Railroad Police Officer

Safeguard trains and passengers from crime and violence.
picture of Railroad Police Officer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$37,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Railroad Police Officers do?

As Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid proved, railroad cars and stations are just as susceptible to crime as cities. The first railroad police units were introduced back in the 1800s, when it became obvious that a police force was needed for the long stretches of railroad between stations. When it was first introduced, this police force primarily handled cases relating to theft by Railroad Workers, or attacks by bandits on horseback. Today, Railroad Police Officers still handle cases of theft, but you also deal with other crimes, including physical attacks, vandalism, or terrorism.

Although you’re employed by an independent railroad corporation, you’re exactly like a state or city Police Officer in many ways. Like any Officer, you, the Railroad Police Officer, carry a gun, make arrests, and serve warrants. The Railroad Police Officer can help with fugitive searches that cover multiple states, and are trained at the same schools other Police Officers attend.

The big difference between you and a regular Officer is where your jurisdiction lies. Since trains are moving all the time across state and county lines, it doesn’t make sense to give Railroad Police Officers a set area of land to patrol.

Instead, your jurisdiction covers anything on or having to do with the railroad. This includes stations, cargo, railroad employees or passengers, and equipment. Although you can venture off the train to make an arrest that relates to the railroad, you don’t have the authority to stop an unrelated crime—say, a holdup at a gas station miles away.

Should I be a Railroad Police Officer?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Railroad Detective, Railroad Watchman

    How to become a Railroad Police Officer

    Most Railroad Police Officers have an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:eh9daa&chl=no+college+%286%25%29|certificate+%2810%25%29|associate%27s+%2880%25%29|bachelor%27s+%285%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,6,80
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