Profession rail maintenance technician

Rail maintenance technicians execute routine inspections of railway tracks, powerlines, signage stations, switches, and other railway infrastructure. They are also sent out to repair defects quickly, safely, and at any time of the day or night.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional
  • Enterprising / Realistic
  • Realistic / Investigative


  • Mechanics

    Theoretical and practical applications of the science studying the action of displacements and forces on physical bodies to the development of machinery and mechanical devices.

  • Sensors

    Sensors are transducers that can detect or sense characteristics in their environment. They detect changes in the apparatus or environment and provide a corresponding optical or electrical signal. Sensors are commonly divided in six classes: mechanical, electronic, thermal, magnetic, electrochemical, and optical sensors.

  • Electricity

    Understand the principles of electricity and electrical power circuits, as well as the associated risks.

  • Characteristics of wheel rail interface

    Thoroughly understand the forces of physics involved in the interaction between the wheels and the rail, possible rail defects, maintenance practices, and cost implications.

  • Mechanics of trains

    Possess basic knowledge of the mechanics involved in trains, understand the technicalities and participate in discussions on related topics in order to solve problems related to the mechanics.


  • Use safety equipment in construction

    Use elements of protective clothing such as steel-tipped shoes, and gear such as protective goggles, in order to minimise risk of accidents in construction and to mitigate any injury if an accident does occur.

  • Test sensors

    Test sensors using appropriate equipment. Gather and analyse data. Monitor and evaluate system performance and take action if needed.

  • Detect rail track malfunctions

    Identify and analyse damage or malfunctions in the mechanical, pneumatic, or hydraulic equipment of rail track; determine necessary maintenance and repair work.

  • Record test data

    Record data which has been identified specifically during preceding tests in order to verify that outputs of the test produce specific results or to review the reaction of the subject under exceptional or unusual input.

  • Inspect railways visually

    Visually check the integrity of train tracks, sleepers, and ballast. This is usually done in reaction to reports from workers or detections by sensors.

  • Follow health and safety procedures in construction

    Apply the relevant health and safety procedures in construction in order to prevent accidents, pollution and other risks.

  • Advise on railway infrastructure repairs

    Formulate advice on maintenance, repair or upgrades of the inspected railroad infrastructure.

  • Write rail defect records

    Compose documents and reports on the nature of rail defects investigated, position of defect in rail, location, etc.

  • Interpret graphical recordings of rail-flaw-detection machine

    Read, analyse and interpret the graphical recordings issued by the rail-flaw-detection machine in order to detect errors or flaws in rails.

  • Inspect construction supplies

    Check construction supplies for damage, moisture, loss or other problems before using the material.

Optional knowledge and skills

detect flaws in rails railway framework legislation process incoming construction supplies electrical systems used in transportation work trains test the rail-flaw-detection machine weigh in motion system liaise with rail experts hot wheel detection system work in a construction team wheel impact load detector hunting truck detector modern power signalling systems keep personal administration maintain records of maintenance interventions liaise with managers keep records of work progress work ergonomically electronics principles use tribometer construction product regulation