Railroad Jobs in Missouri – Ultimate Guide

If you’re searching for a career in Missouri’s railroads, you’re in luck. You’ve got plenty of options for railroad jobs in Missouri!

The state houses five of seven class I major railways. This includes BSNF, CSX, KCSR, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific.

Plus, the state of Missouri is very well positioned, It houses the big and vital railway junction — Kansas City. This is why there is a lot of Class Is in the area and more Class Is means more employment opportunities!

railroad jobs in missouri

Not only that, but Missouri also features some regionals and a handful of shortlines. Furthermore, Amtrack and MetroLink carry out operations here too.

So, you’ve got an abundance of passenger railroad jobs to choose from, too!

Let’s take a look at it by the numbers. All in all, the state houses a staggering 4,800 miles!

So, the railway system in Missouri is rather vast. In fact, it ranks 10th in terms of railroad miles in the USA.

Besides that, Missouri has more than 2,000-yard track miles and more than 7,000 rail crossings.

The state has 20 freight railways! This makes it among the largest states in terms of the volume of freight cargo carried in the USA.

In total, Missouri carries well over 20 million truckloads annually. That’s some seriously impressive volume!

Therefore, landing a railroad job here holds a competitive advantage. Missouri’s railroads are a reputable industry with many career opportunities.

Chances of job openings are much higher than in many other states. And today, we’re here to outline all your possible options.

In this post, we break down all the companies you can work for. We also briefly tackle important things you should know.

This includes the Missouri railway economy and some job tips, let’s begin!

Missouri’s Railroads

Way before these big Class I players, Missouri was home to various historic railways. These include the New York Central, Baltimore & Ohio, Missouri Pacific to name a few.

These companies aimed to exchange cargo with transporters from the west at St. Louis. And from then on, Missouri was renowned as an essential West entry point.

Rail lines spawned as a result of this. During its golden years, the state had more than 8,000 miles of track!

However, as time went on, Missouri was also heavily damaged by railway abandonment, I still find this devastating.

Apart from this, Missouri’s rail sector went through a lot of other obstacles too. These include economic recessions, technological investments, and the development of the interstate highway.

And as of today, more than half of the state’s original rail mileage is gone.

However, the qualities that made it so important in the past are still relevant now. Railways still play a significant role in agriculture, other notable industries, and of course, the economy.

Importance Of The Railroad Sector To The Missouri Economy

As mentioned above, Missourois rails had it tough. But, they continue to offer vital convenience to the state. They provide employment, transportation, and advantages to the environment and the local community.

Missouri’s economy is reinforced by the rail sector, which contributes $2.7 billion to the region’s GDP each year.

Moreover, the state offers a smooth-sailing and stable flow of commodities. For example, from 2002-2007, Missouri’s total shipment volume and capacity output climbed by around 20%. More than 5% of this value was due to rail.

close up of freight train wheels

Can you just imagine what it’s like today? Missouri rail moves millions of truckloads yearly. It’s still among the nation’s biggest logistics networks.

The value of the sector is actually expected to rise by 70% ($790 billion) by 2030!

Being a part of this sector will mean stability and growth. Add to that the many benefits of being a railroader, it certainly can be a fulfilling and worthwhile career choice!

What To Know About Working As A Railroader In Missouri

If you’re just starting out in the industry, make sure you know what you’re getting into. You’ve probably heard so many great things about railroading.

And, most of that is indeed true. But, it’s not simply just a job; it’s a lifestyle. That’s why it’s also such a respectable career path.

It can be relatively demanding of your time. For instance, working in Class I mostly requires a 12-hour daily shift. Additionally, you are always on the road.

Therefore, you will be spending long demanding hours away from home. But, on the brighter side, Class Is provides excellent compensation.

They also give good retirement benefits. So, this can make the sacrifice worthwhile in many situations, especially if you’re younger.

Another thing you can look into is the internships If you’re a student, you can experience the industry firsthand through Class I programs. This is great if you’re really curious about the railroading career path.

If you’re not keen on working long hours, you can aim for class IIs or IIIs. They may offer more consistent schedules than Class Is. But, their wages don’t stack up against the big railroads.

Missouri Railroad Salaries

To give you an idea, the average compensation for a Missouri railroader is $46,343. This is just a ballpark figure, of course.

Salaries highly depend on a lot of things, this includes education, skills, years of experience, and more.

Moreover, your salary is bound to increase after a few years. In fact, it’s not surprising to earn six figures after years of working.

And the more you work, the more your benefits increase too.

Ultimately, it all boils down to your preferences and lifestyle. It’s so important to know your goals as a railroader. This way, you can find a job that suits you better. Now, here are all your options for railroad jobs!

st louis missouri skyline

Class I Railroad Jobs in Missouri

BNSF Railway

This network was previously known as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway is one of North America’s seven Class I railroads. BNSF is one of the largest freight rail networks in the country, with 32,500 miles of track.

Their network runs across 28 states and two provinces in Canada. The company transports a wide range of commodities. They also offer intermodal freight.

The BNSF railway also offers a vast amount of job positions. This includes train crew, conductors, management positions, and more.

Learn more about this Class I railway by clicking here.

