Job type

Railway worker

£18k - £34k

Typical salary

37 – 47

Hours per week

Rail track maintenance workers inspect and repair railway tracks, bridges, tunnels and viaducts.

More info

  • Inspect and repair railway tracks, bridges, tunnels and viaducts
  • You'll need to be good at practical and mechanical work
  • You could be promoted to supervisor or team leader


  • Installing and renewing track, tunnels, embankments, cuttings, level crossings and bridges
  • Checking sections of track are the correct distance apart and right height
  • Inspecting tracks for defects
  • Reporting and clearing potential obstacles, for example after bad weather
  • Surveying sections of track to identify maintenance needs
  • Reporting accidents and incidents
  • Performing lookout and hand signalling duties during trackside operations


You'll use hand tools, pneumatic drills and welding equipment. For major repairs and to lay new track, you'll use heavy machinery.

You'll normally work in shifts covering days, nights and weekends, in all weather conditions. You'll be given protective clothing like reflective overalls, a hard hat and safety boots. For safety reasons, there are strict policies on drug and alcohol use and you could be tested at any time.

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with practical and mechanical work, excellent team working skills, and an awareness of safe working practices on the railways.

You'll need to have good eyesight and be physically fit, as you'll have to pass a medical before you can start training for this role.

You could apply directly to work as a rail track maintenance worker and usually start as a trainee.

You'll find it useful to have GCSEs including English and maths and experience of manual work in a related role like construction or engineering.

You could take an engineering qualification at college before looking for work like a Level 2 Certificate in Mechanical Engineering or Level 2 Diploma in Maintenance Engineering Technology.

You could also get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in rail infrastructure engineering: track maintenance, or rail engineering operative. These are offered by companies like Network Rail and Transport for London.


With experience, you could be promoted to supervisor or team leader. With further training, you could become a track inspector, engineering technician, track designer or manager.