Careers

HS2 Route Engineer

What is HS2?

HS2 is the planned high speed railway connecting Birmingham with London, and later Manchester and Leeds. It will be the biggest project of its kind in the UK, and will make travelling around Britain quicker, easier, more reliable, and more exciting. Each train will travel at speeds of up to 225mph, and carry up to 1,100 passengers. When the whole route is built, HS2 will carry over a million people every week!

Careers at HS2 range from construction workers, engineers and railway technicians to designers, environmentalists and business experts.

What is an HS2 Route Engineer?

A route engineer at HS2 is responsible for designing the new railway: they plan where the railway could run and where stations could be.

Sounds simple? There’s more to it than you might think.

A high speed railway needs a line that is as straight as possible, so the trains can travel at top speed – high speed trains do not like corners! But a route engineer also needs to think about how a new railway would affect the environment, how much it will cost, and how to keep it safe. All of these things combined make it a complex job.

What does an HS2 Route Engineer do?

An HS2 route engineer works in a team that is responsible for developing route, station and depot options for the new high speed rail line. On a typical day, that could include:

  • Gathering information and making decisions;
  • Working with consultants who are experts in particular areas, and adding their ideas to the plan;
  • Working alongside community and engagement teams to make sure the public understand the plans and can have their say.
  • Developing technical designs and standards, so that plans for different parts and areas of the railway all fit together.

To learn more about an Route Engineer does on a day-to-day basis, hear from Andrew Wood, one of HS2's Senior Route Engineers.

Is an HS2 Route Engineer career right for me?

Are you able solve problems in a logical way? Could you weigh up competing priorities to find the best possible solution? Can you communicate well with people and get your ideas across clearly? Do you want to be involved in a big project, making decisions that will make a big difference for years to come?

If that sounds like you, then a career in route engineering could be the answer.

How to become an HS2 Route Engineer

There are two typical routes to get into rail engineering: university or apprenticeship.

If you choose to go to university, you should look for BEng or MEng engineering courses that are accredited by a professional institution, such as the ICE or the IET. As you progress through university, you can begin to choose your specialism in rail engineering. After getting your degree, you’ll want to look for a graduate engineering job that will help you work towards chartered status. Chartership is an industry-recognised professional qualification and the final ‘stamp of approval’ that you are a competent engineer.

There are also some fantastic apprenticeship schemes available for rail engineering, which will enable you to learn on the job. One benefit of an apprenticeship is that you can begin to work your way up through different qualification levels whilst gaining experience through employment. You can also work towards achieving your professional qualifications as an Engineering Technician (EngTech).

If you’re still at school, working hard in the STEM subjects is a good place to start. These are the foundations for a career in engineering. You will want to prove to future universities and employers that you have the academic potential to achieve in the field of engineering.

Visit the following websites to learn more about engineering careers:

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