Locomotive Mechanic

Keep trains on the rails through maintenance and repair.
picture of Locomotive Mechanic

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$27,000 – $61,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Locomotive Mechanics do?

Locomotives are required to pull extremely heavy loads across great distances. When they break down, cargo isn’t delivered on time and the rail line is blocked until they’re moved out of the way. Your job as a Locomotive Mechanic is to repair broken locomotives, and maintain them in such pristine condition that they won’t break down in the first place.

If you work for a large company as a Locomotive Mechanic, you may specialize in repairing and maintaining one aspect of a locomotive, such as the electrical system or the diesel fuel system. If you work for a smaller company, on the other hand, you may be required to fix and maintain all of the parts that make up a Locomotive Mechanic.

When a locomotive is brought to your shop, you inspect it thoroughly. You may attach it to diagnostic machines to help you detect issues, or you may simply run the locomotive and listen for any problems. You fix any issues you find as quickly as possible, and run tests again to make sure the locomotive is running properly. You make sure the Conductor ’s instrument panel is working properly, and replace any burned-out bulbs that make the panel illegible.

You also perform routine maintenance, such as replacing worn belts and tubes and applying oil to moving parts. Additionally, you may repair or replace windows, seats, doors, or exterior panels.

Locomotives are huge. You’ll become accustomed to climbing over and squeezing under extremely large pieces of equipment with ease. Since your climbing skills will be so advanced, you may consider taking up rock climbing as a hobby.


Should I be a Locomotive Mechanic?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Locomotive Mechanic Apprentice

    How to become a Locomotive Mechanic

    Most Locomotive Mechanics have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:aa79aa&chl=||no+college+%2849%25%29|certificate+%2851%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,51
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