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Rail track maintenance worker

Alternative titles for this job include Railway worker

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

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£34,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

45 to 47 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a rail track maintenance worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You'll find it useful to take an engineering qualification at college before looking for work. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Mechanical Engineering
  • Level 2 Diploma in Maintenance Engineering Technology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

More Information


You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship like:

  • rail engineering operative

These are offered by companies like Network Rail and Transport for London.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You could apply directly to work as a rail track maintenance worker. You'll usually start as a trainee. You'll find it useful to have:

  • GCSEs including English and maths 
  • experience of manual work in a related role like construction or engineering

    More Information

    Further information

    You can find out more about becoming a rail track maintenance worker from Network Rail and Transport for London.

    What it takes

    Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

    What it takes

    Skills and knowledge

    You'll need:

    • knowledge of building and construction
    • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
    • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
    • the ability to work well with others
    • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
    • to be flexible and open to change
    • leadership skills
    • observation and recording skills
    • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

    What you’ll do

    Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

    What you'll do

    Day-to-day tasks

    In your day-to-day tasks you may:

    • install and renew track, tunnels, embankments, cuttings, level crossings and bridges
    • check sections of track are the correct distance apart and right height
    • inspect tracks for defects
    • report and clear potential obstacles, for example after bad weather
    • survey sections of track to identify maintenance needs
    • report accidents and incidents
    • perform lookout and hand signalling duties during trackside operations

    Working environment

    You could work on rail tracks.

    Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

    You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

    Career path and progression

    Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

    Career path and progression

    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.

    Current opportunities

    Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

    Current opportunities

    Apprenticeships In England

    We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a rail track maintenance worker right now.

    The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

    Courses In England

    Rail Engineering Track Maintenance Level 2 NVQ Diploma

    • Provider: SHIPLEY COLLEGE
    • Start date: 08 November 2021
    • Location: Shipley

    Rail Track Maintenance - Level 2 Certificate - Pre-Apprenticeship

    • Provider: Capital City College Group
    • Start date: 06 January 2022
    • Location: London

    Jobs In the United Kingdom

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