Railroad Jobs in New Jersey – Ultimate Guide

Are you looking for railroad jobs in New Jersey? You’re on the right track. There are three out of seven Class III railroads operating in the state. These are the Canadian Pacific, Norfolk Southern, and CSX Transportation.

railway jobs in new jersey

Remember Class Is are the biggest network in the business too. Therefore, you’re likely to find a good-paying job here quickly.

But apart from that, New Jersey has one renowned class II regional. And finally, the state has more than a dozen operational shortlines.

In total, New Jersey holds a total of 1,039 miles of trackage (as of 2019). 20 of these are freight tracks that play a massive role in their economy.

It powers economic development for both big and small businesses.

It’s also greatly modernized and self-reliant due to the Staggers Act. In fact, during the pandemic, Class I railroads didn’t request any government aid.

It’s an astonishingly (yet often overlooked) immovable sector. So, consider yourself lucky when you become a railroader.

Apart from that, Amtrack and three other passenger networks run in the state. So, you’ve also got options for passenger railroad jobs.

Overall, New Jersey has an adequate variety and number of choices for you. And today, we’ll be going through all your possibilities one by one.

In this post, we list down all the companies with railroad jobs in New Jersey. We also tackle more on the state’s railroad value.

And finally, we highlight some must-read beginner job hunting tips.

Let’s get to it.

New Jersey Railroads: History and Economic Value

When you compare the New Jersey rail to other states, it’s not a lot. Today, the state holds slightly above 1000 miles of track.

But, back in the 1830’s, it was thriving. The state of New Jersey has a long and rich heritage with railways. Its origins date back to the 1830 Camden and Amboy Railroad. This occurred just a few years after the famous Baltimore and Ohio commenced.

New Jersey historically boasted an incredible array of fast locomotives. This is mostly because of its close proximity to NYC.

Us railroad fans can agree that the railroads of New Jersey were among the most diverse in the nation! Many classic railroads served the state.

Some of my favorite include:

  • The Chessie System
  • Baltimore and Ohio Railroad
  • New York Central
  • Pennsylvania
  • Reading Railroad
  • Lehigh Valley
  • Erie Railroad

At its pinnacle, New Jersey boasted more than 2,000 miles of trackage.

However, its complex network led to a large number of abandonments too. It lost over 60% of its railways starting in the 1920s.

This was mainly because of the downturn of the railroad business after WWII. The Northeastern railways took a large hit.

Therefore, a lot of New Jersey lines were abandoned. Some were also merged under Conrail’s network.

But remember, rail abandonments were a normal occurrence a few centuries ago.

Despite these losses, New Jersey rail still thrives today.

freight train on track

Importance of New Jersey’s Railway Infrastructure

The freight network in New Jersey is an incredible asset. It has elevated the State to the status of a commercial node. In 2019, New Jersey saw a 53.4 million ton of freight in their network.

Rail offers a stepping stone to other states and increases economic growth. Businesses are able to market their products and source supplies.

Chemicals and intermodal shipments come in at the top of the list for rail shipments into the state. The sector moves a wide variety of other goods too, this includes lumber, steel, plastic, food, etc.

Rail may not be as rapid as some truck routes. However, it maximizes efficiency and minimizes costs.

It’s also more environmentally friendly. And according to Go Rail, transporting through rail prevented 3. 19 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2019.

This amount is equal to removing 6,000 automobiles off the roads or planting millions of trees.

Apart from all this, rail is a solid job-generating industry.

Considering how large a class I business is, they can hire up to hundreds of employees a year.

A 2019 review stated that New Jersey had over 1,013 freight employees in the business. This totaled 230 million in railroad retirement benefits too.

These are some of the reasons why railroading is such a fulfilling job. Apart from its benefits, you get to be a part of an economic driver of this country!

Things To Consider Before Applying For Railroad Jobs in New Jersey

Are you freshly coming into the railroad industry?

In order to get the most out of railroading, you’ll need to do a little research.

Railroad work requires in-depth appreciation or value for the business. And, it’s not a job for everyone, especially for the fainthearted.

One reason for this is due to the inconsistent schedule of various railways. It’s very common for Class I crews to have 12-hour work shifts.

In addition, the company can place you at any post or location necessary. So, you’ll be also on the road often. As a result, you’ll spend most of your time away from home.

However, Class Is offers the best pay. Some even hit the 6-digit mark after working for years. That’s why it’s worth the sacrifice for a lot of railroaders.

You can find more predictable schedules with shortline or regional jobs. However, their salaries do not match a Class I railroader. Class Is are your best choice if you want the highest compensation in the industry.

new york skyline from new jersey

New Jersey railroaders make an average of $38,000 a year. However, salary estimates vary. It is contingent upon a number of factors. This includes a person’s education, training, and work experience.

If you’re currently a college student with plans for the railroad, check out internships. Class Is like CSX offers programs throughout the summer.

This way, you can gain experience and land a good position after graduating. Also, it can help you experience the railroad first-hand.

In most cases, these are the deal-breakers for prospective railroaders. In the end, it is up to you to decide if the pros and cons are worth it.

Now, let’s take a look at your options. Here are the railroad companies that you can apply for in New Jersey.

Class I Railroad Jobs in New Jersey

Canadian Pacific Railway

Canadian Pacific is the earliest and largest transcontinental network. Unlike Canadian National, this railway is not government-owned or started.

Instead, the government just took part in overseeing its overall construction. This class I railway commenced in the late 1880s.

In total, the company runs more than 14,000 miles of trackage.

Their network stretches most of Canada and the west of America. The company holds hiring fairs in Canada and USA from time to time. So, if you’re interested, you can take a visit.

