Rolling Stock Engineering Technician

Job Description:

Rolling stock technicians help engineers make, test, install and maintain rail vehicles like wagons, coaches and locomotives.

Job Category:
Transport & Logistics

What you will do:

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • read and follow written technical instructions
  • help to build new engines and carriages
  • fit out carriages with lighting, upholstery, control panels and communication systems
  • inspect bodywork, roofs and undercarriages for wear and tear or damage
  • repair or replace parts
  • carry out regular checks on brakes and couplings
  • take apart, test and reassemble mechanical, electrical and pneumatic systems
  • write reports and update maintenance records


You’ll need:

  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
  • observation and recording skills

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skill)
  • concentration skills
  • physical skills like movement, coordination and dexterity
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job.

In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Diploma in Rail Engineering Operative Competence
  • Diploma in Rail Engineering Technician Competence


You can get into this job through an advanced apprenticeship as a rail engineering technician.

You’ll learn some skills that are common across all rail technician roles along with specific training for traction and rolling stock work.


You could start out as a rail track maintenance worker. With experience and further training, you could then apply for a trainee technician role.

Direct Application

To apply directly, you’ll find it useful to have experience and qualifications from other engineering jobs like:

  • mechanical fitter
  • electrical maintenance technician
  • automotive or aircraft maintenance
  • engineering craftsperson
  • coach builder
  • construction plant technician

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week of work consists of 37-42 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays on shifts.

You could work on rail tracks or in a workshop. Your working environment may be dirty and outdoors some of the time. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

There are opportunities to move on in your career with:

  • train operating companies
  • light rail and metro companies
  • rail freight and leasing firms
  • specialist rail engineering maintenance companies

With experience, you could become maintenance team leader or engineering workshop manager.

You may be able to go on to do a degree to become a qualified engineer.