CREATED Feb. 7, 2013
OMAHA, NE (AP) - America's major freight railroads expect to hire 11,000 people and invest $13 billion in their rail networks and equipment this year.
The American Association of Railroads announced the predictions for the year on Wednesday.
Freight railroads expect to continue most of their hiring regardless of what happens in the economy because they are replacing a large number of workers who are nearing retirement.
The industry estimates that 22 percent of railroad workers will be eligible to retire in the next five years.
That means there are job opportunities nationwide at Union Pacific, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Berkshire Hathaway-owned BNSF railroads.
AAR President Ed Hamburger says railroads have to invest significant amounts of money in their networks each year to maintain the rails and expand capacity.