Howdy from Central Illinois is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


New Member
I am new to this forum and I look forward to discussions with people who work or have worked for freight rail operations. It looks like the railroads are hiring people in my area. I have been a truck driver for 15 years and have a perfect safety record. I know a truck isn't a train... but, I am in pretty good shape and am considering a leap from asphalt to the steel rails. Thanks for any ideas or info. I have been a fan of trains since I was about 5 years old. Every summer my mother would take my sister and I to Seattle to visit my grandpa. In the early years it was the "Abraham Lincoln" by GM&O up to chicago. Then it was either the "Empire Builder" by Great Northern or the "North Coast Limited" by Northern Pacific. I think these names are right. And later Amtrak. It was always an adventure to ride the train as a child.

Midsouth fan

Welcome to the forum. If you're looking to work for a class 1 RR (UP, BNSF, CSXT, NS, CN, etc), be ready to be on call 24/7/366 (yes, I'm including leap years also), and ready to report to work any and all hours of the day and night. If that's not what you want, maybe you can get a job with a shortline, but it can be harder to get hired by them.

I work for a shortline, and I LOVE it. I've been blessed to have such a job, but I also have lots of friends who work for a class 1, which is why I know about the lifestyle, and why I'm glad I don't work for one.

I wish you all of the best with your career pursuits!


Railfan Railroader
Welcome aboard Mister. I also work for a shortline railroad in North East Texas. Midsouth Fan hit the nail right on. Union Pacific recently hired 20 new employee's out of Longview, Texas and from what I have heard it was because alot of the folks who were laid off during the recession didn't come back. If you don't mind being on call 24 hours a day then a Class One railroad is the way to go. If not seek out a shortline railroad or a regional railroad like I did. I worked 30 years for the Pennsylvania Highway Department as an Equipment Operator and CDL dump truck driver. Shortline railroads like to hire new employee's who have a CDL License. I have been with the Blacklands Railroad for 9 months now and I can honestly say it is the Best Job I have ever had. Also check this website out for railroad job postings.


New Member
Thanks so much Midsouth fan and MarkJL. Good advice and a couple of good links. I am gonna poke around a little and see what i can see. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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