When you work on a Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Train Crew, you are working at the very heart of our railroad. Train Crew employees are responsible for serving our customers by providing the safe, on-time, and on-plan movement of freight trains.

In this entry-level position, you will start as a Switchperson or Brakeperson, working as on-the-ground traffic control. You do not need any previous railroad experience; we provide all the necessary training.

This job directly leads to becoming a Conductor and eventually a Locomotive Engineer, where you will have the rare opportunity to work on board a moving locomotive. The Conductor is responsible for the train, the freight and the crew. The Locomotive Engineer is responsible for properly operating the locomotive.

Duties & Work Schedule:

You will not work a standard 40-hour week. You will have variable work hours with irregularly scheduled days off. Train Crew employees are always on-call, even nights, weekends and holidays.

You will be working outdoors in all weather conditions – including snow, ice, rain, cold and heat – and frequently at elevations more than 12 feet above the ground. You must wear personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, safety boots, hard hats and hearing protection where the company requires.

Train Crew employees are often directly affected by the ever changing needs of our customers. When there is a decline in carloadings, this has a direct impact on the number of employees needed to support the movement of our trains. Should this happen, some employees may be placed on furlough status and will no longer be on the active call list. As work demand increases, individuals will be taken off furlough status as needed. Furloughs are based on seniority.


  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must speak and read English because you will be asked to follow posted bulletins, regulations, rule books, timetables, switch lists, etc.
  • You must be able to use a computer keyboard, and you must be able to count and compare numbers. (You might, for example, be asked to count the cars on a train during switching.)
  • You must be able to solve problems quickly and react to changing conditions on the job.
  • You must have strong vision and hearing, including the ability to: see and read hand signals from near and far; distinguish between colors; visually judge the speed and distance of moving objects; see at night; and recognize changes in sounds.
  • You must also be able to push, pull, lift and carry up to 25 pounds frequently and up to 50 pounds occasionally.
  • You will need good balance to regularly step on and off equipment and work from ladders to perform various tasks.
  • You must be able to walk, sit, stand and stoop comfortably.


Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad has a comprehensive training program, consisting of classroom and field training that will enable you to become a qualified Conductor. Classroom training is at an out of state school for approximately three weeks.  Trainees will be compensated during this training time.  Following your return, conductor trainees will have approximately 3 months of on the job training.


Once you complete the conductor training program and become a conductor, you will likely be assigned to a conductor extra board which has guaranteed minimum earnings of approximately $45,000 per year. Many conductors earn more than the guaranteed minimum due to work opportunities at their location. Based on your seniority, you will be able to bid on jobs which offer a higher earning potential.

Work Schedule:

Once you complete the conductor training program you will most likely be assigned to a conductors’ extra board. Conductor extra boards have schedules with a minimum of two days off for every six working days. While not on your rest days, you are subject to be called to work 24 hours a day, on an as-needed basis. Extra board work schedules are irregular and are determined by business needs. Based on your seniority, you will be able to bid on jobs with more predictable work schedules.


You are eligible for a comprehensive benefits package. Medical insurance for your spouse and eligible dependents is provided on the first day of the second month of employment. After one year of employment, you are eligible for dental insurance to cover yourself and eligible dependents. You are subject to Railroad Retirement taxes paid at a rate equivalent to Social Security tax plus an additional 5.35%. You are also covered by Railroad Retirement benefits and, following completion of the service requirement, you will be eligible for Railroad Retirement pension benefits.

Union Membership:

You will be required to join the union within 60 days of establishing a seniority date.

Alcohol and Drug Policy:

Employees in Train and Engine Service are subject to random alcohol and drug testing as per the Federal Railroad Administration Guidelines. The Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Policy is ZERO TOLERANCE. We maintain a drug-free workplace and perform pre-employment substance abuse testing.

We consider applicants for all positions without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital or veteran status, the presence of a non-job related medical condition or disability, or any other legally protected status.

Want to Apply? Click HERE for an application.  Fill out the application, save the PDF (or scan a completed application) and send your completed application along with any other supporting documents to If viewing the application on a mobile device please make sure to use the adobe app to access the application PDF. Job Posting close date May 14th, 2021