The placement is suitable for either an electrical, electrical & electronic or mechanical engineering student. You will be based within the Electrification & Plant maintenance engineering team in Western West delivery unit as part of the technical support team. The placement will spend time with electrical and mechanical engineers and technicians, but also include the opportunity to spend time gaining an appreciation for project engineering and asset management first-hand. The student will be involved in the management of a range of assets ranging from: High voltage distribution equipment, Protection systems, Low voltage electrical installations, External lighting, Signal power supplies, Uninterruptible power supplies.
My role within the company is to work within and support the maintenance engineering team based in Bedford. Day-to-day operations included a variety of things, shadowing engineers, assisting with track patrols, remapping and creating patrol diagrams, project managing improvement projects etc..
I was assigned a host team in the Technical Authority and my role was to support their activities. It typically involved morning Teams calls (because of remote working), a few meetings throughought the day to discuss anything important, and the rest of the time would be for various projects I was working on. Projects I worked on included: re-drafting of standards, validation of contractor work, analysis of a structure's loads and foundations, and developing risk frameworks. As the year progressed I worked more independently and didn't need as much help from my manager/team.
I work in the plant team which is the team that manages all the machinery used to build and maintain the railway. This includes ensuring all machinery is safe to use and it being operated safely in accordance with the standards written by the plant team. I help update standards, attend train depot audits and help update systems used to track all the plant used on the railway.
I assisted the project managers in the team. This would include taking minutes at meetings, filling out forms to be submitted to various other disciplines and keeping track of progree of the projects. I'd also go on site visits with the project managers or construction managers to see how the works were ongoing and take photos to report back afterwards.
My first role was in the ‘Performance Testing and Automation’ team as a script programmer for performance testing. Then i joined the Digital Factory Software Development team. This team is responsible for developing apps that are used by railway workers. They follow Agile software development methods therefore in this team I gained an insight on how to work in an agile environment
Working within the Technical Authority on various projects pertaining to the greater running of the railway, such as understanding and updating standards, assisting with the rollout of new technology and understanding where there are current gaps in the processes within the company and how these can be filled.
Assigned projects to manage, including some which I became solely responsible for delivering. This included managing small budgets, working with stakeholders, site visits and occasionally chairing meetings. Travelled to other depots and offices to gain experience in other areas of the business, such as visiting signalling centres to learn about the operational side of the railway, not just engineering. Gained experience working on to the tracks where I learnt about the specifics of railway engineering and how aspects from my university course are applied in practice. Assisted the engineers in identifying required infrastructure maintenance and prioritising according to engineering needs.
I worked closely with multiple people in TA and assisted them with various projects required to continue to maintain the safety of the rail network in the UK. I continually had regular meetings, both formal and informal, with my managers to discuss my progress and any concerns or thoughts I had on the work and how it could be improved
My role was focused across the North West and Central region covering areas from Manchester to Euston. I was involved in many projects including developing the multi-million pound Performance Innovation fund, creating internal web pages and analysing trespassing data. I also had the opportunity to complete rotations in other areas such as internal audit, group finance and corporate commercial to expand my skillset. Finally, I completed an external attachment at one of our regions lead train operating companies.
I fully enjoyed my placement here, the team i was situated with was diverse range of professionals, who were kind, tolerant and educating. I was made to feel like an individual, on my scheme, i was encouraged to create my own opportunities, to explore the industry and learn about the entirety of the organisation. i had my own Personal Development Plan, and was engaged with as a competent, young professional. i thoroughly enjoyed my time at NR.
I enjoyed my certain aspects of my placements such as going around to different companies within the railway industry. That was th best part of the placement. the not so good parts was all the admin stuff which included daily/ weekly reports which I had to do in absence of a member of my team.
I really enjoyed my time at Network Rail, it is a very professional company with a huge range of jobs. There was opportunity to move around the various departments to get a feel for the company as a whole which made it very enjoyable. The work I was given increased my skillset whilst not being so alien that I couldn't understand what to do. It was very enjoyable working on the railway as there lots of opportunity to travel and great people to meet.
I have enjoyed my time during my placement with Network Rail. The most integral parts of my placement include exposure to real projects, challenging yet interesting varied tasks and support from work-colleagues providing me opportunities to personal and career development increasing core skills and business acumen.
I very much enjoyed my time at Network Rail, it was rewarding not only from a professional point of view but also developed me personally and has given me a lot of skills that I think will benefit me in my final year at university and in future career ambitions.
My time at Network Rail has been really enjoyable, there have been many different opportunities and variety within my role which I love, and a chance to develop my skills. Since the start of the placement I have interacted with many stakeholders, participated in, and arranged meetings, been on site visits and more. The rail industry is so vast and there is always something new to learn and try out, I feel like my commercial awareness has increased while working at Network Rail.