Railroad Jobs in New Mexico

Are you wondering if there are any railroad jobs in New Mexico? Yes, there are. New Mexico is home to two Class I railroads. These are the BSNF Railway and Union Pacific.

new mexico railroad on sunny day

These huge networks make up more than 80% of the state’s trackage. So, you will most likely find good job openings and opportunities here.

Unfortunately, the state has no regional Class II railways.

But, they do have a few Class III shortlines & Amtrack does operations through the state as well.

lus, the relatively new New Mexico Rail Runner Express runs through Albuquerque.

Overall, the state only operates about 1,800-2,000 miles of freight trackage. If you compare these to other states, it isn’t much. So, expect that the job market could be a bit tight.

Nevertheless, New Mexico is an excellent place to start your railroading journey. It’s filled with amazing scenery & the state also holds a rich and memorable rail history.

This includes narrow-gauge rail, high-speed trains, and abandoned railroads. At its peak, the state boasted almost 3,000 miles of track!

Now lets get you started with your job hunt.

We know how challenging job hunting can get, so, we’ve gathered all the resources for you.

In this post, we tackle all the railroad companies you can apply for in New Mexico.

Additionally, we outline the economic value of the state’s railways. And finally, we add in some job-hunting and railroading tips.

Are you ready?

Let’s get started.

railroad jobs in new mexico

The Economic Value Of New Mexico’s Railways

There is a strong connection between New Mexico’s railroads and its history. Almost everything in Las Cruces changed as the first train arrived in the spring of 1881.

Because of these trains, Las Cruces was able to tap into marketplaces.

The economy and the rails grew hand in hand. Here’s how:

Carrying A Wide Array Of Goods

Approximately 140 million tonnes-worth of freight transit through, start in, or end up in New Mexico each year through railways.

Apart from this, it carries a wide array of goods, this includes chemicals, coal, and most importantly, intermodal transport.

The Intermodal Transport

Intermodal transport refers to the transportation of cargo containers and trailers.

It makes up for a big part of New Mexico’s freight traffic.

New Mexico has historically served as an intermodal center for BNSF. And back in 2014, Union Pacific also inaugurated one themselves only a few miles from Las Cruces. This 2,200 acreage and 400 million-worth facility take up its “Sunset Route”. And since then, this facility became a key geographical location.

Companies can take advantage of the fiscal and sustainable advantages of freight. These advantages can be enormous and can include:

Convenient and Cost-Efficient Transportation

As a result of their size, huge corporations in New Mexico are able to provide reduced pricing to their customers on the worldwide market.

Take power plants for example. With trucks, they are only limited to using coal from immediate areas. But with trains, they can receive coal over great distances at a reasonable price.

Environmental Impact

There’s also an environmental impact on rail freight. a single railway may transport as much cargo as a fleet of vehicles.

As a result, railways contribute to:

  • Lowering traffic congestion
  • Lowering fuel usage
  • Reducing emissions


Privately-owned rail infrastructure owns and maintains its own rails. This means they don’t rely on people’s taxes or government funds.

downtown santa fe new mexico

Creates Jobs

Given its scale, railways can generate a lot of jobs for people in New Mexico. In line with this, the sector also offers good-paying and competitive wages.

Working as a railroader not only benefits you. It also benefits the state as a whole. Therefore, it’s a really fulfilling job.

However, if you’re freshly coming into the sector, there are a few things you should know.

Working In The New Mexico Railroad: What To Expect

New Mexico may be the most interesting location for railroad work. You go across the deserts, mountains, and the Soutwests’ wide terrain.

The magnificent scenery is a wonderful bonus of the job.

However, as with any job, the industry also comes with some challenges. It can be painfully demanding, especially for maintenance or crew positions.

It was not AS extreme before automation and technology rose. However, it hasn’t entirely vanished.

For instance, you’re likely to work a 12-hour shift. Plus, you can be instantly assigned to any post or location.

With that, you will be away from home often. This usually occurs with Class I railroading jobs. And, you might not be able to get a stable schedule after a few years.

BUT, Class I jobs pay the best in the industry, so, it can be worth the effort and sacrifice.

Normally, shortlines can offer more consistent hours. So, if you’re not keen on working long shifts, this is a good option.

However, they cannot compete with Class I railroads in terms of compensation, perks, or pension.

For reference, an average railroader in New Mexico earns an average of $44,500. However, this can also vary on some factors.

This includes skills, experience, position, the company, and more. And, there’s always room for promotion and growth.

It’s one of the best things about the industry. It’s not unusual to earn 6 digits after a few years of working.

Finally, if you’re still in college, you can check out internship opportunities from Class I railroads.

Some companies like Union Pacific offer summer programs. This way, you can gain experience as soon as possible.

