Railroad Jobs in Texas – Ultimate Guide

As they say, “everything is bigger in Texas.” Texas is the second largest state in the United States of America. It boasts a staggering 200,000 square miles and nearly 30 million residents! And Texas railways, like the rest of the state, are very extensive. So, when it comes to railroad jobs in Texas, you’ll be spoiled for choice. 

railroad jobs in texas

Texas is home to three major Class I railways. These are the Union Pacific, BNSF, and Kansas City Southern. They make up more than half of the rail mileage in Texas. 

Additionally, there are two Class II regionals housed in the state. These are the Texas Northeastern and the Texas Pacifico.

Together, these networks account for over a thousand of the state’s miles. And finally, there are more than a dozen class III shortline railways.

As of 2020, Texas has the most railroad miles in the United States, totaling 10,400 miles of trackage. It accounts for approximately 7.6% of the country’s mileage. Illinois and Ohio placed second and third, respectively.

Moreover, the state’s major networks stretch in every direction. For instance, UP has what they call a Sunset Route that runs through LA and New Orleans. There’s also the Transcon line from BNSF that serves LA and Chicago. 

The railroad history of Texas is also incredibly famed. Railroads from all across the South and Midwest ran through Texas in the past. 

It’s unquestionably a lively location and sector overall. And we’re here today to help you land a railroad job in Texas!

We know how challenging it can get to look for jobs online, especially in a state as big as Texas. In this post, we list down all the railroad companies you can apply for.

We also add in some important information and pointers for fresh railroaders. So, let’s begin!

texas flag

The Economic Impact Of Railroads In Texas

The freight rail infrastructure of Texas benefits the state in unique ways. It boasts features that other modes of transport do not have. This is mostly because of its scale.

Consequently, it creates a ripple effect on these economic factors:

Strategic Location and Access To International Markets 

The strategic placement of Texas along major national rail tracks allows for easy train access to all parts of the United States.

Apart from this, it allows businesses to tap the Mexican and Canadian markets. 

Shipping Capacity 

One rail car alone can carry far more than one truck, much more. For instance, more than 300 trailer trucks are needed to transport the same quantity as a 100-car train hauling 100 tons.

Moreover, in 2019, Texas freight rail was able to haul a million intermodal carloads.

It also carried more than 400,000 chemicals and a hundred thousand petroleum barrels. 

Less Traffic Congestion, Infrastructure Upkeep, and Pollution

Freight rail can eliminate 22 million truckloads off the highways yearly. And because of this, there is less wear and tear.

Due to this, there is less need for road maintenance.

Moreover, it also reduces pollution by reducing emissions by roughly 70%.

Generates Employment and Competitive Income

Finally, the sector can generate up to thousands of jobs. In 2017, freight rail in Texas totaled 29,572 employees. 

downtown austin texas

Working In The Texas Railroad Industry: Advantages, Challenges, and Things To Consider

This section of the article is a must-read for anybody new to the railroad industry.

The reality is that not everyone is cut out for a career in railroading.

Most people see railroading as adventurous, outdoorsy, and fun. In certain cases, though, this is true. But, the industry comes with challenges that are not for the faint-hearted.

To begin with, a railroad job can be physically and mentally heavy. Major freight railroads run 24/7. Therefore, most class I jobs do longer (a maximum of 12-hour) shifts. 

Schedules are unpredictable, too. You can be called into work, even on weekends and holidays. 

So, be prepared for a massive shift in your lifestyle. You’ll be spending more time away from your family than ever before.

Nonetheless, Class I positions are among the best-paid in the sector. To top it all off, they provide several benefits and retirement plans. Therefore, the sacrifice can be very, very well worth it. 

You are also offered a lot of knowledge and career growth. If you put in the work, you’re likely to be promoted. You can even earn up to six figures after a few years!

To give you an idea, here’s a list of the highest-paid railroad jobs.

If you’re not keen on working lengthy hours, you can work for shortlines or regionals.

Some can offer a more predictable and set schedule. Their wages are still competitive. However, they doesn’t match up to class I railroad jobs. 

Some individuals find that railroading is not for them for these reasons. But, it’s completely up to you. 

