Overhead Line Engineer at Network Rail

What does an Overhead Line Engineer do?

Network Rail owns , operates and maintains the railway which train operating companies run their trains on, and you can be a part of that as an overhead line engineer. Overhead line equipment (OLE) is used to transmit electrical energy to the trains. It powers trains so that they can run!

As an overhead line engineer, you’ll be a technical expert in your field. You’ll ensure that the railway is safe and well-maintained so that trains can run smoothly and on time. It’s your job to make sure that the overhead lines are in top shape and meet all safety guidelines. Thanks to the efforts of people like you, everything that’s being built works. As part of your job you’ll be creating technical drawings for the overhead line equipment and making sure that designs are being implemented correctly by contractors.

Wait, there’s more: as part of your job you’ll also advise the designers who design the overhead lines on the best way to put overhead wires into difficult places (like under bridges, for example). You’ll also liaise with other Network Rail departments to make sure that any changes being planned don’t interfere with the OLE. If there’s a clash, you’ll make suggestions for what can be done to find a solution that meets everyone’s needs.

KNOW THE LINGO: When you travel to survey equipment on a site, it’s known as a “site walkout”.


Usually, you’ll work full-time, five days a week. These hours may sometimes include nights, weekends and bank holidays as the OLE is live electricity – it needs to be worked on when trains aren’t running.

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