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Position requirements:

Duties include climbing ladders, boarding freight cars, operating track switches, inspecting cars and using radio communication to control train movement.


Applicant must be able to push, pull, lift and carry up to 25 pounds frequently; up to 50 pounds occasionally; and up to 85 pounds infrequently.  Applicant must have good balance to regularly step on and off equipment and work from ladders to perform various tasks.  Position involves extensive walking, sitting, standing and stooping.  Conductors work outdoors in all weather conditions and frequently at elevations more than 12’ above ground.


Conductors do not work a standard 40-hour work week.  Train crews are always on-call, to include weekends and holidays.  Work locations for this position include Waterloo, Shell Rock and Manly, IA.


For more information on The Iowa Northern or to complete an application online please visit



Interested applicants should submit application to jobs@iowanorthern.com or fax application to 319-232-1996,or mail to:

Human Resources

Iowa Northern Railway Company,

201 Tower Park Drive, Suite 300,

Waterloo, IA 50701


Competitive salary and benefits package included.  E/O/E

Chief Engineer 8-25-2021

Primary responsibilities of the Chief Engineer:


  1. The Chief Engineer is responsible for supervision of all aspects of the Engineering and Maintenance of Way (MOW) Department including routine inspections, maintenance and rehabilitation of track and structures. The Chief Engineer is responsible for developing capital work plans, identifying priorities, managing inventory, managing equipment maintenance and acquisitions, maintenance of IANR documents such as Track Charts, Bridge Drawings, IANR property boundaries and Maintenance Documents, Federal Rail Administration (FRA) Crossing Inventory, monitoring department budgets/expenses, payroll and monthly financial closings. The Chief Engineer must have and must maintain their State of Iowa License for Professional Engineering in the Branch of Civil Engineering including keeping Professional Developmental Hours (PDH) up to date and staying in compliance with State of Iowa requirements.


  1. The Chief Engineer is responsible for compliance with all applicable requirements of the FRA ensuring that IANR’s rail, track, bridge, and signal inspections are conducting as required. In addition, the Chief Engineer ensures that IANR maintenance standards are followed and updated as needed. maintenance of IANR documents such as Track Charts, Bridge Drawings and Maintenance Documents, various manuals, etc. The Chief Engineer works with the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT), local municipalities, county engineer’s, all utility agencies, etc. with design, construction and maintenance of projects.


  1. The Chief Engineer oversees compliance of the Oil Water Separator (OWS) located at the IANR Bryant Maintenance Facility in Waterloo, Iowa by ensuring compliance with the City of Waterloo Permit. The Chief Engineer is jointly responsible with the Chief Mechanical Officer to ensure that monthly monitoring and testing of the Oil Water Separator is conducted properly and the results of such tests are interpreted properly.


  1. The Chief Engineer is responsible for providing designs of railroad improvements such as yards, sidings, shop facilities, bridges and other types of hydraulic structures. The Chief Engineer ultimately decides how engineering for various projects will be handled, whether in-house or contracted based on such items as work-load, expertise, etc. In either case, the Chief Engineer must be able to provide IANR management with constructive input and protect the best interest of IANR when working with Contractors and other third parties.


In addition, Marketing relies on the Chief Engineer to work with customers or potential customers as required to facilitate industry improvements for existing facilities and/or construction of new facilities. This design work may be accomplished in-house or with the assistance of third-party engineering firms or contractors.


Other duties include derailment investigations, field investigations, analysis, calculations, and preparation of plans, specifications, and cost opinions.




Reports To: General Manager

Supervises: Track Supervisor(s), Roadmaster(s), Section Foremen, Signal Maintainers, and other Maintenance of Way staff.



