Railroad Jobs in Massachusetts – Ultimate Guide

You might be wondering, are there railroad jobs in Massachusetts? Yes, there are. Massachusetts is among the smallest states in the United States, but there are still opportunities.

railroad jobs in massachusetts

You can expect to find mostly hilly, coastal, and steep railway infrastructure, with some great views too.

The state boasts a rich and memorable railroad history. In fact, it is the first state to ever have a railway running inside its territory. This existed even way before Baltimore & Ohio did.

Although Massachusetts houses only just a couple thousand miles of track, the Bay State is home to only Class I railway, CSX Transportation. It also houses two popular regionals and a few shortline railways too.

Moreover, Amtrack conducts local and intercity passenger services in Massachusetts.

Therefore, if you’re looking for railroad jobs, you’ve got relatively good options. And today, we’re here to help you explore them.

In this post, we outline all the active railway companies that you can apply to. We also tackle a brief history of the Massachusetts railroads so you can get a feel for what it’s all about.

You’ll come across some tips for landing a great job so, let’s get started!

The Railroads in Massachusetts: History and Economy

The first railroad in Massachusetts commenced in 1826, this was the Granite Railway. It is also the earliest commercial railway that grew without filing for bankruptcy.

This paved the way for other railroads in the state and after a few years, there were 60 railways in Massachusetts.

In 1875, the state totaled 3700 miles of track. Additionally, the state was thriving with companies such as:

  • Central Massachusetts Railroad
  • Old Colony Railroad
  • Worcester & Nashua
  • Boston & Lowell
  • Providence & Worcester

However, most of the railways managed by these companies were abandoned.

As a result, the state is dotted with unused railroad tracks. And currently, Massachusetts runs only around 896 miles of track, all of which are an important part of the Massachusetts economy.

Impact On The Massachusetts Economy

Massachusetts is well-connected by railway infrastructure. Yearly, railroads transport approximately 400,000 truckloads of freight. Most people don’t give much thought to this supply chain, however, it is clearly critical to our everyday standard of living.

For manufacturers, freight trains provide a stable, value-for-money, and long-term connection. Take CSX Transportation for example.

In 2015, CSX spent a total of 78 million dollars on CSX’s facility expansion services, and who said railways are dying, hah!

Moreover, freight trains also play a big role in placing commercial items on shelves. In fact, intermodal cargo accounts for the vast majority of yearly freight traffic. Plus, freight is a big player in the state’s pulp and paper business too.

Now, let’s add employment into the picture. It takes a lot of individuals to run a rail network. Because of this, railroads provide jobs and boost the employment rate in the state. In fact, there are nearly 800 railroaders employed in Massachusetts today.

All of these factors promote overall economic growth in the state, and you can be a part of this thriving sector, too!

railroad during sunrise in massachusetts

Things To Know Before Apply For A Railroad Job In Massachusetts

Finding the best job is no easy feat. That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with information before applying. This way, you can narrow down your choices better.

The first thing you should know about working in Massachusetts is its weather. It can be pretty challenging to work in the winter or fall. This is especially true if you do fieldwork.

You need to be accustomed to working outside in all kinds of conditions.

As we’ve mentioned, CSX is the only class I in the state. Because of this, you’ll have limited options. Additionally, the chances of landing a Class I job are lower compared to other states.

But, if there are any job openings available, make sure you understand their schedules. Class I railroaders likely work long hours,12 hours a day, to be exact.

Some are also on the road often. Therefore, you might be away from home a lot. If you’re not keen on working long hours, aim for shortlines or regionals, their schedules are relatively more flexible.

And finally, the salary. A railroad worker in Massachusetts earns approximately $52,900 a year. However, this is dependent on a number of factors. This includes education, skills, and experience in your field.

Class I Railroad Jobs in Massachusetts

Now, it’s time to take a look at your options.

CSX Transportation

Coast Line Companies and The Chessie System Seaboard formed CSX in 1980. With the Staggers Rail Act, President Carter granted railways more freedom of operation. The act allowed railways to operate on their own terms. As a result, working for the railways started getting safer, as did traveling on them.

CSX provides a wide selection of long-term employment. Positions include engineering, operations, management, and more. Additionally, the company provides on-the-job training for directions, interns, and trainers. There are numerous reasons to join CSX. It’s a company that cares about its people and provides a variety of rewarding professions.

Learn more about their career opportunities by clicking here.

Regional Railroad Jobs in Massachusetts

Railways classified as “regional” or “class II” carry a significant volume of trackage. However, they are not as extensive as class Is. According to the AAR, regionals run more than 350 miles of track. Additionally, the company should make at least $40 million in yearly revenue.

If your chosen Class I job is unavailable, you can work for a regional in the meantime. This way, you get to gain more experience too.

Pan Am Railways

Formed in 2006, Pan Am Railways is a regional railway that is just a few years old.

The Guilford Rail is its direct successor. Eventually, Pam Am collaborated with big class I railroads like Norfolk Southern.

From here, Pam Am grew into a much more dominant enterprise in the area. And today, Pan Am is now the biggest regional carrier in the United States. Additionally, Amtrak regularly runs trains on some of its routes. Overall, it runs 1,800 miles of track, and they also employ nearly 800 railroaders.

