Tourist Railroads Struggle to Get Staff

Tourist railroads are struggling to attract enough workers to cover all of their functions, Trains magazine reported in an analysis posted on its website.

That could be a problem as the summer peak season approaches.

Roger Fuehring, president of the Railroad Passenger Car Alliance, said the problem in part is generational.

He said many younger people are more interested in the Internet, technology and remote jobs than in hands-on physical labor that can be exhausting and dirty.

The Trains analysis noted that the U.S. Travel Association said about a third of the jobs in leisure and hospitality vanished during the COVID-19 pandemic and the sector’s unemployment rate is above 6 percent compared with 3.9 percent in the overall workforce.

Tourist railroads have particularly had a hard time attracting people with specific skills, such as welding, that are in high demand elsewhere.

Some of the tourist railroad officials interviewed by Trains said attracting volunteers has also been a challenge.

Those officials said tourist railroads may need to raise fares to generate more money to pay competitive wages to their paid workers.

The story can be read at


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