Railroad Jobs in Nevada – Ultimate Guide

You might be wondering if there are railroad jobs in Nevada. Yes, there are. But, it’s very limited.

There are not many railways in Nevada, but there are still opportunities, let’s look and investigate further.

Fortunately, though, the trains running in the state are big class Is. In fact, Nevada is an important connection in the huge Union Pacific network. 

Read on…

railroad jobs in nevada

There are only two Class Is serving in the area.

This is the Union Pacific and The BNSF Railway. These two networks practically service the whole state’s railroad needs.

Actually, BNSF runs through the state through trackage rights from Union Pacific. Therefore, these are your best bets for railroad jobs in Nevada.

Apart from these, the state only has two more freight railways in operation.

Two class IIIs, to be exact.

These are the Nevada Industrial Switch and S&S Shortline Railroad. 

Plus, Nevada is renowned for a bunch of historical railroad milestones.

There are even two museums that commemorate its first transcontinental railroad. These are the Nevada State Museum and Nevada State Railroad Museum. 

In terms of job hunting, expect the job market to be a bit tight and competitive. But, it’s still worth giving it a shot. 

In this post, we talk about all your options for railroad jobs in Nevada.

We also go through its abundant railroad history. And in line with this, we discuss why it plays a big role in the Nevada economy.

Let’s get started! 

Railroads in Nevada

It all started in the 1860s when Lincoln approved the Pacific Railroad Bill.

As a result of this, the planned transcontinental railroad earned government aid.

Starting in 2007, a race to build rail throughout America, including Nevada, started.

Nevada’s first experience of rail hailed in 1868. Here, the Central Pacific Railroad (CPR) surpassed The State Building.

From then on, Nevada was considered the transcontinental railroad’s western portion. This coast-to-coast network had profound effects on economic development.

Western cities and states were finally connected. It also made it so much easier for people and goods to travel throughout America.

It was relatively a cheaper option, too. 

There were more rails established in Nevada as well. This includes the Western Pacific, Central Pacific, Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad, and more.

But, it wasn’t much compared to other states. It also had some narrow-gauge railroads.

In its golden years, Nevada held more than 2,000 miles of track. 

But during the second half of the 19th century, traffic slowed down. The railroad relied on any kind of freight it could get just to operate.

And unfortunately, most railroads were abandoned after years. Some didn’t even make it into the 20th century!

As a result, the state shed around 45 percent of its railway network.

A lot of states also experienced the same loss, some even experienced much worse.  

Regardless of its relatively short track, railroads still play an important role in the economy. 

two railway trains

Rail Infrastructure and Its Impact On Nevada’s Economy 

Nevada relies heavily on rail as a way of connecting rural regions with the city.

Furthermore, it ties marketplaces all around the world. In terms of cost and safety, rail is the best option for transporting goods across the land.

It additionally spares the state’s highways and roads from unnecessary congestion.

And because of this, Nebraska’s economy can expand and diversify.

In line with this, Nevada was one of the highest job-generating states in America.  

Let’s take a look at the numbers. 

In total, Nevada has around 1,200 miles of active trackage.

As of 2019, the sector consists of over 600 employees. Some of these employees even earn more than $100,000 yearly.

In 2014, Nebraska managed to export approximately 7 billion goods.

Additionally, the state served 9 billion worth of services to its customers. 

Its rail may not be as vast as other states. But overall, rail is very essential to Nebraska alone. 

Things To Know Before Applying For Railroad Jobs in Nevada

If you’ve never worked in this field before, know that railroading is not for the timid. 

Railroading is a lifestyle. Train crew members (especially those in Class Is) often work long shifts. And by long shifts we mean 12 hours a day.

Apart from that, schedules are usually not predictable. You may be called in unexpectedly — night or day. So, expect that you’ll be away from your family often. 

Despite this, railroaders take enormous pleasure in their work.

It’s a respectable career. And, class Is pay the most in the business.

Railroaders also fall under the Railroad Retirement Act. It’s completely different from the Social Security benefits.

Some even say that it’s the best perk of working in the business. For many, the long hours are really worth the effort and sacrifice. 

You can possibly get a more consistent schedule within shortlines and regionals. But, expect a lower compensation compared to a class I job.

Even the seemingly little pleasures of working for a train company add up to big rewards. Most trails go directly into the woods, and the scenery is breathtaking from any point along those paths.

These factors make or break potential railroaders and job hunters. In the end, it’s up to you to weigh out the pros and cons. 

