Network Rail

Network Rail 2024 graduate opportunities}

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Explore the hidden side of Network Rail

We think you’ll be surprised at just how diverse our organisation really is. Because while we own, manage and develop Britain’s railway – that’s 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and thousands of signals and level crossings – there’s a whole lot more to us than rail alone.

Beyond the railway

What you probably didn’t know is that we’re Britain’s largest provider of commercial space for small to medium-sized businesses – over the last five years, our commercial property activities have generated £1.3bn, all of which is being reinvested back into rail. We run 18 of the biggest, busiest stations in the country. And whether we’re creating new space for retailers or undertaking massive redevelopments (the new concourse at London Bridge will be as big as the pitch at Wembley), we’re finding ways to make those stations destinations in their own right. And it doesn’t end there. We have our own start-up, an app store, a dedicated recycling centre and technology that’s truly ground- breaking – our New Measurement Train takes crystal clear photos of the tracks at speeds of 125mph (and that’s just one example). We run pioneering safety initiatives, we have our own virtual archive and we’re constantly innovating – last year, we began trialling a new, battery-powered train that could lead to greener, quieter and more cost-effective journeys for millions.

Put simply, the scope of our work is vast. And that means unlimited opportunities for your career.

Work that touches on the whole nation

To give you a sense of scale, we operate in all but four of the 632 parliamentary constituencies in Britain. One third of the population lives within 0.5km of a railway line. And by investing in our infrastructure and regenerating our stations, we’re helping to rejuvenate entire communities.

'The transformation of King’s Cross is not only beautiful but it has also triggered all sorts of regeneration, with new jobs, huge numbers of homes being built and businesses relocating here. What has emerged is a fantastic open space which has led to the creation of a whole new vibrant district. It is the perfect example of a point I have always made, if you support good transport links the jobs and growth will follow.' - Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

With us, the possibilities to shape the future and change things for the better are endless.

Case Studies

  • Name: Rory Jee
  • Role: General Management
  • University: Queen Mary University London
  • Degree: History & French BA Hons


How would you describe the breadth of Network Rail's work and the breadth of our opportunities for graduates?

What immediately struck me upon joining Network Rail was the sheer breadth of activities it undertakes on a daily basis. In very few businesses are there so many opportunities available to you so early on in your career. From people to project management, electrical engineering to property purchase and negotiation, you really are able to define your own direction. The graduate scheme gave me brilliant exposure to many different business functions across Network Rail and allowed me to quickly understand my strengths and weakness as well as the aspects of the business I really enjoyed. Whatever career or direction you might think you’re interested in when you apply, I doubt very much it will be the same once you’ve completed the scheme and that, for me, is its strength.

How varied have you found your role at Network Rail?

The General Management scheme gave me a great breadth of experience, very quickly. It was really up to me to decide what placements to pursue and which areas of the business truly interested me. Whether you want to spend time on the front-line seeing how maintenance engineers work tirelessly to ensure the trains keep running or spend time with strategy managers who decide where to invest in new infrastructure and capability; the GM scheme allows you to.

I spent time with Operations and Control, worked with the Change Team to implement new technologies and methods of working and spent time working on projects that will delivery new station platforms and train services in the future. My new role in the Route Enhancements function promises to be varied and exciting as I begin work on projects that will deliver tangible benefits to Britain’s railway, with of course, all the challenges that come along with it.

What’s the most exciting work you’ve done here?

There have been many projects that I’ve been involved with during my graduate year. The challenge of constructing two new platforms at Liverpool St. to allow for additional train services in the future was certainly high-profile. A heavily used commuter station in the heart of the City of London, Liverpool St. station’s location would present various construction challenges in building additional platforms. Going on a site visit and introducing the proposal to key stakeholders was an exciting and responsible experience. Working with engineers to define the constraints and integrating the project with a potential wider re-development of the Liverpool St. concourse was eye-opening and made me understand just how complicated and intricate the railway can be.

What’s been the best thing for you?

Being able to better my understanding of the railway as a system has been a fantastic experience. From regular commuters, to family day-trippers, we all know the railway moves millions of people every single day. However I didn’t truly appreciate how much freight gets moved by rail. From the un-glamorous raw materials like coal that ultimately helps keep the lights on to a lot of the products we see in supermarkets and department stores, without the railway our roads would be clogged to breaking point.

Why Network Rail?

Network Rail is an incredible place to work, something I didn’t quite appreciate before joining. Whatever your strengths and passions, there will be a job for you somewhere on the railway. The variety and breadth of what we do means there is always something new try and difficult challenges to resolve. The comradery and teamwork that goes on within the industry is impressive and endeared me to the company during the interview process. One of the unique things about working for a public company is the great sense that everyone is working for the betterment of the railway network rather than the benefit of shareholders or the stock market.

  • Name: Shinjinee Pal
  • Role: Electrical/Electronic Engineering
  • University: University College London
  • Degree: B-Eng Electronic and Electrical Engineering


How would you describe the breadth of Network Rail’s work, and the breadth of our opportunities for graduates?

