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Insights 5 of the best jobs for progression in the rail industry

The United States of America is home to the largest railroad network in the world, coming in at 150,462 kilometers. To put things in perspective, the second largest network in Russia is 85,494 kilometers, 43% smaller than the USA. 

We are excited by our rail projects because of the marked difference they make to the communities we work in. Our purpose is to connect people, data, and technology and our infrastructure projects contribute to engineering a better future for our planet and its people. 

The rail industry has been connecting people and goods for centuries and as the world becomes more interconnected, the demand for rail industry professionals is growing. This is a unique opportunity to explore dynamic career paths with great progression—whether you are interested in design, operations, or safety and maintenance, there is something for everyone. 

rail engineer inspecting train on track

Rail Project Manager 

As a Rail Project Manager, you will oversee the planning and implementation of complex rail projects. This involves managing the project team which includes engineers, contractors, and architects. 

You will need to ensure that all projects adhere to both construction and safety standards for the area in which you are operating. This involves building relationships with third-party stakeholders such as the government, local communities and other agencies to ensure that their needs are taken into account. 

At the heart of all of our projects is improving the lives of people and communities. Yes, we create better-built environments but the reason they serve communities well is because these communities contribute to our processes. 

This is how we weave environmental, economic, and social sustainability into every project to develop a vibrant ecosystem of people, programs, and places.

Rail Consultant 

You’ll be an expert on all things rail—whether that is operations, design, engineering, or safety. In this role, you will provide support and guidance to your team or client to help improve their processes and deliver outstanding outcomes. 

You might be brought in to assess existing rail infrastructure and find areas of improvement. To make recommendations based on your analysis, you’ll be an expert on signaling systems, track maintenance, and more. 

In fact, one of our core values is innovation—thinking proudly, boldly, and differently. We actively encourage our teams to look for new and better ways of doing things through our high-performance culture.

Rail Operations

The rail network is a complex system with many different components connected together. In this role, you will ensure that all of these components are running smoothly individually as well as collaboratively. 

Rail Operations people manage the day-to-day operations such as ensuring infrastructure projects are on budget and will be delivered on time, managing staff, and monitoring the performance of the rail network. 

Safety and Maintenance Rail Engineer

Safety and Maintenance Rail Engineers develop and implement maintenance and safety programs to ensure that rail networks are reliable. You will conduct safety inspections and identify potential hazards and find methods to mitigate them. 

We put safety at the heart of everything we do, to safeguard people, assets, and the environment.

“I find it really rewarding knowing that my work on safety will make a difference to the future safety of customers and staff who use the railway when it becomes operational.” - Charlie, a talented Graduate Engineer

Rail Design Manager 

As a Rail Design Manager, you’ll be responsible for engineering and technical leadership on infrastructure projects. This means managing the multidisciplinary design process and ensuring the design is defined and delivered in accordance with appropriate guidance, standards, and client requirements.

This role requires someone with great leadership skills to manage a team of engineers, project management skills to ensure everything is on track for completion, and an eye for detail for the design process. 

The Purple Line is a new 16.2-mile, light rail transit line which will connect five major activity centers just north of Washington DC. 

Atkins, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group, is the lead designer on this exciting project. Our teams in the US are providing services across multiple disciplines: from major transport infrastructure to rail systems, and 3D modeling for clash detection.

Excited about creating smarter cities and transport for the future? 

You’ll have the chance to work for one of the world’s most respected design, engineering, and project management consultancies. With your expertise, together we will respond to the most technically challenging and time-critical infrastructure projects. 

Discover how you can innovate the rail industry with Atkins