Locomotive Engineer

As a Locomotive Engineer you will operate trains carrying freight and passengers between stations. At most railways, Locomotive Engineers are promoted from the position of Conductor.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Operate diesel-electric locomotives, rail diesel cars and passenger control cars.
  • Check the mechanical condition of the train and be on the lookout for possible problems.
  • Monitor instruments that measure speed, amperage, battery charge and air pressure.
  • Be constantly aware of what is going on with the train and how different elements effect its operation (i.e. cargo weight, grade, acceleration)
  • Work closely with conductors

Typical Working Conditions and Hours:

  • Think of the railway as an emergency service, like police or ambulance – they operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As a Locomotive Engineer, you will not work a typical “9 to 5 shift”. You will work on-call with irregular hours and must be available to work weekends and holidays.
    In some cases you will travel. This is usually up to 200 miles from your home terminal.


Salaries for a Locomotive Engineer range from $80,000 - $90,000 per year.


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