CSX Transportation

This network ranks third among the largest railroads in the USA. CSX Transportation spans a total of 20,000 miles of track.

Their trains run through more than 20 states, the District of Columbia, and two Canadian provinces. In 2020, CSX had a staggering total of 20,900 employees.

Additionally, their rails connect with 70 ports within the Atlantic. It also links with the Mississippi River, Gulf Coasts, and Lawrence Seaway.

The company is a vital link in the easy USA economy. Learn more about them by clicking here.

Kansas City Southern

The Kansas City Southern is a company that has railroad holdings in Panama, Mexico, and the United States. Its networks connect the major economic and industrial hubs of these areas.

All in all, KCSR operates approximately 6,700 miles of track.

Its network also offers the quickest way through Kansas City and the Gulf of Mexico. Search for current job listings on their website. Click here.

Norfolk Southern

One of the largest Class I railways in North America is Norfolk Southern Railway. They are a fully-owned unit of Norfolk Southern Corporation. They are known to be a carrier of industrial and coal products. It also boasts a significantly large intermodal network. Overall, the company holds and runs nearly 20,000 miles of track. View their open job listings by clicking here.

Union Pacific

The Union Pacific Railroad’s freight network operates 32,200 miles of track. They run in over 23 west USA states. In terms of size, it ranks second next to BSNF. Additionally, Union Pacific also has transcontinental freight lines.

metal on freight train in missouri

Class II Regional Railroad Jobs in Missouri

Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad

The Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad is a shortline railway centered in Carthage. Don’t mistake this with Missouri and North Arkansas, though.

They are completely different entities. Additionally, the renowned holding company Genesee & Wyoming owns this network. Overall, this shortline runs 540 miles of track.

Learn more about them by clicking here.

Class III Shortline, Terminal, and Switching Railroad Jobs in Missouri

Arkansas & Missouri Railroad

A&M has operated as a stand-alone entity since its inception in 1986. It operates a total of 140 miles of track. Its route runs from Fort Smith, Monet, and Arkansas.

Moreover, the A&M is a well-known excursion train. Their company provides rides to the public year-round. Visit their website to see if there are any employment vacancies. Click here.

Central Midland Railway

Central Midland Railway used to operate this line. Progressive Rail also owns and operates it. In November of 2021, Jaguar Transport Holdings bought the property as an addition to its current ownership.

Its network operates a stretch of the primary line of St. Louis. All in all, The Central Midland Railway operates 225 miles of track.

Their route runs through Vigus, Pleasant Hill, Vigus, and Union. But as of today, only the Union and Vigus lines are in use.

Columbia Terminal Railroad

The Columbia Terminal Railroad or COLT runs through Centralia and Columbia. The city of Columbia purchased this company in the 1980s. And until today, they still control and manage its line. Visit their website to learn more about job information. Click here.

Kaw River Railroad

This railway is a Watco-owned class III shortline. Kaw River Railroad runs a total of 27 miles of track. But, these tracks are detached from each other.

On a yearly basis, the route handles around 15,000 worth of carloads. Learn more about the company through the Watco website. Click here.

Manufacturers Railway

The Anheuser-Busch brewing organization owns this ancient train line. It remained open since the 1880s, up until it was taken over by a new owner.

In 2011, Foster Townsend Rail Logistics purchased the railroad. However, it still services the brewery with terminal and switching services today.

Additionally, the route does interchanges with the TRRA and A&S.

Missouri North Central Railroad

The city of Chillicothe in Missouri owns this class III railway. It commenced in 2004, so it’s a relatively new railroad.

All in all, the Missouri North Central Railroad operates a total of 8 miles of track. Its route spans from the east and west of Wabash.

The train operations of this network are run by Motive Rail, Inc. On the other hand, the Canadian Pacific is in charge of its interchanges.

Ozark Valley Railroad

There is a total of 27 miles of track in this company’s fleet of locomotives. The Ozark Valley Railroad’s route stretches from Mexico to Fulton.

SEMO Port Railroad

The SEMO Port terminal railroad handles the SEMO port. Its network links to two Class Is, the BNSF and Union Pacific.

Additionally, It was established in 1994 and has been in business ever since.

Contact them through their website if you’re interested in learning about any employment possibilities. Click here.

Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis

Since its inception in 1889, this terminal route has serviced the St. Louis region. It is still owned and operated by Class Is, and it mostly carries freight.

If you’re looking for employment opportunities, you may check out the TRRA’s website. Click here.

railway tracks coming int the missouri station

Kickstart Your Railroad Career With These Railroad Jobs in Missouri!

There are evidently numerous railroad jobs in Missouri. Being home to five Class Is, you can surely score a job that’s right for you.

Moreover, the company also has a good regional and a handful of shortlines. Contact these companies today!

You surely know that job hunting doesn’t come easy. This is especially true if you’re just starting out. But, as always, don’t give up.

In the end, you will find the best job for you. And, you’ll find that it only gets better from there. You will never stop learning and growing in the railroad.

As long as you work hard, you’ll reap plenty of benefits!

That wraps up the railroad jobs in Missouri. We wish you all the best in your railroad career and job hunt.

If you’re still looking for more opportunities, we can help. Learn more about railroad jobs per state by clicking here.

We also have informational posts about the industry, too! Check out our blog.