These are some of the top deciding factors for seeking railroaders. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide if it’s something you want to pursue.

open roads of new mexico

Class I Railroad Jobs in New Mexico

Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway

In 2021, the BNSF Railway Company dominated the North American railway industry. It had an overall operating revenue exceeding 23 billion dollars.

And in 2020, the network was rated eleventh on the list of the world’s freight transport companies. It was behind only Russian Railways and China State Railway in worldwide rankings.

It has been included in the freight railroad business in the USA for years.

All in all, BSNF operates a total of 32,500 miles of trackage. It serves 28 states in the United States as well as three provinces in Canada.

Moreover, the company supplements its employees with a slew of benefits. This includes standard medical benefits, 401k plans, retirement benefits, and more.

The company also offers personal development programs for students, so if you are a student and keen, click below.

Learn more about the company by clicking here.

Union Pacific

In May 2021, Union Pacific Railroad became the world’s biggest rail corporation. It was valued at $148.5 billion in the United States. And at the end of 2021, it was the second-largest North American railway in terms of revenue.

Moreover, its rebound after the pandemic was a contributor to its economic success. The company’s operating revenue in 2021 was over 21 billion dollars. This is an 11% increase over the previous year’s performance.

Plus, it’s an increase of 96 million dollars from the year before the pandemic.

Overall, the company runs a total of 32,000 miles of trackage. Union Pacific serves 23 western states, linking with Canada’s rail network and It also connects to six main gateways in Mexico.

Finally, Union Pacific provides high-quality employee facilities and benefits. Learn more about their benefits by clicking here.

parked rail freight cars

Shortline, Terminal, and Switching Railroad Jobs in New Mexico

Arizona Eastern Railway

This Class III shortline operates a total of 265 miles of trackage. The Arizona Eastern Railway serves Miami, Clifton, and New Mexico. Actually, Southern Pacific held and operated this company for a long time.

It was also passed into a few owners until its current owner, Genesee & Wyoming. Mainly, the Arizona Eastern Railway services a copper mining area of Southeastern Arizona.

It also serves the Gila River Valley’s agricultural sector. They primarily haul copper, cathode, and sulfuric acid, to name a few. And finally, they provide a trans-loading facility for timber and other consumer goods.

Learn more about the company by clicking here.

Santa Fe Southern Railway

This class III shortline serves freight as well as excursion services. It makes use of the old Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe line and the Lamy transcontinental main route.

Additionally, it runs a tourist train named Sky Railways. All in all, it operates a total of 18 miles of trackage and has been operating since 1992.

Santa Teresa Southern Railroad

Iron House Resources operates this class III shortline. The Santa Teresa Southern Railroad commenced in 2012.

Until today, the company serves the Santa Teresa Intermodal Park.

Southwestern Railroad

Jaguar Transport Holdings controls this shortline. The Southwestern Railroad has been in operation since the 1990s. They also took over the old Santa Fe trackage and In 1990, it started operating the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway’s Whitewater route.

However, they supplied copper mines and in 1994, they acquired additional AT&SF rail lines. In 2001, they took 60 miles of track from Burlington Northern Santa Fe, they don’t muck around.

Southwestern’s territory is shaped like a rough “V,” and the majority of its traffic comes from the copper sector. Its main hub is Deming, where interchanges are handled by BNSF.

Today, it operates a total of 180 miles of trackage.

Learn more about the company by clicking here.

Texas-New Mexico Railroad

This Class III shortline has a total of 111 miles of trackage. TXN’s routes run through Lovington, Monahans, Texas, and New Mexico.

Since 1989, the corporation had many owners. Today, it is presently owned by Watco. The company made some recent renovations in preparation for increased freight traffic.

Learn more about them by clicking here.

albuquerque new mexico

Become A Railroader With Any Of These Railroad Jobs in New Mexico!

As you can see, there are a few railroad opportunities in New Mexico. You will most likely come across class I jobs from the two companies that run in the state. These are Union Pacific and the BNSF.

If none of your choices are available, you can aim for the shortlines!

If you compare the number of railroads in New Mexico to other states, it’s quite fewer. So, expect a tight job market at times.

Apart from that, there will be some more job-hunting challenges. Nevertheless, don’t give up! You’ll find a railroad job suited for you in no time. And that’s just the beginning. You’ll reap the benefits tenfold and never stop learning.

Are you potentially expanding your options to different states? We can help with that, too. We provide a state-by-state list of railroad employment opportunities. Click here. Check back on our site for fresh railroad postings if you want to learn more about the industry.

That finally wraps up our railroad jobs in New Mexico, we hope this information was useful to you.

Good luck on your job hunt and railroad career!