Learn more about possible career opportunities by clicking here.

CSX Transportation

This class I network comprises a whopping 21,000 miles of track. CSX Transportation is the third-highest income-generating Class I.

As of March 2022, its revenue stands at more than $13 billion. The company commenced in the 1820s.

Today, it services more than 20 states, including Columbia, and two provinces in Canada.

Learn more about the company and its employees by clicking here.

Norfolk Southern

This network is one of the most prominent North American Class I railroads. They’re well-known for transporting coal and industrial items.

In addition, it has a vast intermodal system. Overall, the company operates nearly 20,000 miles of trackage.

Additionally, it is a fully-owned property of Norfolk Southern Corporation.

You may see their current job openings by visiting their website. Click here.

newmark new jersey skyline

Class II Regional Railroad Jobs in New Jersey

New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway

This is the only class II regional network in the state. The NYSW or Susie-Q runs a total of 400 miles of trackage.

Its primary route operates through the northeastern of the USA. Specifically, through New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

It commenced in the 1880s by merging shortlines and was also a New Jersey passenger train up until the 1960s.

After a few years, the Delaware Otsego Corporation purchased the company. It made a lot of progress with it through intermodal freight.

Today, its Southern route spans New Jersey, Jersey City, Binghamton, and New York. On the other hand, its Northern route travels through Syracuse and Utica.

Learn more about them by clicking here.

Class III Shortline, Terminal, and Switching Railroad Jobs in New Jersey

Belvidere and Delaware River Railway

The Belvidere and Delaware River Railway were launched in 1995. Today, they’re also known as the BDRV or the Delaware River Railroad.

The rails were established through Conraik’s acquisition of the Black River Railroad. These tracks service through the east of Pennsylvania and in the west of New Jersey.

The BRRS also runs the Black River and Western Railroad.

Today, the BDRV hauls freight through Phillipsburg, the Delaware River, and Carpentersville.

Overall, it operates a total of 16 miles of track.

Black River and Western Railroad

As previously mentioned, this is a BRRS-owned shortline. It commenced in the 1960s as merely a tourist track.

However today, it also hauls freight services. Its route span from Three Bridges as well as Flemington.

Learn more about the company by visiting its website. Click here.

Cape May Seashore Lines

This Class III shortline services freight and is also a tourist network. Cape May Seashore Lines runs through the historical Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines.

Overall, they run 27 miles of trackage and their routes also travel to Cape May, Tuckahoe, and Sunset Beach.

Learn more about the company through their page. Click here.

Dover and Delaware River Railroad

Chesapeake and Delaware is the holding company of this class III shortline. They began operations in the first months of 2019. During this time, they operated a stretch of the trackage of NS New Jersey.

Now, they serve as an interchange in Morristown. They also serve Succasunna, Newark, Dover, and Berkeley Heights.

Learn more about the company by clicking here.

Dover and Rockaway River Railroad

The Dover and Rockaway River Railroad commenced in early July 2017. During this time, it acquired three of Morris County’s freight branches.

Moreover, they run lines previously run by the classic Morristown and Erie. Here are the branches and the routes they travel:

  • Chester Division (Lake Junction, Succasunna, Eerie, Conrail)
  • High Bridge Division (Chester Division, Bartley Road)
  • Dover and Rockaway Division (Wharton, Rockaway)

East Jersey Railroad and Terminal Company

This very short class II only runs 2 miles of trackage. It travels through Bayonne and is completely owned by IMTT.

Hainesport Industrial Railroad

The Hainesport region is served by this terminal route. Learn more about the company by clicking here.

New Jersey Rail Carrier

This class III terminal railway services the Kearny area. New Jersey Rail Carrier mainly provides switching services. Contact the company for more employment information.

New York-New Jersey Rail

The New York-New Jersey Rail is another terminal railway. It commenced in 2016. Since then, they have been servicing Jersey City, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. They primarily offer switching services. Additionally, it’s the harbor’s lone surviving car float railway. Check out their website to learn more about job opportunities.

Raritan Central Railway

The Raritan Central Railway services clients in the Raritan River area. They are headquartered in Edison. Learn more about the company and its job opportunities through its website. Click here.

SMS Rail Service

This shortline is also often referred to as SMS lines. They mainly connect the owns of Bridgeport and Guilderland through rail. It is also famous for its usage of road-switchers. Learn more about job opportunities through their website.

Passenger Railroad Jobs in New Jersey

You have options for passenger railroad jobs with these companies. The benefits are pretty much the same. However, there are more unique ones in this sector. This may include travel perks, free trips, and other company-related benefits. Click through their respective names to be directed to their websites.


New Jersey Transit

Port Authority Transit Corp. (PATCO)

railroad tracks

Become A Railroader With These Railroad Jobs in New Jersey!

New Jersey seems to have considerable possibilities for railroad employment.

With three Class Is in the area, you have higher chances of finding a job that suits you.

The state also houses an excellent regional network and a handful of shortlines. Get in touch with any of these companies!

As you may know, finding a job isn’t completely easy. This is especially true if you’re just getting started.

Plus, New Jersey has a large population. Because of this, expect a competitive job market, In any case, don’t give up.

You’ll surely find the perfect railroad job for you. From then on, things only get better. In the railroad industry, you’ll never run out of things to master and excel in.

You’ll be richly rewarded if you put in the effort.

Our team can assist you if you’re still on the lookout for new job prospects. Click here to learn more about railroad jobs per state.

We also offer industry-related articles on our site!

That finally caps off the railroad jobs in New Jersey. Best of luck with your job hunt!