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Union Pacific Track Laborer Regional-Welder in Des Moines, Iowa


A track laborer's job consists of repairing and rebuilding railroad track, using 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, repair and replace rail and remove and apply rail anchors and various other tasks, as assigned.

Required Certifications:

For this position, you will be required to become a Union Pacific certified driver during your probationary period. To become certified, you must meet the following Motor Vehicle and Medical Requirements:

  1. Must be a minimum of 21 years of age

  2. Have valid driver's license

  3. Have an acceptable driving record per your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)

  4. You may also be required to obtain your Commercial Driver's License (CDL) if you will be operating a vehicle(s) with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs or greater. If this is required, you will need to obtain your CDL during your probationary period.

Medical Requirements:

Must meet the medical requirements (also called physical qualifications) for commercial motor vehicle drivers as specified by the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA physical qualifications for drivers can be found on the FMCSA homepage. Health and Medical Services at Union Pacific Railroad will make the final determination on whether or not an individual meets the FMCSA medical qualifications, and may add additional medical requirements to assure the person can safety perform job tasks, with or without accommodation.


  • PERFORM TRACK MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND INSTALLATION. Drive spikes into ties with a spike maul; pull spikes with claw bar; install and remove rail anchors; slide, place, and align tie plates under rails; cut in new rails; plug old spike holes; with assistance, lift rails using manual track jack; sweep off ballast /rock from track and switches
  • HANDLE AND MOVE TRACK MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT. With assistance, load/unload equipment (air hammer, rail drill) from back of cart or truck and carry to work site; without assistance, load/unload equipment (track jack, rail saw, rail drill); with assistance, remove and install rail using rail tongs, with assistance, remove ties and slide new ties into place using two-man tie tongs; with assistance, move debris away from work site (spike cans, anchors)
  • OBSERVE THE CONDITION OF TRACK, TRACKBED, AND TRACK 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
  • WORK WITH EQUIPMENT. Safely and effectively operate the following: a hydraulic hammer to drive spikes; air or gas powered wrenches to loosen or tighten track bolts; hydraulic rail drill to drill holes in rail; portable abrasive rail saw to cut rails, and hydraulic spike pullers to remove spikes
  • MAINTAIN TRACKBED. Remove and replace ballast; tamp ballast; unload or assist in unloading ballast from ballast cars
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with coworkers, supervisors, contractors and/or customers and effectively handle conflict situations
  • Ensure compliance with all railroad rules and regulations for safety, operations and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)



  • Valid driver's license
  • Experience in welding
  • Ability to speak English in a clear, concise manner to communicate with coworker(s) and supervisor(s)
  • Able o read and comprehend regulations and instructions as well as possess good verbal communication skills
  • Candidates for this position must pass a pre-employment test in English before being allowed to interview. The number of candidates who pass the test and are granted an interview is based upon hiring needs. If you have taken this test for any of the jobs listed here and failed within the last six months, you will not be eligible to apply for this position. Click here to see a sample of the Workplace Practices Test.
  • Candidates must qualify on a Physical Ability Test (PAT) prior to employment. Click here for a description of the Physical Abilities Test


  • Valid Commercial Driver's License (CDL) within probationary period
  • Certificate in welding
  • Experience operating heavy equipment
  • Experience working outdoors in variable weather conditions
  • Experience operating construction or farm equipment
  • Experience of 1 year or more in Railroad Maintenance of Way work

Location: Des Moines, IA

Closing Date: None at 11:59 PM Central Time

Job Open To: Internal and External Candidates