Railroading requires you to look at the bigger picture and examine things from a fresh perspective. It is also not a career that provides “easy money.”

So, without further ado, let’s examine all your options for railroad jobs in Texas. 

Class I Railroad Jobs in Texas

BNSF Railway 

One of the seven Class I railways in North America is the BNSF Railway Company. It operates a track network of more than 30,000 miles. 

BNSF serves 28 USA states and two provinces in Canada. Moreover, they are the second-largest provider of freight rail service in the country. 

Fort Worth is located along a regularly trafficked route. This links Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coal with Central Texas and Houston.

A major BNSF line from the Plains states also arrives in Fort Worth. Afterward, it’ll be on to the ports along the Texas Gulf Coast.

BNSF’s primary market in Texas is the state’s northern and eastern regions. It is also the only network that services Amarillo and Lubbock.

To learn more about their railroad jobs in Texas, Click here.

Kansas City Southern Railway

KSSR is the smallest Class I railroad in the United States. Their main office is located in Kansas City.

The Kansas City Southern Railway is the most important north-south connection. This railroad connects Mexico to Central America.

Kansas City Southern also operates Kansas City Southern de Mexico as a subsidiary. This network links to the route between Central America and Mexico.

KCS de Mexico serves Mexico’s northern and central regions. This encompasses Veracruz, Tampico, and port Lazaro Cardenas.

All in all, Kansas City Southern has 3,500 miles of track that span ten states.

Click here to learn more their railroad jobs.

Union Pacific

The renowned Union Pacific totals 32,100 miles of track. It provides transportation to 23 different states in the western part of the nation. In Texas, it covers roughly 6,000 miles. 

Major east-west UP lines link California, the Gulf Coast, and Memphis. UP Mexico’s NAFTA corridor, which runs north-south, links Mexico to the northeastern United States and Canada.

It also has a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) division. This runs north to south and links Mexico to the northeastern United States and Canada.

Six UP lines also pass through Houston. This connects it to the Louisiana Gulf Coast, the Midwest, the West Coast, and Mexico.

There are additionally major east-west routes linking the southern U.S. cities. This includes San Antonio, El Paso, Fort Worth, and Dallas. 

There is also the aforementioned Sunset Route. This links Louisiana’s New Orleans with California’s Los Angeles. Here, it passes through the southernmost region. 

Texas is home to UP’s vehicle distribution centers as well. UP Mesquite’s facility features two terminals, one for intermodal traffic and the other for automobiles. Both of which are run by distinct organizations and companies. 

Click here to learn more about Union Pacific railway jobs in texas.

houston texas cityscape

Class II Regional Railroad Jobs in Texas

Texas Northeastern Railroad

This is a Genesee & Wyoming-owned regional railroad. The Texas Northeastern operates two disconnected tracks. One runs through Sherman. On the other hand, the other passes through Texarkana. 

Overall, it runs 104 miles of trackage. 

Learn more about them through Genesee & Wyoming’s website. Click here. 

Texas Pacifico Transportation Ltd.

This class II regional railroad totals 400 miles of trackage.

Its routes stretch to the West of Texas. Its lines also do interchanges with Union Pacific and BNSF. 

Learn more about job opportunities by clicking here. 

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

Alamo Gulf Coast Railroad

First on this list of shortlines is one operated by Martin Marietta Materials.

It’s a very short, shortline totaling 3 miles of track.

It ultimately serves the Beckman vicinities. Additionally, it mainly carries aggregate and timber.

Contact the company directly for more information. 

Alliance Terminal Railroad

This is an OmniTRAX-owned shortline. The Alliance Terminal only runs about 24 miles of trackage through Haslet. 

The network also does interchanges with class I BNSF. 

If you’re interested in working with this shortline, contact them directly. 

Angelina & Neches River Railroad

This is a well-known shortline and has been operating since the 1990s. In total, the Angelina and Neches River runs 28 miles of trackage.

They service the Dunagan area. It also does interchanges with Class I Union Pacific in Lufkin.

This shortline mainly carries foundry, timber, lumber, paper, chemicals, and clay.

Learn more about their railroad jobs, Click here. 

Austin Western Railroad

The Austin Western is a Watco-owned shortline. In total, it operates a fairly long 160-mile trackage. 

