A train maintenance technician maintains and repairs trains and other railway equipment and machinery to the highest standards, ensuring safety and comfort for both passengers and crew. They are also known as traction and rolling stock technicians or engineers or fleet maintenance engineers.
You could be:
cleaning, maintaining, servicing and repairing a wide range of railway equipment and machinery
working on engines, wagons, carriages and other rolling stock, cranes and power supplies
working on both diesel engine and electric trains, or specialising in one of these
making regular checks on equipment according to a planned schedule
carrying out regular maintenance work such as cleaning and oiling
locating faults, carrying out repairs and replacing parts
checking and adjusting instruments to make sure they are working correctly
using various technical manuals and a wide range of tools and electronic testing equipment.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries may be based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The apprentice rate, for those aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship, is £5.28 an hour (1 April 2023). Some companies pay their trainees around £18,000 a year.
Qualified technicians earn up to around £45,000 a year or more.
You would work mainly indoors in a workshop.
Sometimes, you might have to work outdoors in all weather conditions.
You may have to lift heavy items.
You would work with oily and dirty machinery.
You would wear protective clothing such as overalls, hard hat and safety boots.
You will work shifts including evenings and weekends.
You could gain entry through a Modern Apprenticeship in mechanical or electrical engineering. You would normally require National 5 English, Maths and a science or technological subject.
ScotRail offer entry via their own Engineering Modern Apprenticeship scheme. You need at least 4 subjects at National 4 including English, Maths and a science or technological subject, or alternatively, National 5 English, Maths and a science or technological subject.
Many entrants have a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at SCQF Level 6 or an HND (SCQF Level 8) in an engineering discipline.
You need to have good physical fitness, good eyesight and normal colour vision and good hearing.
You have to pass a medical examination which includes drug and alcohol tests.
The ScotRail Modern Apprenticeship lasts 4 years. For the first year you would attend college full time, followed by 3 years of a combination of college and learning on the job in a work location. At the end of the apprenticeship, you receive a Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering (both mechanical and electrical).
You would train on the job under the supervision of experienced members of staff.
You may also attend college part time as part of the company training scheme.
Experienced technicians may be able to work towards registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech).
Further studies could lead to degree-level study and eventually to registration as a professional engineer (IEng or CEng).
These advanced qualifications can lead to further promotion into management jobs.