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Transit and Railroad Police  What They Do

Just the Facts


Protects and polices railroad and transit property, employees, or passengers.

This career is part of the Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security cluster Law Enforcement Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Patrols railroad yards, cars, stations, or other facilities to protect company property or shipments and to maintain order.
  • Examines credentials of unauthorized persons attempting to enter secured areas.
  • Apprehends or removes trespassers or thieves from railroad property or coordinates with law enforcement agencies in apprehensions and removals.
  • Prepares reports documenting investigation activities and results.
  • Investigates or directs investigations of freight theft, suspicious damage or loss of passengers' valuables, or other crimes on railroad property.
  • Directs security activities at derailments, fires, floods, or strikes involving railroad property.
  • Directs or coordinates the daily activities or training of security staff.
  • Interviews neighbors, associates, or former employers of job applicants to verify personal references or to obtain work history data.
  • Records and verifies seal numbers from boxcars containing frequently pilfered items, such as cigarettes or liquor, to detect tampering.
  • Plans or implements special safety or preventive programs, such as fire or accident prevention.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Canine Officer (K-9 Officer) --
  • Patrolman --
  • Police Specialist --
  • Railroad Police Officer --
  • Special Agent --
  • Supervisory Special Agent --
  • Transit Police Officer --