Home Explore Job Ideas Rail Track Maintenance Worker

Job Description

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

The will also look out for obstacles, defects or anything that could interfere with the smooth running of the train service.  In bad weather they may have to clear snow from the tracks or fallen trees that are blocking the line.  All accidents and incidents will be reported and corrected as soon as possible.

They use hand tools, pneumatic drills and welding equipment and for major repairs and laying new track, heavy machinery may be required.

Entry Requirements

You could get into this role through an apprenticeship, by applying directly or you could take a college course which will give you some of the skills required.


You could look for an intermediate apprenticeship with Network Rail in roles such as:

  • rail infrastructure engineering - track maintenance
  • rail engineering operative

You will usually need:

  • GCSEs including English and maths or equivalent for your intermediate apprenticeship course

Find an Apprenticeship


A college course will give you some of the skills and experience you need when looking for work, relevant courses include:

  • Mechanical Engineering level 2
  • Maintenance Engineering level 2

You will usually need:

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

The following colleges may offer a relevant course

Or you could try your local sixth form 

Direct Application

You could apply directly to become a rail track maintenance worker. You'll usually start as a trainee with a rail track maintenance company. You may not need formal qualifications but GCSEs including maths and English may be useful.

Experience in construction or engineering and mechanical and maintenance engineering qualifications can also help.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a trail track maintenance worker from Network Rail

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Signalling technician
  • Rail engineering technician
  • Train driver

Although you may be able to get into this role without formal qualifications, we highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & Maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subject will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.

If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • Good level of fitness
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work well as part of a team
  • Good problem solving abilities
  • An awareness of health and safety procedures
  • Flexibility to be able to cover shifts, including weekends

Salary Range

£18,000 to £34,000

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