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Find out how you can land a job as railroad maintenance in the railroad industry. Learn what a railroad maintenance does, how to obtain railroad maintenance training and understand the railroad maintenance salary strucutre.

Railroad, or track, maintenance is a vital part of the railroad industry. Proper railroad maintenance keeps the trains rolling along the track so that they reach their destinations safely. Railroad maintenance workers generally work between the hours of 7:00pm and 4:00am, when rail traffic is lighter.

Railroad Maintenance Duties

There are generally three types of Railroad Maintenance crews: tie gang, surfacing gang, and welding gang. Typically, there are anywhere between 2 and 7 railroad maintenance employees assigned to each gang.

  • Tie gangs - The tie gang replaces railroad ties and replaces and tamps track ballast. Heavy machinery is used to lift the ties and rails. Tamping equipment compacts the ballast, then ties and rails are replaced.
  • Surfacing gangs - The surfacing gang goes over the track after the tie gang is finished. The surfacing gang removes any loose ballast from the tracks.
  • Welding gangs - The welding gang inspects and replaces any damaged or worn pieces of rail along the tracks.
Railroad maintenance can also include maintenance of structures such as bridges and trestles.

Railroad Maintenance crew requirements

Employees on Railroad Maintenance crews will be working outdoors, often during night and overnight hours. Railroad Maintenance employees require strength and stamina, and the ability to work as part of a team. Railroad Maintenance crews will operate heavy equipment such as cranes and tampers. Some crews, particularly welding gangs, will use power tools such as air compressors, generators, welders and grinders.

Railroad Maintenance Salaries

Individuals who perform railroad maintenance have been reported to make an average of $50,000 a year.

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