Railroad Jobs in Arizona - Phoenix, Tucson, Kingman

Arizona’s railroad history started in the late 1870s, with the Southern Pacific railroad originating from Los Angeles across the Colorado River at Yuma, reaching Tucson on March 20, 1880.

As anywhere in the nation, the railroads opened the doors to a newer, faster and better way of transportation, and with that came a great economic expansion, not only in Arizona, but worldwide.

Today Arizona is the home of two (2) Class Is, and five (5) Class III, or Shortline and Terminal Railroads, all of them are great railroad job providers in Arizona.

Before we move further with the list of the potential employers, let’s take a quick look at Arizona’s economy.

The state of Arizona is the 6th largest state in the United States, with a population of over 7 million people, the state economy somehow diverse with transportation and healthcare being the largest sectors. Today's economy has evolved from the early days one, which consisted primarily of cotton, cattle, citrus, and tourism, according to this source.

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I mentioned above that there are two (2) Class Is railroads operating within the state. As you might know, the Class Is are the best railroads to work for, especially if you put an emphasis on the job salary and benefits.
The job comes with many challenges, being a railroader is not easy, these railroad companies need you on a flexible schedule, you need to be available most of the time, that includes holidays and weekends. While many people say that it’s hard to balance the railroad work with the family lifestyle, they might be right.
Of course every case is different, so it definitely depends on you too.

The Class Is Railroads that offer railroad jobs in Arizona are BNSF Railway and Union Pacific. Both these companies are great, and they come with different advantages and disadvantages, I suggest you contact them directly and see what they offer.

If Class Is is not something that interests you, or perhaps they don’t hire momentarily, you can always look further into the smaller railroads that operate within the state.

Railroad worker pak

The Shortline and Terminal Railroads that operate in Arizona and might offer job opportunities are as following:

The Apache Railway operates from a connection with the BNSF Railway at Holbrook to the Snowflake Mill, near Snowflake, Arizona on 38 miles of track. The traffic consists of grain, chemicals, paper, coal, wood chips.

The Arizona and California Railroad also known as AZRC used to be a subdivision of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF), it operates 297 miles on three segments, two of which in Arizona. Parker, AZ - Matthie, AZ on 190 miles of track, Matthie - Phoenix, AZ on 57 miles of track.

The Clarkdale Arizona Central Railroad (AZCR) operates 37 miles from Drake, AZ to Clarkdale, AZ, handling over 1,500 carloads per year.

The Arizona Eastern Railway is a Class III operating in the state, between Clifton and Miami on 265 miles of track. Their headquarters are in Claypool.

The Copper Basin Railway (CBRY) operates on 54 miles of track between Magma and Winkelman. As of 1996, they hauled 107,000 carloads per year, mostly consisting of ore, copper concentrates, sulfuric acids, lumber, and military equipment.

The Kingman Terminal Railroad operates about 3 miles of track at the Kingman Industrial Park north of Kingman, Arizona. The San Manuel Arizona Railroad runs on 29.4 miles of track between Hayden and San Manuel.

The San Pedro Valley Railroad (SPVR), formerly known as San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad, is currently operating from a connection with the Union Pacific at Benson, Arizona, seven miles to Curtiss, Arizona.

These are the freight railroads that might offer railroad jobs in Arizona, if you are looking in the commuter passenger railroads, I have a list compiled for you.

The commuter railroads that may offer job opportunities in Arizona are AmTrak, Valley Metro Rail, Tempe Streetcar, Sun Link.

Valley Metro Rail operates 28.2 miles of light rail service, in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa.

Tempe Streetcar is a future expansion of the above-mentioned light rail, Valley Metro Rail, to construction began in 2017 and it’s planned to be finished by 2021.

If you are living in the Tucson area, there is the Sun Link, also known as the Tucson Streetcar, a single-line streetcar system in Tucson.

Arizona has few heritage / scenic railroads which are not serving the purpose of transportation necessarily but entertainment/ vacation, you may want to look them up.

Arizona’s heritage railroads are Grand Canyon Railway, Old Pueblo Trolley, Verde Canyon Railroad.

I wish you good luck!

Looking for a railroad job in a different state? Check out the map below!