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All photographs taken on Modoc Railroad Facilities.

All photographs taken on Modoc Railroad Facilities.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I have lost my job. Aren't railroads a dying industry also?
A. The future for railroads has never looked brighter. New rail projects are being started across the country. California voters just approved a new Bullet Train from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The President has expressed strong support for Amtrak, and had even chartered a train to take him and the new vice president to their first inauguration in Washington D.C. New changes in Federal Law will require thousands of new train crews starting in 2009. If there ever were a time to get into railroading, man or woman, young or old, this is it.

Q: Are there any state or government job retraining grants to attend Modoc Railroad Intern Program?

A: Modoc Railroad no longer accepts state or federal employment or re-training grants.

Q: What does it cost?
A: Click here for the current prices. Payment is made directly to Modoc Railroad. Training fees may or may not be tax deductible. Check with you tax advisor.

Q: How long do the internship programs last?
A: The Conductor internship typically will finish in eight weeks. The locomotive engineer internship will take twenty weeks to complete. Your must be a certified conductor, from any railroad, to take part in the locomotive internship program.

Q: Why Modoc Railroad and not some Junior College that has a train class?
A: Modoc is the only training program in the United States authorized and approved by the Federal Railroad Administration. Modoc is the only training program in the United States with the authority to issue a federal railroad conductor license and federal locomotive engineer license.

Q. How do I start the process to become a railroad conductor or locomotive engineer?

A: Go to the "APPLY" page and first look at the scheduled intern program date that a sponsor railroad is offering for interns that works for you. Remember, multiple railroads now participate in the internship program. Then, download the "membership application" fill it out and send it to Modoc Railroad at the address listed on the membership form... Include a membership deposit in the form of check or money order. After 4 to 5 weeks from the date you mailed your membership application, you should receive a acceptance notice and other information from the Railroad. Remember if you do not meet internship guidelines, you will also be notified by mail. Your application deposit will be returned.

Q: How can I get more information?
A: Please email your questions to INFO@modocrail.com

Q: What are the Railroads qualifications?

A: Minimum age is for conductor internship is 18, and the person must have at least two years of any type of work experience. There is no maximum age limit. You must have a high school diploma or G.E.D...You must be able to lift 60 pounds and climb a ladder ten feet tall. A clean criminal record for the last eight years and no drunk driving convictions in the past three and a half years. Minimum age for locomotive engineer interns is 20. The same above standards apply

Q: I am a mature worker (over 40 years old). Is there any future in railroading for me?

A: We do very well with mature students. To date the oldest person we have placed was 63 years old and he placed as a locomotive engineer. We strongly recommend that mature persons attend both conductor and locomotive engineer programs to get the strongest resume possible. As a very practical matter, conductor is more of a young person's job.

Q: I am still in high school, but I want to go to work for a railroad. What should I do?

A: Take as many English classes as you can. Be sure you can write clearly and people can read it. Get a job anywhere doing anything. Car wash, fast food, something that will show a railroad you can work and hold a job.

Q: Do you guarantee a job?
A: No. Any internship program, such as the Modoc Railroad will not and can not guarantee employment. However as March 1, 2014, Modoc Railroad has 100% job offers from other railroads for both conductors and locomotive engineers.

Q. I was going to attend a Junior College in the mid-west, but they did not offer hands on training nor did they offer the required conductor certification.
A. Junior colleges are only after large number of students to support the business of education. It is not the job of any Junior college to help with employment or to provide you with the proper education for any job. Modoc is the only program in the United State authorized by Federal Law to provide new railroad training. CFR 49 part 243. Federal Law also requires all conductors and locomotive engineers to be licensed. Modoc Railroad is the ONLY program in the United States to certify and license conductors and locomotive engineers as required by Federal Law. CFR Title 49 Part 240 and Part 242.

Q. I was going to attend the trade school in the Pacific Northwest that can teach me to become a conductor, or a windmill repair man or a stewardess or a fry cook...Is there a problem with that?

A. We think this outfit is only about selling you a big student loan...Modoc is the only program authorized and approved by the Federal Railroad Administration to offer railroad training..

Q: What happened to Modoc Railroad Academy?

A: Modoc Railroad Academy will only do onsite seminars, air brake and rules training for railroads. Modoc Railroad Academy will also continue training development and textbook publication.

Q: Does every intern who attends this program end up with a railroad job?
A: No. Modoc Railroad is the hardest and most intense internship program of its kind. College level reading assignments, mandatory homework assignments and demanding physical train operations leave little free time. Some people have simply never had to contend with the responsibility of personal performance. Many people have said that the Modoc Railroad internship is like Army Boot Camp. The current failure rate is less than 11%.

Q: What is the success rate?
A: This program averages 93% job placement for conductor interns....You must not consider this program as" a buy yourself a job program"... We also have 100% job placement for locomotive engineer interns with multiple job offers. This number has been updated 3-2-2014. Remember, past performance is no guarantee of future success.

Q: Do I need to take part in this program?
A: All conductors, on every railroad, will need to be certified. CFR Title 49, Part 242. Federal Law requires all conductors and locomotive engineers to be certified. Modoc Railroad’s program to certify and license conductors and locomotive engineers has been reviewed, approved and mandated by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Q: I was told that railroads do not hire engineers from other railroads, and that they train their own staff.
A: That is no longer the case. The critical shortage of locomotive engineers is very real.

Q: Do any other railroads take people from your internship program?

A: Yes. People from this program have been taken by Canadian Pacific, CN, BNSF, Amtrak, Pan Am Railways, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, CSXT and many other regional and short line railroads.

Q: Can I just take the engineer program only, since I only want to be an engineer?

A: No. You must be a certified conductor, before you can take part in the locomotive engineer program.

Q: What type of license will I get when I complete the internship program?

A: Modoc Railroad qualified Conductors will get a Certified Conductor License. Engineers get a Class One - Train Service Locomotive Engineer License. Both are valid for two years after issuance.

Q: Are there student aid, grants or scholarships available?

A: Personal student loans are available. Normal credit standards apply. Ask for an email application. Federal Student loans or FSSA or Pell grants are not available.

Q: I am from out of state. What about places to live while I attend program?
A: When a railroad has selected you to be part of its intern program, the railroad will supply you with a housing list, depending on what railroad you will be interning with. This list has been put together after months of trial and error. But we urge that all persons come out and check out the area at least 2 or 3 months before the start of internship. Do not start looking for a place to stay on the first day on the railroad.

Q: What is a typical day like at Modoc Railroad?
A: Most days are 6 to 8 hours a day, however days have gone as long as 17 hours. The railroad will start at any time of the day or night to get interns used to the railroad lifestyle. Start times are often six days a week, including when interns are working on track, repairing freight cars or locomotives, running trains or other normal tasks on a railroad.


Q: What about housing while we are attending the railroad internship program?
A: Click on to this link for some housing suggestions.

Q: What else can you tell me about Modoc Railroad?

A: Modoc Railroad is a Class III Shortline, with railroads in Illinois and Oregon. Founded in 1995, over 600 people have graduated from our program and work on railroads across the country. Most people say that the Modoc Railroad internship program is like no other program they have ever attended and are glad to have made us the start of their railroad career. Many on site reviews of the program have been conducted by officials from CSX, BNSF, Union Pacific and many other railroads.

Q: I would like to visit the railroad-training center and inspect the facilities. How do I schedule a date and time?
A: Email your request for a visit to Admissions@modocrail.com.
There is a $100 site fee, payable by certified check only.




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