It runs through the Giddings and Llano areas. Additionally, it has a branch that mainly serves Marble Falls. 

Learn more about them through Watco’s website. Job applications will most likely be done under Watco as well. Click here.

Blacklands Railroad

This is a Northeast Texas Rural Transportation District-owned shortline. 

Overall, the Blacklands Railroad operates 66 miles of trackage. 

Learn more about the company and its job opportunities through their website. Click here. 

Border Pacific Railroad

The Border Pacific is headquartered within Rio Grande City.

Overall, it runs 31.6 miles or 50 kilometers of trackage. 

It services and runs through Rio Grande City. They also do interchanges with Class I Union Pacific at Mission. 

This shortline mainly hauls silica sand, crushed stone, and feed grains. 

Learn more about the Border Pacific through their website. Click here. 

Brownsville & Rio Grande Intl. Railroad

B&RGI totals 42 miles of trackage.

Presently, it services the Port of Brownsville. Additionally, it does interchanges with Union Pacific, BNSF, KCS, and BNSF. 

This shortline mainly carries steel, Agri products, food, and essential commodities. 

Contact the company directly for more information about job openings. 

Corpus Christi Terminal Railroad

Given its name, this is a terminal shortline railroad. Currently, they are also owned by  Genesee and Wyoming. 

Overall, this terminal railroad spans 30 miles of trackage. It mainly runs through the Port of Corpus Cristi where it interchanges with all three Class Is. 

Learn more about them through  Genesee and Wyoming’s website. Click here. 

Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad

This shortline is yet another Genesee and Wyoming-owned line. 

Overall, this shortline spans a relatively long 330-mile disconnected track. 

Learn more about them through  Genesee and Wyoming’s website. Click here. 

Fort Worth & Western Railroad

This freight-servicing shortline runs through 276 miles of trackage. Most of its lines are a property of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, DART. 

The Forth Worth and Western are also one of the most prominent shortlines in the area. Ir mainly serves Carrollton, Brownwood, and Fort Worth.

Galveston Railroad

This is another Genesee and Wyoming shortline. It primarily serves switching for the Port of Galveston, hence its name.

All in all, the Galveston Railroad operates 38 miles of trackage.

Learn more about them through  Genesee and Wyoming’s website. Click here.

Georgetown Railroad

This shortline operates 30 miles of trackage. It serves Kerr, Belton, Granger, and Smith. 

Contact the company directly for job openings. 

railway station and tracks

Hondo Railway

This is a fairly new railroad that commenced in 2006. This shortline totals only 5 miles of trackage.

It mainly serves the near areas of San Antonio. 

Learn more about them through their website. Click here. 

Kiamichi Railroad

The Kiamichi is another Genesee and Wyoming shortline on this list. It’s also fairly long, operating 260 miles of trackage.

It mainly services the Arkansas and Oklahoma areas. But, it also runs an additional branch that stretches all the way to Paris.

Orange Port Terminal Railway

This is a Lone Star-owned shortline. It only runs 1.8-mile trackage, over an old SP-operated line. 

Passenger Railroad Jobs in Texas

There are a generous number of passenger trains in the state, too. So, if you want to work a passenger railroad job, here are your options:


Capital MetroRail 

Denton County Transportation Authority 

Dallas Area Rapid Transit


Begin Your Journey As A Railroader With These Railroad Jobs in Texas!

There you have it! As you’ve seen, there is a boatload of choices available to you. Three major class Is run through the state. Therefore, you have a high chance of securing a railroad job. You also have a lot of shortlines and two regionals at your disposal.

Texas is unquestionably a great place to kickstart your career. So, contact these companies if you find something that suits you.

However, having a lot of possibilities doesn’t always guarantee an easy job search. Finding a career that fits your requirements may take some time.

The employment market may also become very competitive at times.

Some companies, on the other hand, take a while to respond to job seekers. But, don’t give up. Keep your spirits up and always look at the bigger picture. 

When it comes to expanding your horizons, though, we’re here to help. Check out our state-by-state railroad employment listings. Click here. 

Thisbrings us to the end of our railroad jobs in Texas. We wish you the best of luck in your job hunt and railroad career!