…may not be as glamorous as passenger train travel, but in the US it is quite important, as people will learn if the possible rail strike actually happens.
Here are some interesting links on the railroad industry:
Also…if you haven’t already read it, see my review of Linda Niemann’s memoir of her time working on the old Southern Pacific. She got a PhD in English before going to work for the railroad, and her writing is excellent. (Not that excellent writing is by any means guaranteed for PhDs in English, but this book has been compared to Melville, and I think it does compare well with ‘White Jacket’, his book about working as a crewman on an American sailing warship)