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Diesel Mechanic

As a Diesel Mechanic, you will inspect, repair and maintain the engine and mechanical parts on diesel electric locomotives, using machine tools and welding equipment. We take pride in the efficiency of our diesel locomotives. They get 400 ton-miles per gallon of diesel fuel. If your automobile was that efficient, you could drive from Seattle to Miami and back on a single tank of gas.


  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • We prefer you have a two-year technical degree in diesel mechanics or at least one year of work experience in this field. Large motor-generator or large diesel engine experience is a plus.
  • You must have verifiable work or mechanical education experience with trucks, ships, farm equipment, airplanes, trains or a current journeyman's mechanical card.
  • You must pass a Skilled-Craft Battery exam (see sample) to be considered for an interview.
  • Experience with large motor-generators and/or EMD 567-645-7106 engines are a plus.
  • Candidates with experience as mechanics in other fields (aviation, nuclear, etc.) will be considered.


  • Bailey Yard (North Platte, NE)
  • Hinkle Locomotive Facility (Hinkle, OR)
  • Davis Yard (Roseville, CA)
  • Jenks Shop (North Little Rock, AR)


As a newly hired Diesel Mechanic, you can expect to earn about $27.37 an hour, with actual pay depending on Union-negotiated agreements. Apprentice Diesel Mechanics can expect to earn about $17.90 an hour, with actual pay depending on location and Union-negotiated agreements.


In your first few months as a Diesel Mechanic, you will receive safety training, and you will begin to learn about locomotive mechanical systems and maintenance. Over the course of your first year, you will get more in-depth training in specific mechanical systems. Your training will continue as your job changes and as the railroad adopts new technology.

As an Apprentice Diesel Mechanic, you will receive formal classroom and hands-on training as part of a three-year apprenticeship. You will learn primarily by performing specific tasks under the guidance of a journeyperson.

Potential Career Path:

Diesel Mechanic Career Path 


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