Careers

Apprentice Signalling Design Engineer at MGB Engineering Ltd

What is an apprentice signalling design engineer?

As an apprentice, your job will involve designing electronic and electrical components and circuits that will help to direct railway traffic and keep trains clear of each other. This is a highly important role, as creating signalling designs will ensure that the trains run smoothly and safely.

Your designs will take the form of technical drawings and CAD (computer aided design) drawings. Thanks to your maths and design skills, the circuits and components will be clear to your colleagues who’ll then create the circuits for use on the railway.

So tell me more about how to be an apprentice signalling design engineer

Signalling is a hugely important part of making sure that trains run safely and on time. Railway lines are divided into sections called blocks and only one train is allowed into a block at a time. Train drivers use signalling to know what to expect from the upcoming track.

In order to become a successful apprentice signalling engineer, it is important that when applying for an apprenticeship, you know a bit about the company you are applying to and have a basic appreciation of electricity. Some railway knowledge would be beneficial but is not vital.

DID YOU KNOW? It can take a train over a mile to stop from full speed on a flat gradient.

Becoming an apprentice signalling design engineer…What does it take?

To be a signalling design engineer, you have be confident in maths and science subjects, particularly physics. Engineering is the practical application of both maths and science and you’ll be learning up to degree level maths whilst completing the HNC qualification.

It also helps if you have an interest in the transport industry and how it works.

It can help you to go far if you start learning before you apply for an apprenticeship. Learning the basics of electronics and mechanics will aid you in becoming a successful signalling design engineer. Having an understanding of why signalling is needed, what types of signalling there are and what challenges there have been in the past with signalling will give you a good background knowledge before you get started in this career.

The railway wasn’t built in a day. Signalling design isn’t something that can be picked up in a single day, either. You’ll find yourself improving with every design you do, gaining knowledge and experience so that you can spot problems with your design before you send it off for approval.

Learning and development courses and training to build you career

Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and gained industry recognised qualifications along the way, you can progress onto becoming a licensed designer – an exciting next step in your career. What’s more, you’ll become a chartered engineer by joining a professional body such as the IRSE or the IET.

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