Rolling stock engineer


Rolling stock engineers design and oversee the manufacturing process and installation of rail vehicles, including locomotives, carriages, wagons and multiple units. They design new trains and electrical or mechanical parts, supervise modifications and resolve technical problems. They also perform routine maintenance duties to ensure that trains are in good condition and meet quality and safety standards.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to rolling stock engineer:

rolling stock technology engineer
railway vehicle engineer
railcar engineer
multiple unit engineer
rail vehicle engineer
wagon designer
rolling stock engineering consultant
railcar designer
rolling stock engineering adviser
rolling stock technology engineering consultant
rolling stock designer
rolling stock technology engineering specialist
multiple unit designer
traction engineer
carriage designer
rolling stock engineering expert
locomotive engineer
wagon engineer
rolling stock technology engineering adviser
rail vehicle designer
rolling stock engineering specialist
carriage engineer
locomotive designer
rolling stocks engineer
rolling stock technology engineering expert
railway vehicle designer

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as rolling stock engineer. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Rolling stock engineer is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Rolling stock engineer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to rolling stock engineer.

automotive engineer
aerospace engineer
precision engineer
satellite engineer
naval architect

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of rolling stock engineer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of rolling stock engineer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of rolling stock engineer.

Production processes: Materials and techniques required in the production and distribution processes.
Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.
Manufacturing processes: The steps required through which a material is transformed into a product, its development and full-scale manufacturing.
Technical drawings: Drawing software and the various symbols, perspectives, units of measurement, notation systems, visual styles and page layouts used in technical drawings.
Engineering processes: The systematic approach to the development and maintenance of engineering systems.
Quality standards: The national and international requirements, specifications and guidelines to ensure that products, services and processes are of good quality and fit for purpose.
Industrial engineering: The field of engineering concerned with the development, improvement, and implementation of complex processes and systems of knowledge, people, equipment, etc.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of rolling stock engineer.

Control compliance of railway vehicles regulations: Inspect rolling stock, components and systems to ensure compliance with standards and specifications.
Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
Perform scientific research: Gain, correct or improve knowledge about phenomena by using scientific methods and techniques, based on empirical or measurable observations.
Use technical drawing software: Create technical designs and technical drawings using specialised software.
Execute feasibility study: Perform the evaluation and assessment of the potential of a project, plan, proposition or new idea. Realise a standardised study which is based on extensive investigation and research to support the process of decision making.
Assess financial viability: Revise and analyse financial information and requirements of projects such as their budget appraisal, expected turnover, and risk assessment for determining the benefits and costs of the project. Assess if the agreement or project will redeem its investment, and whether the potential profit is worth the financial risk.
Analyse production processes for improvement: Analyse production processes leading toward improvement. Analyse in order to reduce production losses and overall manufacturing costs.
Approve engineering design: Give consent to the finished engineering design to go over to the actual manufacturing and assembly of the product.
Control production: Plan, coordinate, and direct all production activities to insure the goods are made on time, in correct order, of adequate quality and composition, starting from intake goods up to shipping.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of rolling stock engineer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Electromechanics: The engineering processes that combine electrical and mechanical engineering in the application of electromechanics in devices that need electricity to create mechanical movement or devices that create electricity by mechanical movement.
Precision mechanics: Precision or fine mechanics is a subdiscipline in engineering that focuses on the design and development of smaller precision machines.
Electrical engineering: Understand electrical engineering, a field of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.
Design principles: The elements used in design such as unity, scale, proportion, balance, symmetry, space, form, texture, colour, light, shade and congruence and their application into practice.
Cae software: The software to perform computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computional Fluid Dynamics.
Electronics: The functioning of electronic circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including programming and applications. Apply this knowledge to ensure electronic equipment runs smoothly.
Mechanical engineering: Discipline that applies principles of physics, engineering and materials science to design, analyse, manufacture and maintain mechanical systems.
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.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of rolling stock engineer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

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.
Perform test run: Perform tests putting a system, machine, tool or other equipment through a series of actions under actual operating conditions in order to assess its reliability and suitability to realise its tasks, and adjust settings accordingly.
Apply advanced manufacturing: Improve production rates, efficiencies, yields, costs, and changeovers of products and processes by using relevant advanced, innovative, and cutting edge technology.
Create a product’s virtual model: Create a mathematical or three-dimensional computer graphic model of the product by using a CAE system or a calculator.
Ensure maintenance of trains: Oversee train equipment maintenance and rail security.
Ensure maintenance of railway machinery: Keep rolling stock in functional condition and maintain railway machinery.
Build a product’s physical model: Build a model of the product out of wood, clay or other materials by using hand or electrical tools.
Use cam software: Use computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programmes to control machinery and machine tools in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation as part of the manufacturing processes of workpieces.
Draft design specifications: List the design specifications such as materials and parts to be used and a cost estimate.
Use cad software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
Manage product testing: Oversee the testing procedures to ensure that the end-product complies with the quality and safety requirements.
Design prototypes: Design prototypes of products or components of products by applying design and engineering principles.
Conduct performance tests: Conduct experimental, environmental and operational tests on models, prototypes or on the systems and equipment itself in order to test their strength and capabilities under normal and extreme conditions.
Design electromechanical systems: Draft sketches and design electromechanical systems, products, and components using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and equipment.
Maintain electromechanical equipment: Diagnose and detect malfunctions in electromechanical components and systems and remove, replace, or repair these components when necessary. Execute preventative equipment maintenance tasks, such as storing the components and machines in clean, dust-free, and non-humid spaces.
Develop test procedures: Develop testing protocols to enable a variety of analyses of products, systems, and components.

ISCO group and title

2144 – Mechanical engineers





  1. Rolling stock engineer – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022