  1. Plans, organizes, assigns and directs the work of the Engineering Department including track maintenance, track construction, track rehabilitation, signal maintenance, signal construction, bridge maintenance, bridge construction, rail flaw detection and track geometry testing. These tasks will be accomplished using IANR staff and Contractors or a combination
  2. Create, design, develop and manage, projects ranging from small-scale through to large-scale construction projects in a safe, timely and sustainable manner. Conduct on site investigations and analyze data (maps, reports, tests, drawings and other).
  3. Directs Engineering Department staff in the performance of assigned duties such as, the removal and replacement of crossties and rail, maintenance, rehabilitation, replacement, or construction of turnouts and crossing diamonds, vehicular crossing installations and rehabilitations, track surfacing, etc.
  4. Prioritize workload to ensure successful job performance of Engineering Department
  5. Responsible for ensuring that the Engineering Department is adequately staffed and
  6. Provides evaluation input on track crew skill levels and
  7. Must possess a thorough knowledge of 49 CFR Part 213 Track Safety Standards, 214 Subpart – B, Bridge Worker Safety, Subpart – C, Roadway Worker Protection, Subpart – D, On-Track Roadway Maintenance Machines and Hi-Rail Vehicles, Part 216 Special Notice and Emergency Order Procedures: Railroad Track, Locomotive and Equipment, Part 217 Railroad Operating Rules, Part 218 Railroad Operating Practices, Part 219 Control of Alcohol and Drug Use, Part 237 Bridge Maintenance Standards, 234 Grade Crossing Safety, 236 Rules, Standards, Standards and Instructions Governing the Installation, Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair of Signal and Train Control Devices and Appliances, Part 237 Bridge Safety Standards and Part 243 Training Qualification and Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees.
  8. Monitors Contractor compliance with 49 CFR Part 219, Control of Alcohol and Drug Use. Properly vets the requirements of any Contractor performing services on the
  9. Monitors Contractor compliance with 49 CFR Part 243, Training Oversight for Safety-Related Railroad Employees (Contractors) performing services on the IANR.
  10. Must ensure compliance with Federal, State and local regulations, rules, codes, guidelines.
  11. Devise new approaches to problems, prepare or modify specifications and calculations, and monitor work for
  12. Must possess a thorough working knowledge of CAD software with ability to daft, layout and detail projects using schematics or conceptual
  13. Research design options and document
  14. Develop probable cost opinions for
  15. Must possess a thorough knowledge of field activities such as surveying, geotechnical procedures and reports, etc. Carry out technical and feasibility studies and draw up blueprints that satisfy technical specifications.
  16. Must observe and record existing conditions, take and verify measurements within project
  17. Organize, draft and coordinate technical
  18. Coordinate work with other departments and provide updates/briefings to company
  19. Work and communicate effectively with other
  20. Communicate with co-workers, management, Federal, State and Local officials, clients/customers, and the general public in a courteous and professional



Education, Licenses/Certifications and Work Experience

 Must possess a current State of Iowa License of Civil Engineering or be able to take said exam and pass within a given stated time period. Must have a valid driver’s license with no more than 3 violations in the last 3 years and no major violations (i.e. reckless operations or D.U.I.’s).

Thorough knowledge of fluid mechanics and those effects on railroad track and structures.


