Heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd) concentrations using atomic absorption spectrometry were investigated in roadside surface (0-20 cm) and sub-surface (20-40 cm) arable soils along Shangzhi section of Harbin-Suifenhe railway, Heilongjiang province, northeastern China. The soil environmental quality on the base of the environmental background value criteria were evaluated respectively by single-factor pollution index (Pi) and Nemerow multi-factor pollution index (Pij) method according to the first grade of Standards for Soil Environmental Quality of China (GB15618-1995). Except for Zn, concentrations of Cu, Pb and Cd in surface soil (0-20cm) were higher than that of sub-surface soil (20-40cm). Concentrations of Zn (106~293 mg kg-1), Cu (17.9~22.4 mg kg-1), Pb (18.2~24.6 mg kg-1) and Cd (64~386 µg kg-1) were lower than the values in China National Standards Grade II. The highest Pi of Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd are 2.93, 0.64, 0.70 and 1.42, respectively. The highest Pij was presented in the 50-m distance soils.The results suggested heavy metals in soils 50-meter distance from railway were higher than that of 10- and 100-meter distance.