Railway yard and track maintenance workers (NOC 7531)

High opportunity occupation

About this job

Railway yard workers regulate yard traffic, couple and uncouple trains and perform related yard activities. Railway track maintenance workers operate machines and equipment to lay, maintain and repair railway tracks. They are employed by railway transport companies.

Common job titles
  • attendant, locomotive maintenance
  • controller, railway car / railway tank car
  • distributor, locomotive / freight cars
  • greaser / lubricator / oiler
  • maintenance - railway engine
  • operator, control tower / turntable


Railway yard and track maintenance workers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate control panel switches from railway yard tower to set traffic signals and to activate train switches that regulate railway traffic in railway yards
  • Operate car retarders, turntables and track switches to align locomotives and cars as required for coupling, uncoupling or servicing
  • Operate machines and equipment to lay, maintain and repair railway tracks, align tracks, transfer, spread, level and tamp ballast around ties and rails and to clear snow from tracks
  • Switch cars according to instructions which indicate the location, disposition and number of cars
  • Lubricate moving parts of railway cars and locomotives
  • Clean and make minor repairs to machines and equipment
  • Patrol assigned track sections to identify and report damaged or broken track
  • Perform other track maintenance duties as directed.

Work environment

Key aspects of the work in this occupation:

  • Work takes place outdoors so workers may be exposed to various weather conditions such as ice and snow.
  • Working on railway tracks with machinery and equipment can be a source of injury.
  • Working with some types of equipment may cause erratic movements in the body.
  • The workplace may be noisy enough to affect hearing.
  • The workplace may contain airborne particles such as dust and sand.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

At this time, career path information is not available for this occupation.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.