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Track Laborer - Summer Help

Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Company provides freight transportation service for many companies in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. W&LE handles over 135,000 carloads per year. The company is private, 100% internally owned, and currently has over 430 employees. W&LE is the largest Ohio-based railroad and is among the largest regional railroads in the country. The company has over 120 customers and a continually growing customer base. W&LE interchanges in numerous locations with three major Class I Railroads (Canadian National, CSX Transportation, and Norfolk Southern), as well as 14 regional and shortline railroads.
We are seeking currently enrolled college students to work during the summer as Track Laborers in our Engineering Department.


Specific functions of a Track Laborer include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Repair and rebuild 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

Working Conditions

  • Work safely at all times in compliance with all safety and operating rules
  • Outdoor work is required, regardless of weather conditions for many hours at a time
  • Walk on uneven and irregular surfaces for long distances
  • Able to lift and carry objects weighing 50 lbs to 100 lbs


  • The starting hourly rate is $19.15 hr.
  • Pay range from $19.15 hr. to $26.11 hr. (depending on the position held)
  • Due too significant overtime being required, earnings potential during the summer could be between $10,000 to $15,000
  • Daily per diem allowances are provided for some positions
Track Laborer - Summer Help Training

  • Classroom training
  • On-the-job training/instruction

  • Full-Time: 40hrs/wk. (Seasonal)
  • Position may require significant overtime work, many times with little or no notice
  • Employees may be required to work on scheduled rest days
  • Employees may have to work weekdays, weekends and holidays
  • The railroad operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Situations will occur after hours where employees will be required to promptly report for work when notified


  • Travel is required. Our employees must be willing and able to work any hours at any location on the railroad in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania
  • Employees may have to drive long distances to get to work. To see a map of our railroad, visit

Drug Free Workplace

  • W&LE is a drug-free workplace and maintains a zero tolerance policy
  • Employees are subject to pre-employment and frequent drug and alcohol testing
  • A DUI or OVI conviction within the last three years will disqualify you from consideration for this position
  • All positions require pre-employment background verification, physical, and drug/alcohol screen