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Rail track maintenance worker

Alternative titles for this job include Railway worker, track operative

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

Average salary (a year)

£28,000 Starter


£43,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 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 Rail track maintenance worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You might find it useful to take an engineering qualification at college before looking for work as a trainee.

Courses include:

  • engineering operations
  • mechanical engineering
  • maintenance engineering technology

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You could apply to do a Rail Engineering Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship, or Rail Engineering Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

You can find apprenticeships with 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
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

If you're over 18, you could look for rail track maintenance worker vacancies. You'll usually start as a trainee.

You'll find it useful to have:

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

Further information

You can find out more about working in rail engineering from:

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • problem-solving skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

As a rail track maintenance worker, you'll work in a safety critical environment around live wires and on train tracks. You'll have a medical as part of the selection process. This will include checks of your hearing and vision.

You might also need to:

  • take regular drug and alcohol checks
  • have a driving licence so you can drive rail company vehicles
  • live no more than an hour away from the location you wish to work

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a rail track maintenance worker, you would:

  • lay and repair railway tracks, sleepers and ballast
  • inspect track condition and check for defects
  • maintain tunnels, embankments, bridges and drainage
  • clear obstacles after bad weather and report incidents
  • follow strict safety rules

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 team supervisor or team leader.

With further training, you could become:

  • an engineering technician
  • a track inspector or project manager
  • an engineering surveyor or track designer

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 PTS

  • Provider: Capital City College Group
  • Start date: 11 January 2025
  • Location: London

Skills Bootcamp in Rail (Rail Engineering and Track Maintenance)

  • Start date: 08 July 2024
  • Location: Liverpool

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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