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Track Laborer

What Will You Do?

  • Remove and replace railroad ties, pulling and driving spikes and shoveling rock ballast
  • Maintain track beds by cutting vegetation and brush when needed, and sweeping, picking and digging dust or snow from movable track parts
  • Work outdoors at various times during the day and all weather conditions throughout the year  
  • Handle equipment and material that weighs up to 65 pounds and help others handle even heavier items

What Will You Learn?

In this entry-level position, you will be responsible for keeping our 32,000 miles of track and trackbed in good shape.  We will teach you how to check for and correct broken rails, defective switches, deteriorating trackbed, track obstructions and weather-related problems.  You'll gain experience with all sorts of tools including air hammers, air- or gas-powered wrenches, rail drills and portable abrasive saws.


  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • This is heavy, physical work. You must have stamina and strength and pass a Physical Ability Test to be considered for an interview.
  • You must pass a Workplace Practices Test (see sample) to be considered for an interview.
  • Two years of welding experience is preferred.


Newly hired Track Laborers can expect to earn about $28 an hour, with actual pay depending on location and Union-negotiated agreements.


As a Track Laborer, you must complete mandated training related to safety, company policies and work procedures. Specific training – welding, track work, machine operation, crane operation, bridge work, etc. – is available if you wish to be promoted within the Engineering Department.

Potential Career Path:

Track Laborer Career Progression 


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