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Track Laborer – Temporary Summer Help

Each summer, Wheeling & Lake Erie hires college students to work in our track maintenance department.  This work is very labor intensive, but it also provides an opportunity to learn about the railroad industry and earn a significant amount of money for school.  The work is performed at all locations on the railroad at all hours of the day and night.  Travel is required and you may be away from home for days at a time.  Reliable transportation is required.  You may have to drive long distances on your own time to get to and from the worksite.

Duties may include:

  • Repairing and rebuilding railroad track, using various types of power and hand tools to do so. Specific duties will include, but are not limited to, removing and replacing ties, pulling and driving spikes, shoveling rock ballast, loading and unloading equipment and material, and various other tasks, as assigned.
  • Observe the condition of track, trackbed, and right of way for problems or defects. Make quick visual inspections for broken rails, defective switches and signals, deteriorating trackbed, track obstructions and weather related problems; check switch points; observe right-of-way and passing trains for shifted loads and spillage.
  • Perform track maintenance, repair, and installation. Drive spikes into ties using a spike maul; pull spikes with claw bar; install and remove rail anchors; slide, place, and align tie plates under rails; cut in rails; plug spike holes; with assistance, lift rails using manual track jack; broom off dust and snow from movable track parts or switches; set up switch heaters.
  • Vigorous physical activity is required for this position.  Handle and move track materials and equipment. With assistance, load/unload equipment weighing approximately 85 to 100 lbs. and carry to work site; without assistance, load/unload equipment weighing approximately 50 to 75 lbs.; with assistance, remove and install rail using rail tongs, with assistance, remove ties and slide new ties into place using two-man tie tongs; move debris away from work site.
  • Frequently stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, climb, walk on uneven pavement.
  • Maintain trackbed. Remove and replace ballast; tamp ballast; unload or assist in unloading ballast.
  • Work with equipment. Safely and effectively operate the following: an air hammer to drive spikes; powered wrenches to loosen or tighten track bolts; rail drill to drill holes in rail; portable saw to cut rails; other machinery and tools as required.
  • Practice safe work habits. Understand and follow company and industry safety rules, practices, and procedures, wear prescribed safety apparel; take appropriate action when conditions threaten safety of self or coworkers; ensure equipment and work area are in safe operating condition before starting work; monitor for emergency situations by identifying visual signals and warning sounds.

Age requirement:
Must be 18 years of age or older.

Working Conditions:
Outdoor work required, regardless of weather conditions.

Employees must be able to work at any point on the railroad.  Overnight travel may be required.

Must provide your own transportation.

Work week:
This position requires being able to work any hours, any days of the week.  Overtime and weekend work will be required.

Rate of pay:
$17.27 hr.  Some positions also receive per diem allowances to help with food and transportation costs.

To apply:
If you are interested in this position, email your resume to

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