Network rail is a huge organisation so I expected it to have a wide range of opportunities and I wasn’t disappointed at all, it has exceeded my expectations! There is always something for everyone and you will never run out of new things to try out. It is a diverse company so there is a chance for everyone to move around, try out different things and pick exactly what they like doing.

How varied have you found your role at Network Rail?

My work has been very varied and I can tailor my development in the specific direction I’d like it to go in. It is a mixture of management work, where I am writing reports, speaking to lots of people, making presentations and holding meetings, to site visits, where I go on P-way walks, relay room surveys and equipment room surveys. I never get bored as I am doing different things every day and learning new things all the time.

What’s the most exciting work you’ve done here?

As part of my first placement, I am writing up a manual on a new, highly critical equipment room at London Bridge, which is currently being constructed. This is really exciting for me because I have been thrown in at the deep end in terms of managing the project; I have to talk to a large number of people, chase them up, update reports, go on site visits, mediate between different groups of people and carry out negotiations, as well as research the equipment going into the building. This project has given me a great insight into the technical and managerial challenges and commissioning processes of delivering a project.

What’s been the best thing for you?

The culture of the company has probably been the best thing for me as it had helped me settle into my first job really easily. Everyone here is very approachable and helpful, which creates a very nurturing and encouraging environment in which to develop myself.

Why Network Rail?

Because I wanted to be involved in a large, high-impacting company and I had heard glowing reports on Network Rail’s leading graduate training. In this, Network Rail has lived up to every expectation and indeed, has given a lot more than I expected.

  • Name: Tajamul Daroge
  • Role: Civil Engineering Year in Industry Placement
  • University: City University London
  • Degree: B-Eng Civil Engineering


How would you describe the breadth of Network Rail’s work, and the breadth of our opportunities for graduates?

At Network Rail, every project has its own challenges and opportunities from day to day maintenance through to large scale projects such as Birmingham Gateway, Thameslink and Crossrail. All these projects have one thing in common; the vast array of valuable engineering knowledge and experience a student is able to gain throughout their time in and around the organisation, whether that is on site, in the office or at a Network Rail managed station.

How varied have you found your role at Network Rail?

Throughout my placement, I found myself continually adapting to the different work environments, from managing the introduction of new technology, to the detailed engineering analysis of rail defects. My roles would usually allow me to lead the discussions with maintenance staff and track engineers. I was always able to choose the direction that my placement took so I could get the chance to experience the interaction of various disciplines.

What’s the most exciting work you’ve done here?

I have always found the impact of innovation and new technology really exciting as it challenges engineering practices. During my time with the RAM (Track) team I led the introduction of an RCF (Rolling Contact Fatigue) detection trolley. I would continually interact with engineers and maintenance staff in order to gather data which can be analysed to provide a system of work where work can be prioritised and spares strategic placed. Understanding how RCF played a key role in the establishment of Network Rail as an organisation gave me a real appreciation of the technology and its importance.

What’s been the best thing for you?

The best thing has been meeting people who share the same interests and are always willing to share their wealth of skills and knowledge. The engineering experience I have gained will continue to guide me to become a knowledgeable and valued engineer in the future.

Why Network Rail?

I found the organisation to be very welcoming and have enjoyed working for a company that plays a key role in the nation’s economy. Working to provide a service to the public has always given me the feeling of giving back. Now is the time to be a part the most impressive infrastructure projects in the UK and around the world. Network Rail will always support where you want to go in the organisation and anyone looking to achieve chartered status.

Training & Profiles

You and your skills

There’s one person who will control the speed and direction of your path - and that’s you. Dynamic, driven and dedicated, you’ll proactively seek out ways to prove you have promise. You’ll also be flexible about location, be prepared to move around and be excited about gaining knowledge across all our business areas, whatever your role. We want to develop you as a resource, so you could end up working in an area you never expected when you started.

Our development scheme

Show us your talents and the promise and ambition we expect and we’ll help tailor your placements to channel your skills. We’ll support you at every stage and, whatever your chosen route, you’ll receive a structured development scheme. This will begin with an induction at our state-of-the-art leadership centre in Coventry, known as Westwood. This glamorous setting will continue to provide countless opportunities throughout your career to network with peers and continue to learn and develop.

What you’ll gain

You’ll receive world-class training, the opportunity to achieve professional qualifications, plus great support. In fact, everything you need to make the most of our unlimited opportunities.

All schemes include:

  • Rotational placements
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Personal effectiveness training
  • Technical training
  • First line manager training

In addition, the following applies:

Civil engineering (2 years)

Support to chartered engineer status

Mechanical engineering (2 years)

Support to chartered engineer status

Electrical and electronic engineering (2 years)

Support to chartered engineer status

Project management (1 year)

Support to APM qualification

Property (2.5 years)

Support to RICS chartership

Business Technology (2 years)

Support to APM qualification

Finance (2 years)

Support to CIMA qualification
Paid time off for exam studies

Supply chain (1.5 years)

Paid time off for exam studies
Support to RICS chartership
Support to CIPS chartership