Rolling stock inspector


Rolling stock inspectors inspect wagons and carriages to asses their technical condition while grouped together and before they are used for transportation activities. They check technical devices, ensure complete and correct operation of the rolling stock, and prepare required technical documents and/or checklists. Depending on work organisation they are also responsible for limited ad-hoc maintenance or exchange work and the performance of brake tests.

Excludes rolling stock engine inspector.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to rolling stock inspector:

railway carriage and wagon supervisor
supervisor of rolling stock
railway inspector
carriage supervisor
inspector of rolling stock
rolling stock supervisor
carriage inspector
rail car inspector
railway carriage and wagon inspector

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the minimum required to work as a rolling stock inspector.

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 inspector is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Rolling stock inspector career path

Similar occupations

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

railway infrastructure inspector
aviation data communications manager
rail maintenance technician
aeronautical information specialist
aviation safety officer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of rolling stock inspector. 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 inspector with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

rail operations manager
railway station manager
aviation communications and frequency coordination manager
rail project engineer
product and services manager

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

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

  • 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.
  • Electrical engineering: Understand electrical engineering, a field of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism.
  • Rail disruption management: Thoroughly understand the conditions, causes, and effects of rail disruption or derailment, and of degraded mode operations including tasks and tools.
  • Hydraulics: The power transmission systems that use the force of flowing liquids to transmit power.
  • Health and safety measures in transportation: The body of rules, procedures and regulations related to health and safety measures intended to prevent accidents or incidents in transportation.
  • Rail infrastructure: Thoroughly understand the characteristics of railway infrastructure: rail technologies, track gauges, rail signalling, rail junctions, etc.
  • Electrical wiring plans: Pictorial representation of an electrical circuit. It shows the components of the circuit as simplified shapes, and the power and signal connections between the devices. It gives information about the relative position and arrangement of devices and terminals on the devices, to help in building or servicing the device. A wiring diagram is often used to troubleshoot problems and to make sure that all the connections have been made and that everything is present.

Essential skills and competences

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

  • Carry out railway accident investigations: Carry out investigations of railway accidents. Take into consideration the specific circumstances of the accident, and the actual or potential consequences. Investigate whether the accident is part of a series, and examine the potential for recurrence. Strive to improve safety.
  • Operate rail-flaw-detection machine: Operate electric, diesel or steam locomotives to detect and identify rail flaws.
  • Test the rail-flaw-detection machine: Perform tests of the rail-flaw-detection machine using circuit testers.
  • Write rail defect records: Compose documents and reports on the nature of rail defects investigated, position of defect in rail, location, etc.
  • Maintain electrical equipment: Test electrical equipment for malfunctions. Take safety measures, company guidelines, and legislation concerning electrical equipment into account. Clean, repair and replace parts and connections as required.
  • Ensure safety of mobile electrical systems: Take the necessary precautions while providing temporary power distribution independently. Measure and power up an installation.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Operate railway vehicles: Drive railroad vehicles or other railway equipment in a competent and safe manner.
  • Ensure quality of final product: Ensure that finished products meet or exceed company specifications.
  • Ensure maintenance of railway machinery: Keep rolling stock in functional condition and maintain railway machinery.
  • Enforce railway safety regulations: Promote and enforce safety procedures and EU regulations to ensure that railway safety is generally maintained and continuously improved, taking into consideration the development of European legislation.
  • Operate hydraulic jack lift: Operate hydraulic jack lift or truck to move goods before or after bundling.
  • Detect flaws in rails: Detect internal flaws in rails in order to prevent derailments.
  • Write railway investigation reports: On completion of an investigation, compose a report summarising the finding for those in need of recommendations. This is done in consultation with industry stakeholders, safety authorities, individuals and any other parties involved in the investigation.
  • Keep up-to-date on manufacturer’s policies: Stay up-to-date on manufacturer warranty and policy procedures; communicate with factory representatives.
  • Perform rail track inspections: Plan and implement regular inspections and investigations of the rail track system in order to provide optimal coverage of the railway network in a given area. Inspect aspects such as track alignment, features of the terrain, and existence of ditches, embankments, and loose rock debris on the network.

Optional skills and competences

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

  • Perform maintenance work on rail tracks: Perform maintenance operations on rail tracks, such as removal of old or damaged ties, maintenance of track spanner machinery, and tightening or loosening of bolts at joints.
  • Work in a rail transport team: Work confidently within a group in rail transport services, in which each individual has their own responsibility in working towards a common goal such as a good interaction with the customers, railway safety, and rolling stock maintenance.
  • Have computer literacy: Utilise computers, IT equipment and modern day technology in an efficient way.

ISCO group and title

3115 – Mechanical engineering technicians

  1. Rolling stock inspector – ESCO
Last updated on March 8, 2023