Railroad Safety Inspector Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

Updated on: May 29, 2022
Position Overview

To most train passengers, the existence of a railroad safety inspector may come as a surprise.

Mostly, people take it for granted that train travel is more or less safe.

But no one takes into account the countless hours and days that railroad safety inspectors spend making sure that train travel is safe for passengers.

It is time we gave them some credit for ensuring our safety.

What exactly it is that a railroad safety inspector does? He or she is responsible for making sure that the railroad and the carrier (train engines and cars) are safe for passenger and/or cargo transport.

It is up to them to ensure that all federal and organizational rules and regulations are being followed and that any compliance issues are highlighted and addressed in an immediate manner.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility to work as a railroad safety inspector includes a high school diploma or equivalent at the very least.

If you have had some experience working as a railroad safety worker, you may be able to understand and appreciate the work more – a lot of the training is done on the job.

As a railroad safety inspector, you have to be diligent and attentive as you will be working in areas that are crucial to passenger safety.

Some of your main duties in this regard will include:

Railroad Safety Inspector Duties and Responsibilities

• Conduct inspections on railroad lengths and carriers (both engines and cars) to ensure that there aren’t any compliance issues.
• Determine and highlight deviations in track geometries to address issues with underlying track structures.
• Perform inspections and maintenance activities on running gear such as wheels, axles, couplers, and attachments, and on underframes and car bodies.
• Ascertain that specifications for handbrakes, running boards, ladders, and handholds are properly being followed.
• Oversee the testing and maintenance of airbrake equipment systems and ensure compliance with noise emission standards.
• Ensure that all wires have adequate insulation and related equipment is properly insulated and grounded.
• Inspect engines to ensure that they are free from defects that could cause harm through fire explosions or sparking.
• Oversee the installation, repair and maintenance of engine boilers to ensure the safety of the carrier and its passengers.
• Coordinate efforts to ensure traffic control is kept in check by making sure that remotely controlled central points are functional and in good working order.
• Create and implement strategies for the safe loading and unloading of materials to and from cargo carriers.
• Ensure that all train tracks are in working order, and address any maintenance or repair issues to the supervisor on an immediate basis.