Transport & Logistics
Rail Infrastructure Worker
Rail infrastructure workers install, maintain and repair tracks, signals and associated bridges and tunnels for both heavy and light rail.
Apprenticeship or traineeship
What does a Rail Infrastructure Worker do?
Rail infrastructure workers install, maintain and repair rail and tram tracks, signals and associated bridges and tunnels for passenger trains, freight trains, light rail and trams. They may also work on track used in quarries and by the mining industry.
As a rail infrastructure worker, you would:
- lay and fix the foundations and sleepers for tracks
- cut rails to length
- install railway switches
- repair and maintain worn or rough rail ends
- remove and replace damaged track
- examine and maintain switch signal lamps
- examine and maintain the wheel bearings of rolling stock
- use a range of tools and equipment including welding and industrial bolting equipment.
Key skills and interests
To become a rail infrastructure worker, you would need:
- physical fitness and strength
- practical manual and mechanical skills
- problem solving skills
- strong spatial awareness
- good hand-eye coordination
- a methodical and organised way of working
- to be safety conscious at all times.
Working hours and conditions
In a full-time job you would normally work a standard number of hours per week, on a shiftwork basis, including nights, weekends and public holidays.
Rail infrastructure workers work outside, as well as inside tunnels, mines and other enclosed spaces. They also work in train depots and rail yards. They work in most weather conditions. You would usually work with large industrial machinery, and need to be very health and safety conscious.
You may be required to wear protective or high-visibility clothing, and to operate a two-way radio. You may also be required to work in regional or remote locations, and to spend time away from home.
How to become an Rail Infrastructure Worker?
Entry Level Education
To become a rail infrastructure worker, you would complete a traineeship in rail infrastructure. Traineeships usually take between 12 and 24 months to complete. Generally, employers require a junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Employment of rail infrastructure workers is projected to remain relatively steady.
Employment growth for this occupation is dependant on the building of new rail infrastructure, and on the amount of maintenance required on existing tracks.