News broke out in June 2020 that Pam Am Railways was up for sale. And in November 2020, CSX bought the railway for $700 million. CSX added 1,800 miles of track to its current network. Its routes also included New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Learn more about the company by clicking here.

Providence and Worcester Railroad

P&W is a historic network that was carved out from Penn Central after its demise. This first started in the 1840s. They established a route in Millville, Worcester, and Massachusetts later on. Then, in the 1970s, P&W was subject to numerous rulers. However, it recovered its freedom after a few months. And today, the P&W hauls hundreds of carloads each year.

To learn more about the class II regional railway, click here.

railroad tracks during sunset in massachusetts

Shortline and Terminal Railroad Jobs in Massachusetts

Railroads classified as “shortline” or “class III” cover just a fraction of the country’s total railroad mileage. This classification is mostly used in the USA or Canada.

In most cases, shortlines are used to connect two or more businesses dependent on rail transport. Usually bigger railways swap revenue traffic with them. Occasionally, they provide a tourist train system.

Shortlines may run only short distances, however, they are the backbone of big railroads.

This is a great class to apply to if you’re just beginning your career. It helps you get your foot in the door, and get first-hand experience.

And fortunately, Massachusetts houses a good number of them.

Bay Colony Railroad

The BCLR is a class III railway. In the past, it covered a large portion of the southern coast. However, it now runs a total of six miles of track. Their route travels Westport and New Bedford. BCLR usually hauls freight for clients. But, they also have additional services such as AAR-certified rolling stock maintenance. They also do contract track building work for other railways.

Contact the company for job openings. You can find contact details and more information on their website. Click here.

East Brookfield & Spencer Railroad

This class III railway dates back to 2004. East Brookfield & Spencer provides a terminal and switching to a radius of around 4 miles. Moreover, this company is privately owned. It also links to the CSX Boston Subdivision line.

For employment opportunities, contact the company directly.

Fore River Transportation Corporation

Located in the east of Massachusetts, FRVT operates the shortline Fore River Railroad. They are mostly controlled by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. The railroad connects the Fore River Shipyard to Greenbush Line.

Contact the company directly for possible career openings.

Grafton & Upton Railroad

The Grafton & Upton was founded in 1873. The Grafton Center Railroad was designated after that. When the G&U began in 1887, it was a narrow-gauge enterprise that linked Milford and Grafton together. Although most were abandoned, Jon Delli Priscoli successfully restored operations and repositioned the company.

Click here to learn more about the company.

Housatonic Railroad

This shortline has been a mainstay since 1840. Until today, the company uses the main track from New Haven to Pittsfield. However, they’ve added a western expansion to New York under their roster.

Learn more about the company by clicking here.

Massachusetts Central Railroad

New York Central’s old B&M and B&A land was used to build this railway. Massachusetts Central Railroad saved the land that would’ve been abandoned. This shortline is state-owned.

New England Central Railroad

New England Central Railroad has been in operation since 1995 when it purchased the Central Vermont Railway’s holdings. Today, the G&W owns and runs this shortline, with a total of 350 miles of track. Moreover, it hauls a wide variety of freight.

Visit the Genesee & Wyoming website to learn more about NECR. Click here.

Pioneer Valley Railroad

Since its establishment in 1982, the Pioneer Valley Railroad has served the west Massachusetts municipalities of Westfield. This includes Southampton and Holyoke. The Pinsly Railroad Company has controlled the railroad from its inception.

Learn more about career opportunities in Pioneer Valley Railroad by clicking here.

close up of railroad tracks

Passenger Railroad Jobs

Passenger trains convey passengers across railway lines. Typically, commuter trains have a set timetable. Additionally, they take precedence over freight. If you’d like to work for a passenger train, here are your options:


Amtrak is a great value when it comes to getting around town. Exceptional customer service is also a hallmark of the Amtrak experience. There are no tedious search results or postponements due to bad weather. Plus, workers at Amtrak ensure that all travelers enjoy their journey. You can be a part of that, too.

All of its workers get the same perks and training. The Professional Development Program at Amtrak is among the most exciting prospects for employees. In exchange for their 18-month dedication, participants will be well-prepared for a rewarding career with Amtrak.

Interested in joining Amtrack’s team? Click here.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

“The T,” as it is better known, is a transit system that has been around for more than a century. And it is also Massachusetts’s biggest public transportation network.

It offers commuter rail and paratransit services.

Learn more about the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority by clicking here.

train leaving station in massachusetts

Start Your Journey As A Railroader in Massachusetts!

Well, there you have it! Overall, Massachusetts has a relatively good balance of railways for employment.

It contains all the classes and has passenger lines. Therefore, you have a good chance of scoring the job you want.

Kickstart your railroad career today! Contact any of the companies above for job openings.

Of course, there will be challenges too. Job hunting is no easy feat. This is especially true when the job market is tight, but, don’t give up.

With persistence, you will surely find the best-suited job for you. In the end, you will reap the benefits tenfold.

If you’re still exploring your options, we can help! We have a list of railroad jobs per state on our website. Click here. And, if you’d like to explore more about the industry, read our blogs.

So, that finally wraps up the railroad jobs in Massachusetts.

We wish you all the best in your job search and career!