Rolling stock engineering technicians carry out technical functions to help rolling stock engineers with the design, development, manufacturing and testing processes, installation and maintenance of rail vehicles such as wagons, multiple units, carriages and locomotives. They also conduct experiments, collect and analyse data and report their findings.
Rolling stock engineering technicians typically perform the following duties:
- read and follow written technical instructions
- help to build new engines and carriages
- fit out carriages with lighting, upholstery, control panels and communication systems
- inspect bodywork, roofs and undercarriages for wear and tear or damage
- repair or replace parts
- carry out regular checks on brakes and couplings
- take apart, test and reassemble mechanical, electrical and pneumatic systems
- write reports and update maintenance records
The following job titles also refer to rolling stock engineering technician:
rolling stock equipment assembler
rolling stock electronic equipment installer
rolling stock assembly operator
railway stock equipment assembler
rail rolling stock assembly operator
rolling stock engineering apprentice
railway stock electronic equipment installer
railway stock engineer
railway engineering apprentice
Rolling stock engineering technicians work mostly on rail tracks or in a workshop. Their working environment may be dirty and outdoors some of the time. They may need to wear protective clothing.
An associate’s degree in rail engineering or a related field is generally required to work as a rolling stock engineering technician.
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 engineering technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Rolling stock engineering technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to rolling stock engineering technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of rolling stock engineering technician. 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 engineering technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of rolling stock engineering technician.
- 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.
- Material mechanics: The behaviour of solid objects when subjected to stresses and strains, and the methods to calculate these stresses and strains.
- Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
- Physics: The natural science involving the study of matter, motion, energy, force and related notions.
- Engineering processes: The systematic approach to the development and maintenance of engineering systems.
- CAE software: The software to perform computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis tasks such as Finite Element Analysis and Computional Fluid Dynamics.
- ICT software specifications: The characteristics, use and operations of various software products such as computer programmes and application software.
- Multimedia systems: The methods, procedures and techniques pertaining to the operation of multimedia systems, usually a combination of software and hardware, presenting various types of media such as video and audio.
- 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.
- 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.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of rolling stock engineering technician.
- Use a computer: Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.
- Execute analytical mathematical calculations: Apply mathematical methods and make use of calculation technologies in order to perform analyses and devise solutions to specific problems.
- Troubleshoot: Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.
- Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
- Read engineering drawings: Read the technical drawings of a product made by the engineer in order to suggest improvements, make models of the product or operate it.
- Liaise with engineers: Collaborate with engineers to ensure common understanding and discuss product design, development and improvement.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of rolling stock engineering technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- CAD software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.
- Product data management: The use of software to track all information concerning a product such as technical specifications, drawings, design specifications, and production costs.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of rolling stock engineering technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Manage supplies: Monitor and control the flow of supplies that includes the purchase, storage and movement of the required quality of raw materials, and also work-in-progress inventory. Manage supply chain activities and synchronise supply with demand of production and customer.
- Order supplies: Command products from relevant suppliers to get convenient and profitable products to purchase.
- Disassemble equipment: Disassembles equipment using hand tools in order to clean equipments and to perform regular operational maintenance.
- 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 physical stress tests on models: Perform tests on products’ models to analyse the ability of products to endure temperature, loads, motion, vibration and other factors.
- Operate precision measuring equipment: Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
- Manage health and safety standards: Oversee all personnel and processes to comply with health, safety and hygiene standards. Communicate and support alignment of these requirements with the company’s health and safety programmes.
- 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.
- Oversee quality control: Monitor and assure the quality of the provided goods or services by overseeing that all the factors of the production meet quality requirements. Supervise product inspection and testing.
- Analyse stress resistance of products: Analyse the ability of products to endure stress imposed by temperature, loads, motion, vibration and other factors, by using mathematical formulas and computer simulations.
- Ensure equipment availability: Ensure that the necessary equipment is provided, ready and available for use before start of procedures.
- Use testing equipment: Use equipment to test performance and operation of machinery.
- Plan manufacturing processes: Determine and schedule production and assembly steps. Plan manpower and equipment needs taking ergonomic considerations into account.
- Calibrate electronic instruments: Correct and adjust the reliability of an electronic instrument by measuring output and comparing results with the data of a reference device or a set of standardised results. This is done in regular intervals which are set by the manufacturer and using calibration devices.
- Re-assemble engines: Re-assemble transport equipment engines after overhaul, inspection, repair, maintenace or cleaning according to blueprints and technical plans.
- Inspect data: Analyse, transform and model data in order to discover useful information and to support decision-making.
- Write stress analysis reports: Write down a report with all your findings encountered during the stress analysis. Write down performances, failures and other conclusions.
- Use CAD software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
- Follow production schedule: Follow production schedule taking into account all requirements, times and needs. This schedule outlines what individual commodities must be produced in each time period and encapsulates various concerns like production, staffing, inventory, etc. It is usually linked to manufacturing where the plan indicates when and how much of each product will be demanded. Utilise all the information in the actual implementation of the plan.
- Write inspection reports: Write the results and conclusions of the inspection in a clear and intelligible way. Log the inspection’s processes such as contact, outcome, and steps taken.
- Assess operating cost: Estimate the operating cost in terms of manpower, consumables and maintenance.
- Disassemble engines: Disassemble internal combustion engines, generators, pumps, transmissions and other components of mechanical equipment.
- Position engine on test stand: Position the engine on a stand or in a cell, ready for testing, by using a hoist or overhead crane.
- Analyse production processes for improvement: Analyse production processes leading toward improvement. Analyse in order to reduce production losses and overall manufacturing costs.
ISCO group and title
3115 – Mechanical engineering technicians
- Rolling stock engineering technician – ESCO
- Rolling stock engineering technician | Explore careers – National Careers Service
- Featured image: By Gareth James, CC BY-SA 2.0