They’ve had the Maryland Midland Railway under their roster since 2007. The Maryland Midland Railway operates 70 miles of track all in all. Its route spans from Fort Ritchie and Reisterstown.

Check Genesee & Wyoming’s website for more information. Click here.

Tradepoint Rail/Patapsco & Back Rivers Railroad

The present name of this terminal railway was established in 2016. But, it has been operating switch services since the 1880s. During these years, they served the Sparrows Point. In these times, the railway was referred to as the Patapsco & Back Rivers Railroad. Some also called it the Sparrows Point Railroad.

Today, the company runs a total of 70 miles of track. It also runs connections to NS and CSX.

Learn more about the company on their website. Click here.

Winchester & Western Railroad

Gore to Hagerstown is the principal route of the Winchester & Western Railroad. But, the corporation also operates in New Jersey. Founded in 1916, the firm specializes in transporting forest goods. A connection to Hagerstown was made possible with the 1986 purchase of the formerly PRR route.

Overall, the network spans 54 miles of track.

moving passenger train

Passenger Rail Jobs in Maryland

Now, if you want to work on a passenger train, Maryland has some options too. A passenger railroader’s benefits slightly differ from freight. For instance, some companies offer free travel on their train. Let’s take a quick look at two passenger railways in the state.


Almost every American citizen is aware of Amtrack. On a routine basis, it runs over 300 trains across a distance of 21,400 miles. However, Amtrack only runs and manages a few (about 600) of these. Other private businesses (or host railways) operate the remaining miles of track.

Amtrack also thrives in employment. They offer a wide range of jobs, from engineering to corporate. Plus, you can search for a job in many of their locations too. The company also boasts its veterans, student programs, and employee diversity.

Click here to learn more.

Maryland Transit Administration / MARC

This passenger railway infrastructure serves the metropolitan. The Maryland Transit Administration is in charge of overseeing MARC’s operations (MTA). Additionally, the CSXT and Amtrak own the railway. Moreover, Alstom and Amtrak handle them via contract. This passenger train serves nearly 6,000 citizens daily.

Moreover, MARC trains can achieve 125 miles/hr. This makes them one of the fastest passenger rails in the country.

Contact the company to learn more about their job openings.

Kickstart Your Railroad Career in Maryland!

So, there you have it. Maryland doesn’t boast big distances compared to other states. However, it still houses all three classes and passenger rails.

When it comes to employment, this is a huge advantage. It gives you plenty of room for options.

Contact any of these companies if you’re interested. Some of them also allow you to apply directly on their website.

Speaking of options! If you want to expand your search, we have railroad jobs per state. Learn more by clicking here.

Before we go, it’s important to note that job hunts aren’t always easy. Don’t rush into it. Make sure you find a job that suits your goals and career trajectory.

In the end, you’ll experience great fulfillment and you can add to that the benefits of being a railroader.

That ends our railroad jobs in Maryland. We wish you all the best in your job search and career!