Working in the rail industry

The rail industry offers a broad and diverse spectrum of employment possibilities for technophiles. From automated train operation to developing energy-saving trains, the railways present some fascinating challenges in need of solutions – and that’s where you come in. Become part of a world full of creative possibilities, one that holds promise for the long-term future of mobility and is a major factor in reducing carbon emissions.

Innovation and modern technology

The railway technology industry is a driving force behind innovation and technology. Bring your skills to the industry from your studies in electrical engineering, structural engineering, information technology, mechanical engineering and other technical and allied disciplines. Here are just some of the groundbreaking technologies you can help advance:

Automatic train control systems ensure trains run on time, improving punctuality on busy rail routes. Predictive maintenance uses data analysis to identify potential problems with trains or track networks before they occur. Energy-saving technologies such as regenerative braking and engine optimisation make trains more environmentally friendly. The European Train Control System (ETCS) makes rail transport safer and more efficient by enabling direct data exchange between trains and the rail infrastructure. Adaptive Steering (ADL) continually adapts the vehicle control system, using the train’s speed to optimise its economic efficiency. Technological innovations are creating barrier-free infrastructure, making stations and trains more accessible to people living with disabilities. Digital freight tracking systems provide real-time information about the location and status of goods, making logistics more efficient and enabling more accurate freight transport planning.

And that’s not all: railway industry technology is constantly changing, which means that new exciting and far-reaching challenges will always lie ahead. So what are you waiting for?

Wide-ranging career options

The railway technology industry offers countless career possibilities.

Railway undertakings operate trains and are responsible for the safe and reliable transport of passengers and freight. RUs are responsible for timetabling, safety and customer satisfaction.

Infrastructure managers build and operate infrastructure facilities for rail traffic, including railway tracks, stations, bridges and tunnels, and safety installations. Many railway companies are both infrastructure managers and railway undertakings.

Rail vehicle manufacturers specialise in building multiple units, locomotives, trams and other rail-bound vehicles.

Consultancy firms provide advice and engineering services for various aspects of rail transport, including railway infrastructure planning, project management and rail systems monitoring.

Suppliers and service providers specialise in supplying components, spare parts, technical services and software solutions for building, maintaining and operating rail vehicles and infrastructure.

Whether you want to enter the profession as part of a small, family-run business or join the ranks of a large corporation, the choice is yours. And as your career progresses, you always have the option of heading in a new direction.

Cooperation: key role of engineers

As a professional in your specialist field, you work with colleagues in a wide variety of other disciplines, undertaking complex projects together.

Engineers, transport planners, safety experts, train drivers and rail traffic controllers work together closely to optimise operational processes and ensure the railways remain safe.

Teams of engineers, IT specialists and research scientists work together to develop and implement new technologies and smart control systems. This collaborative process is how progress is made, ensuring that rail transport becomes safer and more efficient.

Teams of maintenance staff and engineers work together to make sure that rail services, the track network and the traction power network all run like clockwork. They coordinate their actions to ensure maintenance work is carried out efficiently, minimising downtime.

Market specialists, software engineers and design specialists work together to improve the customer experience. This can include developing apps for ticketing, supplying real-time information and providing a more comfortable travelling experience.

Sustainability: guaranteeing the future of the railways

Because rail has a central role to play in sustainable mobility, railway industry professions are future-proof. What’s more, the railways are becoming even more important, for a number of reasons:

Increasing demand for environmentally friendly transport points towards rail travel as a sustainable alternative to other travel options.

Growing population density in large urban areas demands reliable and efficient transport solutions. The railways take the pressure off road traffic, transporting large volumes of people efficiently.

Railway networks are becoming increasing integrated internationally. The burgeoning interest in cross-border rail connections and infrastructure projects is stepping up the railway industry’s role as an international mode of transport.

Further education in railway technology

Numerous educational programmes allow you to keep changing the course of your career in the rail industry. This will make you a sought-after specialist and secure you the best career opportunities in your area of specialisation.

On the website of the Association of Public Transport, you will find the current training and further education programmes in the rail technology sector (page available in German and French): Spezialbildungen Bahn/BTE -

Voices of former students

We asked newly graduated and experienced engineers: What excites you about the world of rail?