Top 3 - Best Railroads to Work for

I have covered many topics on the website, and here is another interesting one. What is the best railroad to work for?

In this article I will try to cover the topic in a concise manner, with an easy and fast way to get the information needed, you need to keep in mind that this topic might be somehow subjective, with many opinions from many different railroaders. Don't forget to check out the best paying railroad jobs in 2020 as well.

Let’s get started.

We will discuss the top three best railroads to work for both in 2020 as well as in 2019.

I will rank the railroads companies taking in consideration my experience both online and offline (taking with many railroaders), facts, annual salary, benefits like health, retirement, and the general attitude towards employees of the railroad company.

Now as you may know, the railroads are classified in three categories.

The first one is Class Is, which offers the highest paying railroad jobs, second are the regional railroads (Class II) and the third are the shortline and terminal railroads (Class III).

To be recognized as a Class Is railroad, the company has to have a minimum of $433.2 million dollars in revenue. At this moment there are eight (8) Class I railroads operating in the United States.

  • AmTrak

  • BNSF

  • Canadian National Railway

  • Canadian Pacific Railway

  • CSX Transportation

  • Norfolk Southern Railway

  • Union Pacific Railway
  • I need to mention that Class I is considered the best railroad company to work for, at least from a financial point of view and I will only research this class today.

    I am sure you heard many opinions, from coworkers, train fans, on which is the best to work for, you might already have your own opinion about it. I am sure there will be people who will disagree with me, which is perfectly fine. Please add your feedback in the comment section and let me know what it’s your opinion.

    BNSF - the best railroad company to work for in 2019 and 2020.

    How did I reach that conclusion you might ask.

    After years of experience in the railroad industry, hearing many employees from many different railroads, it gave me the thought to consider it as being the best one for a long time.

    I haven’t made the decision until I haven’t consulted with many sources, this one gives the BNSF a rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars, getting the data from 952 reviews, many being super happy with a great health insurance package, retirement plan and paid vacation.

    This alone, reinforced something that I knew, something that was subjective, but it is not anymore.

    Of course, you can compare each railroad, and you can compare any railroad job position with the same position in another company, and it may differ, for example it may be best to be a conductor for BNSF but as an engineer it would be better working for Union Pacific.
    That is just an example and it might not be true, I haven’t gone into such a deep analysis.
    I looked at this in general, as a one big employer, covering all the occupations.


    The second one best railroad to work for in my book is Canadian National Railway.

    CN s a Canadian Class I freight railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, that serves Canada and the Midwestern and Southern United States.

    When I ranked it the second one, I applied the same criteria, and according to the same source, the railroad has a rating of 3 out of 5, with over 592 reviews, as well as for BNSF, many employees say that the pay is good, as well as the benefits.

    second best railroad to work for

    Third best railroad to work for is AmTrak.

    Some people will disagree, again, with me.
    The reason I considered AmTrak as being the third best railroad company to work for in 2019 and 2020 is because, being a large passenger carrier, they offer many jobs that will have a better family/work balance.

    This reinforced by a good rating on, about 550 reviews, giving AmTrak a rating of 3.4 out of 5, which I know, is higher than BNSF, you will notice.

    When I chose BNSF as being number one, I took in consideration the salary you can get as a railroad worker for them vs. other railroads. Ride with AmTrak on one of the most scenic train routes, take a train to California from Ohio!

    The Class Is ratings are lower because many people complain about the family/work balance, which tends to lean towards work more than social life.

    In conclusion

    As you know, being a railroader, especially Class Is, on a freight train, will come with long working hours, in many extreme environments, extremely cold or hot, snowing or raining, working weekends and holidays. People are consuming every day doesn’t matter if it’s Sunday or if it’s a holiday.

    Many even argue that being a railroader is not for someone that has a family, especially kids.
    I kind of disagree, and if you read my other posts, you know that I look at the big picture, and the big picture has the financial stability of your family in it, as well as the great package of health insurance.

    At the end of the day, it’s your own decision who you're gonna work for, I hope this article will give you some directions on choosing the right one for you.

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