Skills, Knowledge, Abilities, and Mental Requirement

  • Must follow company safety procedures and possess the ability to think methodically and manage projects while maintaining an overall level of safety
  • Standard basic knowledge of railroad track, bridges, structures, signal systems and systems maintenance, tools and
  • Read, interpret, and follow plans, standards, regulations and codes in an effective
  • Read and understand reports and
  • Ability to create, understand, interpret and carry out IANR policy and procedure.
  • Ability to make effective decisions when in unfamiliar locations or emergency
  • Analyze situations quickly and objectively and determine appropriate course of
  • Write work orders and routine reports in a clear and concise
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in
  • Ability to understand and apply mechanical
  • Ability to read and understand visual displays (e.g., meters, gages, ).
  • Ability to recognize and distinguish colors of lights,
  • Ability to judge conditions of objects/parts for wear and/or
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with co-workers, management, customers (internal and external), foreign railroads, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) inspectors, and State & Local
  • Working knowledge of personal computers, computer operating systems and
  • Ability to monitor, manage and plan for employee training and proficiency evaluation, including Job Specific Training such as IANR Safety Rules, applicable Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, and other specialized training such as Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) Procedures, Roadway Maintenance Machine (RMM) Safety, General Code of Operating Rules (GCOR), Thermite Welding, Bridge Worker Safety (BWS), Crane Operator Training and other training as appropriate or as may become necessary in the
  • Ability to effectively manage and prioritize capital spending and schedule maintenance
  • Ability to safely and effectively manage and coordinate derailment investigations, derailment clean-ups and wrecking procedures, environmental remediation, interaction with safety officials and regulatory officers, handling evacuations, and interaction with media
    • Must follow company safety procedures and maintain an overall level of safety awareness when operating in the work environment.
    • Use computer-aided engineering and design software (CAD) and equipment to prepare engineering design
    • Must possess a good working knowledge of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)
    • Must possess a good working knowledge of Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulations, reporting procedures, and permitting procedures. Must possess the knowledge and ability to complete and submit the appropriate Federal, State and Local Permits for all
    • Ability to understand, interpret, and utilize American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) standards in railroad design and construction of main track, yards, sidings and



Occasionally (up to 33% of time) required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms, climb or balance, stoop or kneel, and use fingers and hands to manipulate tools or controls. Must occasionally (up to 33%of time) lift, move and/or carry up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required include close vision, distance vision, depth perceptions and the ability to adjust and focus.



The location of work performed (both office and out of doors) and the tools and material used in the surrounding workplace, expose the incumbent to the following conditions on a regular basis; all kinds of weather conditions including extreme heat, extreme cold, floods, tornados, high winds, noise, vibrations, dust, pollen (seasonal exposure to ragweed and other vegetation).


The job requires the individual to follow standard safety procedures, be alert, and take necessary precautions (e.g., wearing/using protective clothes and equipment) to avoid possible injuries or health problems that may result from:

  • walking on irregular ground;
  • exposure to irritants/chemicals;
  • working around moving equipment and other types of equipment;
  • working at heights and
  • exposure to extreme cold and heat for periods of more than one
  • subject to noise; causes worker to shout in order to be
  • subject to atmospheric conditions that may affect the respiratory system or the skin; fumes, odors, dusts, mists, gases, or poor


In addition, the Chief Engineer is ultimately responsible for identifying unsafe working conditions and for finding ways to correct and/or eliminate unsafe working conditions.


The statements stated in this job description reflect the general duties as necessary to describe the basic function, essential job duties/responsibilities, job requirements, physical requirements and working conditions typically required and should not be considered an all-inclusive listing of the job. Individuals may perform other duties as assigned, including work in other functional areas to cover absences or relief, to equalize peak work periods or otherwise balance the workload.

About Us

Iowa Northern Railway Company is “ALL Aboard” for safety, great customer service, and excellent operations. We are headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa. We also have offices, repair and maintenance shops, and yard facilities in Manly, Greene, and Waterloo.

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Iowa Northern has strict rules and regulations governing the transportation of freight. Find our regulations regarding beans, corn, corn oil, DDG, equipment, and ethanol here.

Industrial Parks

Iowa Northern Railway Company is “ALL Aboard” for safety, great customer service, and excellent operations. We are headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa. We also have offices, repair and maintenance shops, and yard facilities in Manly, Greene, and Waterloo.

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We are “ALL Aboard” for great customer service. Contact Iowa Northern today to request services, report issues, or general inquiries. We also have a 24/7 phone number to report emergencies.

Careers at Iowa Northern

Since 1984, Iowa Northern has been an excellent place to work. We offer competitive pay and benefits, generous time off, and an excellent company culture. Learn more about what it means to work at Iowa Northern.