Careers

Apprentice Signalling Design Engineer at MGB Engineering Ltd

What is NSAR?

The National Skills Academy for Rail Ltd (NSAR) was established for wider railway industry support to help tackle current and future skills needs within the rail industry. Apprentice Signalling Design Engineer can be found in companies who are members of NSAR.

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.

What does an apprentice signalling design engineer do?

Interested in engineering? Are you a keen problem solver? Perhaps you should consider a career within the rail industry. As a signalling design apprentice, you’ll be creating electrical component and circuit designs that will be used as part of signalling projects to allow the railway to run safely and smoothly. You could be drafting electronic system drawings using CAD (computer aided design) and then get to watch your designs being built, tested and brought into use on the railway.

Modern railway signalling systems use accurate positioning data to pinpoint the precise location of every train at all times. This data is then used by the signalling to control the speed of trains as well as the normal and emergency brake applications. Therefore, the signalling systems that you‘ll design will be used to safely control trains throughout the world.

You may also be involved in the design of Scheme Plans and Location Area Plans. These large (often 2-3m long) schematic drawings that show a 2 dimensional representation of the railway and are used to determine how the final railway track and signalling systems will actually be built. You’ll also learn to produce system architecture drawings, reports, specifications and calculations for the signalling systems.

As well as designing electrical and electronic circuits you will also get involved in the installation, testing and validation of products and systems. The knowledge and skills gained during the apprenticeship will enable you to assist in the planning and implementation of signalling activities and to ensure the accuracy and integrity of signalling data and designs.

As an apprentice signalling design engineer, you’ll receive training on CAD, the railway industry and how the signalling systems are created and operate. As well as this, you’ll develop an understanding of a range of systems from old-fashioned mechanical signals to modern day computer controlled systems which use cellular technology and GSM-R communications.

Is a career in signalling design right for me?

Are you able to solve problems in a logical way? Got a keen eye for detail? See yourself as being resilient? Want a career that will challenge you? Do you want to be involved in big projects that have an effect on people’s daily lives?

If that sounds like you, then a career in signalling design could be the answer.

How to become an apprentice signalling design engineer

In order to become a signalling design engineer, you’ll need good GCSE grades in English, maths and science to be accepted onto an apprenticeship programme. Maths and science are especially important, as engineering is all about using maths and science in practical ways! MGB Engineering Ltd & DEG Engineering design apprentices get to learn maths up to HNC (Level 4) standard to make sure they have all the skills they need.

As well as this, having some work experience in an engineering company or having an engineering related hobby like fixing bicycles or building simple circuits will prove handy for your application. It’ll show the employer that you have a passion for engineering and want to make a career out of it.

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