• Gillette/Casper, WY

  • Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM
Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM

Moderator: Komachi

  by jrb73
Can anyone offer any advice on what the yard in Gillette Wyoming are like? I am transferring from Memphis, TN (Conductor) and was wondering how the extra board turns (how many times out a week, etc.)

Am looking at relocating my family here and was wondering how the area is for raising elementary aged children. Also, what about home rentals-I have been told the Gillette is expensive, was wondering if there are any towns in between Casper/Gillette that have rentals.

Any info. would be appreciated. Thanks

  by mille-ryan
Gillette is becoming very expensive from what it was due to the gas fields.A friend or 2 of mine live there and have said the town is very populated now by roughnecks.You could always go live in Morcroft, very very small town, not sure how far away it is, I know its just east on the interstate.
I grew up in wyoming and never cared for Casper, it was always dirty and had lots of drugs around, not very good for kids.But it coulda changed.I think Bill is close,lol, but if you already didnt know its just a mudhole with the Rail Road goin through it.

  by freshmeat
First of all me and some friends off mine worked in Gillette last spring and here is what we saw.

Gillette is about 33,000 right now and was projected to be 50,000 by 2010. Mainly because of mining and gas bed methane. Although I have heard the gas bed methane boom may have leveled off somewhat.

Modern city with all the comforts of any city, to include WINTER that is spelled in all caps and bolded. Winter doesnt' screw around in Gillette.

Good modern and new schools and facilities. Has a great public recreation commission with fitness center, indoor pool, racquet ball, squash and handball courts. Very reasonable as well. Single person was $33.00 a month by the month.

Gillette's main problem, meth. It is pretty bad. Until BNSF told the cab company to clean its act up, several drivers were from the half-way houses for meth offenders. Gillette's other major problem is that it is all there is for several hundred miles. (as far as other cities are concerned)

There are a lot of outdoor activities and other distractions if you can get away from work.

Local newspaper


Work for BNSF. Seniority is fairly low. You can get engine service with about 6 to 12 months. Four trainmen boards. Conductor and brakeman extra board and south pool and loaders pool.

If you have the seniority, the loaders pool is the way to go. When I was working Gillette, I made in ecess of $5,000 a half. They've lost some slots and the wages are down a bit but not too much.

Extra boards are extra boards.

South pool runs from Gillette to Guernsey.

Familiarization. The Powder River Div. just started unpaid familiarization. If you must go through it, keep track of your runs and turn in a special claim after each trip. They may or may not get paid. The UTU and BLE are both excellent up there. You may have to sue for your lost wages or submit a complaint to the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. Right now there is a lawsuit against BNSF and the UTU (on the old Santa Fe side) for unpaid familiarization. Go to


Overall Gillette isn't a bad place to work. Lots of work but the housing is expensive. However, if you are young and plan on staying, you can afford it. The work isn't going away and the place will continue to be very very busy as more power plants are built.

Good Luck.

  by TB Diamond
Worked Gillette 14.5 years 1986-2000. My info would be dated but from what I have heard, freshmeat is right on. Other than population (17.5 M in 1986, 21 M when I left) it sounds like the same place that I knew. You may consider Buffalo, WY. This is located 75 mi. due west of Gillette, all on I-90. Knew several BN people that lived over there and worked Gillette. They were rarely late to work, but winter weather can be a consideration. Wright, about 30 miles south of Gillette, may be another consideration. Good luck.

  by jrb73
Thanks for the info, everyone.

And BTW, I have been with BNSF for a little over a year. I am a born and raised "southerner" but am looking to relocate. Memphis is NOT the place you want to be.

Can't wait to make the move. Will probably stay in Buffalo, in our travel trailer, just dred the 21 hour drive there!

  by freshmeat
Havent looked lately, but Lincoln, NE may be a good place to work. Also, Lajunta, Co. is going hot and heavy right now. But Gillette will be steady work.

If you're going to stay in the trailer in the winter, you'll need to skirt it and possibly insulate it for winter. I've seem RV's skirted and some that have hay or straw bales piled aroung the bottom. You need to keep the wind out.

Good luck.

  by jrb73
Oh, don't worry, we plan on being in a home by winter! Wouldn't want to even try it with the travel trailer. We just want to make sure that is where we want to be before we committ to anything.

And just in case anyone was wondering, when I referred to Memphis as not being the place to be, I was referring to raising children, etc. At least 3 or 4 murders reported everyday.

  by Peace_Maker
There is only one reason to go to Gillette, money.

You dont want to try to live here. Housing is ridiculous, apartments are just about impossible to find and cost around $1200 a month. If you own a travel trailer then you might be able to find a rv hookup for $500 a month. You could also "rent" a room in someones house for $500 a month. The only housing readily available is new houses for sell, but they are very expensive (just do an internet search for real estate in Gillette). You could try to live in the "outskirts" like Moorecroft or Wright but availability is about the same there as well and the prices are not much lower than Gillette.

I have heard that BNSF has housing for trainmen but I am not a trainman so I have no clue if that is true or not. Personally I live in whatever motel the company provides for the week.

I suggest you look elsewhere but if you want to make alot of money or you like to drink move to Gillette. There are bars/liquor stores everywhere. I wouldn't suggest bringing a nice vehicle unless you want it to get dented up in a parking lot. Expect high prices for everything but gas (except at Walmart) and poor and slow service since everyone is short on help.

Like I said you can make money here, but if you have to provide your own housing and you are not on expenses, you will make more money elsewhere.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.