If you’re still a student, you can look into Class I internships or programs. Some offer these during the summer.

This way, you can get your foot in the door. And, you get to know early on if the industry suits you.

Plus, you gain experience too! I know from my point of view, experience in this industry is worth so much! You’ve got to start somewhere.

Now that we’ve covered that, let us take you to your options.

Here are the companies you can work for in Nevada: 

road through nevada desert

Class I Railroad Jobs in Nevada


The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway is its complete name. The modern BNSF Rail network, like many  Class Is, was established by mergers.

It all started in 1970, more than four decades ago. From its humble beginnings, the railroad has grown into one of the most renowned and recognizable transit companies in the world.

It’s always at the top of its class in the business. 

In Nevada, however, BNSF has trackage rights to the Union Pacific. 

Presently, this network countrywide runs a total of 32,000 miles of trackage.

It journeys through 28 states. Additionally, the company has a roster of almost 6,000 trains.

Learn more about the company by clicking here.  Visit their employment page for job openings. 

Union Pacific 

Most of Nevada’s rail network is operated by the Union Pacific.

It’s basically the state’s railway backbone. In fact, in 2017, the Union Pacific invested a whopping $240 million to grow the state’s transportation.

The company has also invested in more initiatives for the state.

This includes the 2021 Community Ties Giving Program and rail innovation. Plus, Union Pacific supported more than 3,000 jobs in the USA in 2021. 

Two primary lines go through Nevada for Union Pacific’s rails.

First is the one that travels through the North of Nevada. It links the heart of California to Salt Lake.

The second one passes across the South and also Las Vegas. It links LA, Salt Lake, and the transcontinental route to the East. 

Union Pacific hauls a wide variety of goods in Nevada. This includes chemicals, coals, metals, and more. 

If you’d like to work for Union Pacific, check out their career page. Click here

las vegas nevada skyline

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

Nevada Industrial Switch

The Nevada Industrial Switch is a private railway that operates in Nevada.

Its trackage operates on the old “Fibreboard Spur” of Union Pacific.

They mainly service the sheet rock-producing PABCO Gypsum Mine. Contact the company for more employment information. 

S&S Shortline Railroad

This isn’t a freight nor terminal or switching road. Rather, it’s a tourist shortline. The S&S Shortline Railroad is located at Farmington.

Here, it showcases many different railroad equipment. And, it has a track that offers strips from June through September. You can contact the company for job information. 

Become A Railroader With These Railroad Jobs in Nevada! 

Nevada offers a few options when it comes to railroad networks and lines.

But remember, the state’s trackage miles aren’t as big as others. But, they do have two of the biggest class Is in the state.

Plus, Union Pacific takes up a big part of Nevada. So, it’s a really good advantage. You also have the two shortlines there as well.

But, you should probably expect job-hunting challenges.

Since the state has limited trackage, the job market might be competitive.

But, don’t let this demotivate you.

You’re bound to find a suitable job for you soon enough, you just need to be proactive and have the right attitude.

And when you do get your foot in the door, that’s only the beginning. After putting in the hard yards you will reap tenfold.

You’ll keep growing as a railroader, in your career, and as a person.

Are you still expanding your options?

We’re happy to help. We have a list of railroad jobs per state. Click here.

And if you want to learn more about the sector, keep checking back on our website for new informational railroad posts. 

Lastly, know that we’re only here to help you with your job search. Each network has its unique recruiting methods and policies.

If you have very specific questions, we won’t be able to help you. Getting in touch with the firm directly is your best bet.  

That wraps up the railroad jobs in Nevada.

Hope this helped! We wish you all the best in your job search and career.

close up of train wheel

Frequently Asked Questions

How many railways are there in Nevada?

Two class Is run through Nevada. These are the BNSF and Union Pacific. However, Union Pacific controls almost all of its railways.

Apart from these, there are only two shortlines. These are the Nevada Industrial Switch and the S&S Shortline Railroad. 

Was Nevada on the Central Pacific Railroad’s route?

Yes, it did. But it wasn’t easy for them. Donner Summit, at an elevation of 7,050 feet, was the highest point on the route’s ascent of the Sierra Nevada. Because of this, the Central Pacific built rail lines and wagons for freight. 

Does BSNF run through Nevada?

Yes. They have trackage rights via Union Pacific. 

When was Virginia City, Nevada, first connected to the train network?

Virginia to Carson route commenced in the 1860s. Here, it hauled silver mines, lumber, and other supplies. However, this route was eventually abandoned.