Help Wanted: Steam Locomotive Operations Manager

By September 22, 2020HeritageRail News

Northern Central Railway of York is an excursion railroad that makes time travel possible. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, educational, charitable organization, located in New Freedom, PA. Our historic attraction, with a replica 1860s steam locomotive and a 1959 GP9 diesel locomotive, hosts excursions that educate, entertain, and enlighten.

We are seeking an experienced steam locomotive operations manager to oversee the railroad’s general operations. The ideal candidate must have detailed working knowledge of FRA and AAR rules and standards and railway operating procedures. Mechanical experience and knowledge of locomotives, especially steam locomotives, and railway equipment is a must. The Steam Locomotive Operations Manager is an active and hands-on member of the team and is responsible for ensuring that trains safely operate as planned.

Essential Functions:

  • Ensure the safety of all individuals on or near the train and compliance with all safety rules and procedures
  • Investigate and document all safety related incidents
  • Recommend and implement safety and work practice improvements
  • Ensure compliance with FRA and AAR standards and regulations and railroad operating procedures
  • Maintain current and correct rules book, operation guidelines, and safety procedures
  • Complete and file timely and accurate documents, reports, and records as required
  • Plan and implement train excursion calendar and schedule train crew
  • Operate locomotives and rail equipment safely and in compliance with FRA and AAR standards and company operating procedures
  • Communicate effectively with all crew members to ensure safe and efficient train movement
  • Manage all shop activities and projects including the planning and implementation of equipment and roadway maintenance programs
  • Complete inspections, maintenance, and repair of locomotives, railcars, other equipment, roadways, facilities, and other property
  • Maintain shop facilities, equipment, and roadway in adherence to FRA, AAR, company, and safety standards
  • Implement and supervise safety, crew, and shop training programs, certifying crew and staff members
  • Recruit, train, and supervise staff and volunteers in accordance with company policy
  • Create, manage, and monitor budget performance for train operations
  • Accurately forecast capital expenditures and repair and maintenance projects
  • Identify and evaluate future equipment acquisition
  • Develop and maintain a positive and effective working relationship with the Board of Directors
  • Support the organization’s vision, mission, and strategic plan


  • Valid driver’s license
  • Detailed working knowledge of FRA and AAR rules and standards and railway operating procedures
  • Minimum 3 years’ experience as a certified steam and diesel locomotive engineer
  • Minimum 3 years of railroad mechanical/technical experience
  • Training and experience in diesel and heavy equipment repair
  • Specialized training related to management and operation of steam tourist railroad preferred
  • At least 3 years management experience
  • Able to operate railroad equipment including steam and diesel locomotives
  • Mechanical knowledge and thorough understanding of steam mechanics, diesel mechanics, boiler mechanics, air brake systems, railcars, railroad equipment, and railways
  • Proficient in the use of welding equipment and fabrication, machine, power, and hand tools
  • Possess fabrication, welding, and basic carpentry skills
  • Able to read and work with mechanical and engineered drawings
  • Proficient in computer technology including Microsoft Office applications

Working Conditions:

  • Work indoors and outdoors in all weather
  • Able to perform heavy physical labor
  • Work at heights on ladders, scaffolds, man lifts, or on top of rail mounted equipment
  • Frequent exposure in a shop setting to soot, dust, oil, paint, and other potentially hazardous substances
  • Push, pull, lift, and carry up to 25 pounds frequently, up to 50 pounds occasionally, and 100 pounds infrequently
  • Must have strong vision and hearing
  • Able to frequently walk, sit, stand, bend, crouch, stoop, crawl, and get into areas with restricted headroom comfortably
  • Full-time position with hours of work and days necessary to complete required duties; requires weekends and evening hours
  • Majority of time spend on site, occasional travel in local area

To Apply: Email cover letter and resume indicating position title in subject line to Terri Lehman at