Take our personality quiz to discover what career in rail would be right for you.
The importance of Train Drivers in the Rail sector is not to be underestimated – without them, neither passengers nor freight would get to their destinations. Train drivers are responsible for following safety regulations and effectively communicating with passengers and station staff. If you’re practically minded and don’t want to be stuck in an office, then a career as a Train Driver could be for you.
Eager to help the environment, Conservation Workers protect, manage and enhance the local environment – including grassland, woodland, rivers, forests, coasts and mountains near the railway. They provide advice and recommendations to decision-makers, raise awareness of environmental issues and contribute to the creation of action plans.
Nathaniel is an Ecologist working in rail. “The lineside is very green, it’s very natural and you need people who understand what lives there to help mitigate against impacts on them. It’s fantastic that those opportunities exist…When I was a kid, I didn’t know that ecologists even existed. I thought the likes of David Attenborough and people on TV, that was just wildlife TV makers. I didn’t know you could actually make a career out of assessing and recording wildlife.
Making a difference is probably one of the reasons I became an ecologist because it presents an opportunity to have a lasting effect on the environment and the habitats that exist within our country so this role offers not only the opportunity to visit some fantastically beautiful places but also make a positive long-term difference to the animals and plants that exist there.”
Signalling is basically a sophisticated traffic light system for the railway. Signallers keep track of a huge number of trains moving across the network, decide whether their section of track is safe and pass this information to drivers using specialist equipment.
In the past, signalling used trackside signals to control the safe movement of trains. But with the need for increased railway capacity to meet customer demand, new technology is being introduced that allows trains to run closer together and travel at their best speeds while maintaining safe braking distances. This is digital signalling.
People who are interested in computers and technology and who have great attention to detail will make great digital signallers.
An Operator is responsible for operating and maintaining machinery – like excavators or cranes – at construction sites. This involves setting up and operating the machine, as well as performing maintenance tasks. Operators perform a critical role in routine track and station upgrades through to multi-billion pound projects like HS2 – they can change landscapes in a short time. If you are interested in big machines and have good spatial awareness, Operator is a great role for you.
Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Software, Robotics – there are so many options out there for those interested in engineering. If you’re good at maths and science, this is a great career for you. From small-scale enhancements to multi-billion-pound projects, such as HS2 and Crossrail, Engineers are at the heart of transforming Britain’s Rail infrastructure.
Robert, a Graduate Civil Engineer working for Network Rail talks about his role: “There isn’t a typical day. Every day is something new. One day I could find myself on-site working with a massive machine, putting the track together. Another day I might be sent out to Wales to meet the team for another project, or I might be sent down a tunnel somewhere. It really is that open and you can get into so many opportunities, wherever you want to go and depending on your interests.”
Customer Service Representatives help people who have questions or complaints. Their duties can include a range of customer-orientated tasks either at a station, over the phone or on a help desk.
Being a Customer Service Representative at a station is a fast-paced and exciting job, great for people who are good at listening, have excellent verbal and people skills and can remain cool, calm and collected. If you’re interested in working with and helping people, this is a great role.