Railway - Engineering, design & implementation


3 Oct 2018
Hi All,

I see from looking at a few pages of threads in this particular forum section that a lot of posts and threads are geared towards driving, conducting etc. I would really love to hear from people on the forum who are involved in the design and engineering aspect of Railways. It would be great to hear your stories of how you came to be in your role, what you enjoy about it, what you don't, and what you really need to succeed in the role.

From my perspective, I am giving serious thought to doing a complete about turn in my career from IT project management and into Civil Engineering, 37 yrs old so I may have left it to late, but I'll make that call soon enough (i did also have designs on driving, but a health impediment (microtia) would likely see me out of the running). Railway design and implementation would be my desired end goal, where other people are enthused by the machines, I am more enthused by the rails, the infrastructure, the how A got connected to B and what the challenges are in-between.

Thanks, and I hope you've all had a smashing xmas :)
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RailUK Forums


16 Dec 2011
Just a thought. What about turning your IT Project Management skills into Railway engineering project management? If you know how to manage an IT project the basics of managing a design and/or engineering project in the railway environment are just the same - understanding the planning, monitoring and control of any project just has different and potentially bigger challenges on the operational railway. There you could see all aspects of the multi-disciplined infrastructure from both engineering and operational perspectives. It's most definitely a career worth considering given it comes with a multitude of opportunities.

Oh and 37 years young is no age so don't let that dissuade you.


Veteran Member
21 Apr 2013
I am doing that sort of job now but the career route I took, via British Rail, no longer exists. However I know the big engineering consultancies offer entry routes to graduates in a suitable degree and via apprenticeships. Project management is valuable but I'd say it does require subject knowledge so as to be able to speak the same language as the staff on the project and form your own view on whether proposals are feasible and appropriate, and what has been claimed as completed actually is! There are also important aspects, particularly safety (both of the worksite and of the completed design in service), which a railway engineering project manager needs to know about.