Now Hiring: Railroad Dispatchers

Watco railroad dispatchers are traffic controllers, working 24/7 year-round to make railroad operations safe. They are dedicated to actively protecting railroaders and the public in real time by providing vital control for railroads operating throughout the U.S.


Dispatchers sit at wrap-around desks with multiple computer monitors, keyboards, telephones, and sometimes a radio. Phones ring almost constantly. Sheriffs and 911 dispatchers are calling to report a vehicle stuck on the track, a malfunctioning signal, a trespasser, or another issue. Watco conductors, engineers, general managers, trainmasters, maintenance of way workers, and signal maintainers also contact dispatchers to report track status information.


It takes extensive classroom training followed by six months to a year of shadowing and hands-on training to do this job. Attention to detail is important. As is compassion, because dispatchers need to care about every individual in the field, aware that those people are counting on them. Dispatchers have the unique capacity to maintain outstanding customer service while operating in a fast-paced work environment.


  • Issue track bulletins and warrants to authorize who can occupy main track and sidings
  • Communicate with train crews and track workers regarding train movements and instructions
  • Monitor train movement and conditions affecting movement (such as weather conditions, track conditions, and train crew availability)
  • Coordinate responses to emergencies and other unplanned events
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