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Rail Signalling Design Engineering

Transport for London
London (Central), London (Greater)
Closing date
6 Apr 2023

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Role Type
Apprenticeship, Advanced
Start Date
24 months+

As an apprentice, your 3-year development programme will be made up of up to 6 to 9 placement rotations. Our aim is to equip you with the range of skills and experience you need for your successful career. We also understand that everyone’s career is different, so every apprentice’s journey is unique. Here’s an idea of what yours could look like: 




Year 1 




Placement 1 – Signalling Systems (Major Projects) – 6 months – You will be involved in many aspects of the delivery of a major signalling system upgrade project, including Performance Modelling, System Delivery, Implementation and Project Safety & Assurance.  You will assist in ensuring that designs meet the required specifications and apply project control processes, including risk assessment and hazard identification.  You will also assist with & observe testing & commissioning activities. 


Placement 2 – Train Control Systems – 3 months – You will undertake various Engineering Assurance activities, such as supporting the signalling product approval process and producing Written Notices to amend and clarify engineering standards.  You’ll also get involved in Incident Investigations to identify root causes and recommend solutions and improvements. 


Placement 3 – Engineering System Safety – 3 months – You will employ a variety of Engineering Safety Management processes to ensure that risks associated with engineering changes are tolerance and reduced to as low as reasonably practicable.  You’ll assess each change with respect to its complexity and novelty, undertake risk assessments and compile the evidence to produce the required Safety Case. 


Year 2 


Placement 4 – Signal Maintenance – 6 months – You will spend time with the Routine Maintenance, New Works and Engineering Support teams.  You’ll gain hands-on experience of operational signalling equipment, ranging from 1950s technology through to modern solid-state signal control computers.  You will assist with routine servicing, project support works, failure investigations and testing techniques. 


Placement 5 - Control & Information – 3 to 6 months – Control & Information systems provide an interface between the control room operator, the signaller, trains and infrastructure to enable the control and schedule regulation of train services.  The systems span many decades, ranging from relay logic to fully computerised solutions.  You will become involved in many aspects of these systems, including the production of designs and documentation to enable changes, improvements and enhancements. 


Placement 6 - Cyber Security – 1 to 2 months – Cyber security isn’t just about IT systems; many engineering systems use computer-based equipment and networks, including signalling systems.  You’ll work with the Cyber Security team to understand and support this aspect of railway signalling systems.  You’ll assist with responding to cyber security incidents and help to provide cyber security advice to senior discipline engineers. 


Year 3 


Placement 7 - Signalling Design Office – 6 months – You will learn about principles of signalling design, requirements capture and problem solving.  You’ll produce CAD drawings and undertake configuration & change control activities. 


Placement 8 – Return to preferred placement for final 6 months. 


Additional information; 


To ensure that you gain sufficient breadth and depth to build up your portfolio of engineering experience and knowledge, all Railway Signalling Engineering Apprentices will undertake the following placements: Major Projects, Train Control Systems, Maintenance, Design Office and Control & Information. 


Placements may vary in duration but are typically between 3 and 6 months in length.  This will depend on the details of the work being undertaken during the placement, for example, one apprentice may have a 6-month placement with one Major Projects team, but another apprentice may have 2 x 3-month placements with two different Major Projects teams.  This may become necessary to ensure that you continue to gain sufficient breadth and depth of experience, particularly as each project progresses through its various stages. 


During the course of your placements, you will need to gain an understanding and experience of Engineering Safety Management and cyber security.  It may be possible to gain sufficient experience and understanding in these areas during the core placements, dependent on the detail of the activities undertaken. 


There is scope for apprentices to arrange placements in areas other than those listed above, such as rolling stock (vehicles) or permanent way, provided that the activities/work to be undertaken continues to grow and build your portfolio of evidence and experience.


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