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:

To become a Rolling Stock Engineering Technician, you’ll need a strong educational foundation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). While there are no specific subject requirements for this career, the following subjects are highly recommended to prepare for further education and a career in rolling stock engineering:

  1. Mathematics (Maths): Mathematics is essential in all engineering disciplines, including rolling stock engineering. Advanced math, including algebra, calculus, and geometry, is important for problem-solving and engineering calculations.
  2. Physics: Physics provides a foundation for understanding the physical principles that underlie the operation and maintenance of rolling stock, including mechanics, electromagnetism, and thermodynamics.
  3. Design and Technology: Design and technology courses can provide practical skills in working with machinery, materials, and engineering design principles.
  4. Engineering: Some schools offer engineering courses, which can introduce you to the fundamentals of engineering and technology.
  5. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): ICT courses can help you develop computer skills, including an understanding of hardware and software systems used in rolling stock engineering.

Post School

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.