A track maintenance operative inspects, maintains and repairs railway tracks, plant and machinery, tools and other equipment, making sure that everything is safe.
You could be:
- inspecting tracks, sleepers, switches, crossings and sets of points
- carrying out maintenance work on the track, using mechanical and manual tools
- checking that all fastenings on the track are secure
- using machinery to check that the track is level
- inspecting and repairing track, vehicles, plant and other equipment
- performing lookout and hand signalling duties
- reporting accidents and incidents
- driving road vehicles if required
- making sure that all equipment, tools and materials are fit for use and stored correctly.
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 are usually around £22,000 a year. With experience, you would be able to earn up to around £23,700 a year, or more. You can earn extra through shift allowance and overtime. Earnings can increase with progression to supervisory positions.
- You will work mainly outdoors in all weather conditions.
- You may have to lift heavy weights.
- You would work irregular hours including evenings, nights and weekends; a lot of work is done at these times to avoid disruption to services.
- You may have to work away from home at times.
- You may sometimes be on call in order to deal with emergencies.
- You will have to wear protective clothing such as high visibility jacket, hard hat and safety boots.
- Some of the posts come under the classification of 'safety critical role' which involves the application of strict regulations and the undergoing of regular assessments.
Workforce Employment Status
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- You do not usually need formal qualifications to get in. A good general education is useful, including English and some ability with numbers.
- A relevant National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at Level 1, or equivalent qualification, may be an advantage.
- You need to have good physical fitness, and have to pass a medical examination which includes drug and alcohol tests.
- You also have to pass some online tests.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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What Does it Take?
You need to be:
- a good communicator
- reliable and responsible
- aware of safety matters
- good at doing practical work
- physically fit with plenty of stamina.
You need to be able to:
- work well in a team
- work to set rules and regulations
- work quickly and accurately
- deal with emergencies quickly and calmly.
- Training is on the job and begins with a short induction period.
- You would then have periods of training in different skills. These may be provided by your employer or by an external training provider.
- You may be able to work towards Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in relevant subjects.
- With experience and further training, you may gain promotion to leading trackperson.
- In time, you could apply for a job as a track inspector.
- By taking maintenance engineering qualifications, you may be able to move into technician jobs.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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