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- Operate the signals and points on rail tracks
- You'll need excellent communication skills & be able to do several tasks at the same time
- You could become a signalling supervisor or control room manager
- Checking incident reports at the start of the shift
- Tracking trains on computer systems and electronic displays
- Operating controls in a manual signal box or electronic control centre
- Speaking to drivers and other staff to give and receive updates
- Contacting maintenance teams to report signal problems
- Writing incident reports for managers
- Training in track regulations and new technology
You'll usually work between 35 and 40 hours a week on a shift pattern that includes early starts, nights and weekends.
You could be based in a modern control centre, at a level crossing, or in an older signalling box in a remote location. You'll need your own transport to get to and from work.
This role would be ideal for someone with excellent communication skills, the ability to do several tasks at the same time, and good timekeeping.
There are no set entry requirements, but you'll need a good general standard of education, including English and maths GCSEs.
You'll need to be screened for drugs and alcohol and pass a medical check for this role.
You'll need to apply to Network Rail, who operate the rail system. You'll go through initial checks before being invited to an assessment day and interview. Non-technical skills are very important in this job, like safety awareness, staying calm under pressure and being able to deal with large amounts of information. These qualities will be tested during the assessment.
You can also complete a rail infrastructure operator intermediate apprenticeship. This will usually take 12 to 18 months to complete. You'll do on the job training and spend time with a college or training provider.
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant courses include the Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Rail Services. You would usually need to be working in the rail industry or be on a relevant placement to be able to complete this course.
It may be helpful to join the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers for professional development.
With experience, you could become a signalling supervisor or control room manager. With further training, you may be able to work as a signalling designer. You may also be able to apply for non-signalling jobs through Network Rail's internal promotion system.