At Network Rail, every project has its own challenges and opportunities from day to day maintenance through to large scale projects such as Birmingham Gateway, Thameslink and Crossrail. All these projects have one thing in common; the vast array of valuable engineering knowledge and experience a student is able to gain throughout their time in and around the organisation, whether that is on site, in the office or at a Network Rail managed station.
Throughout my placement, I found myself continually adapting to the different work environments, from managing the introduction of new technology, to the detailed engineering analysis of rail defects. My roles would usually allow me to lead the discussions with maintenance staff and track engineers. I was always able to choose the direction that my placement took so I could get the chance to experience the interaction of various disciplines.
I have always found the impact of innovation and new technology really exciting as it challenges engineering practices. During my time with the RAM (Track) team I led the introduction of an RCF (Rolling Contact Fatigue) detection trolley. I would continually interact with engineers and maintenance staff in order to gather data which can be analysed to provide a system of work where work can be prioritised and spares strategic placed. Understanding how RCF played a key role in the establishment of Network Rail as an organisation gave me a real appreciation of the technology and its importance.
The best thing has been meeting people who share the same interests and are always willing to share their wealth of skills and knowledge. The engineering experience I have gained will continue to guide me to become a knowledgeable and valued engineer in the future.
I found the organisation to be very welcoming and have enjoyed working for a company that plays a key role in the nation’s economy. Working to provide a service to the public has always given me the feeling of giving back. Now is the time to be a part the most impressive infrastructure projects in the UK and around the world. Network Rail will always support where you want to go in the organisation and anyone looking to achieve chartered status.