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Role of a Railway Engineer

As part of a major investment programme, there is now unprecedented demand for Railway Engineers. The sector plans to double the number of people with engineering qualifications. Work is of abundance and lucrative.

What to look forward to in the role?

Working as a railway engineer you find yourself making real lasting imprints on British infrastructure, working on some of the most highly anticipated and exciting projects this country has to offer like HS2 or Crossrail – currently Europe’s largest civil engineering project. The great thing about this trade is you gain your experience on the job – throughout the project lifecycle, including feasibility studies, site investigation works, outline and detailed structural design, construction and commissioning.

You could find yourself working with a huge team or a smaller group of designers – that being said, you will seldom work alone in this industry. Teamwork is paramount and the ability to communicate well amongst your team is important.

Railway civil engineers often take responsibility for safety and for bringing together the work of other engineers, with responsibility for meeting time and cost targets. Project can vary in size from a footbridge replacement during a weekend rail closure through to installation of a new electrical or signalling centre, developing a new tramway for an urban conurbation or planning a new metro.

Future career potential and projects

The rail engineering sector will be responsible for some of the UK’s largest and most vital infrastructure projects in the coming years:

  • High Speed 2 (HS2): The initial plan is for a new railway line between London and the West Midlands carrying 400m-long (1,300ft) trains with as many as 1,100 seats per train. The line would carry trains capable of reaching speeds of up to 250mph and would run as often as 14 times per hour in each direction. This would be followed by a second phase taking services from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. Design is underway and construction of the first phase of HS2 has started in 2017, opening around 2026, with completion of the network expected around 2033.
  • Crossrail and Crossrail 2: Crossrail will link Reading and Heathrow in the west with Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via major deep tunnels under central London The new railway would stop at key locations throughout the city centre, including Tottenham Court Road, Euston St. Pancras, Victoria, Clapham Junction and Wimbledon. This would improve access to and from London across the wider South East, and significantly reduce congestion on existing Tube and National Rail services.
  • The Northern Hub: An integrated programme of targeted investment to the railway in the North of England programme constitutes a series of upgrades to the railway in the north of England, UK, to provide better connectivity, faster journey times and improved capacity. The £1bn ($1.5bn) project by Network Rail is expected to increase the number of passenger train services across the region by 40%, allowing up to 700 more trains to run each day.

At Cavendish Professionals are always recruiting for Railway Civil Engineers, get in touch and speak to our team to see how we can help you with your next career step, alternatively your next recruitment placement.