Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators

Lay, repair, and maintain track for standard or narrow-gauge railroad equipment used in regular railroad service or in plant yards, quarries, sand and gravel pits, and mines. Includes ballast cleaning machine operators and railroad bed tamping machine operators.

Median Annual Wage: $51,840

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (90%); Less than high school diploma (10%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Machine Operator; Track Inspector; Track Laborer; Track Maintainer; Track Repairer; Track Walker; Track Equipment Operator (TEO); Trackman; Rail Maintenance Worker; Track Supervisor

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators.

More Construction and Extraction Careers

  • Repair or adjust track switches, using wrenches and replacement parts.
  • Weld sections of track together, such as switch points and frogs.
  • Observe leveling indicator arms to verify levelness and alignment of tracks.
  • Operate single- or multiple-head spike driving machines to drive spikes into ties and secure rails.
  • Operate track-wrench machines to tighten or loosen bolts at joints that hold ends of rails together.
  • Cut rails to specified lengths, using rail saws.
  • Clean tracks or clear ice or snow from tracks or switch boxes.
  • Drill holes through rails, tie plates, or fishplates for insertion of bolts or spikes, using power drills.
  • Lubricate machines, change oil, or fill hydraulic reservoirs to specified levels.
  • Clean, grade, or level ballast on railroad tracks.
  • Raise rails, using hydraulic jacks, to allow for tie removal and replacement.
  • Adjust controls of machines that spread, shape, raise, level, or align track, according to specifications.
  • Dress and reshape worn or damaged railroad switch points or frogs, using portable power grinders.
  • Clean or make minor repairs to machines or equipment.
  • Grind ends of new or worn rails to attain smooth joints, using portable grinders.
  • Operate single- or multiple-head spike pullers to pull old spikes from ties.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators.

  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Rail-Track Laying and Maintenance Equipment Operators.

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