Signalling is a crucial part of the railway infrastructure enabling trains to move safely around the network.
Entry level signaller
Our entry level signaller roles are your start into a rewarding career at Network Rail. You’ll play an integral part in the safe movement of trains across our network; connecting people, businesses and communities. We’ll provide you with all the training you need to keep our passengers moving.
What will you do?
Your decisions make all the difference. As a signaller, you’ll take great care to make sure trains travel safely and efficiently along your part of the network.
After your initial training, you’ll typically start working within a signal box. The network runs day and night and so you’ll be comfortable working on a shift pattern basis to keep our passengers moving.
Whilst you’ll be part of a signal box team, you’ll also be comfortable with working on your own for long periods of time.
And when things do go wrong, you’ll use your training, problem solving skills and quick thinking to get our passengers moving safely onwards to their destination.
Our signaller community takes great pride in putting our passengers first.
It’s not a job for everyone but if you make the grade then you can look forward to a rewarding and fulfilling career.
Register your interest
Take a look inside Maidstone West signal box
Watch the video below to see inside the Grade II listed box, with an extraordinary history.
Is this for you?
We recruit signallers from a variety of different backgrounds and industries, with the focus more on your personal qualities and behaviours. Whilst no formal experience is required, any work you’ve done which has required concentration, is safety critical and involves communicating with others would stand you in good stead. Candidates with more specific skills and experience may also be considered for higher level grades.
Great for those with skills in:
- Communication – A variety of clear communication skills are essential in the signalling role. You will be required to deliver safety critical communications with colleagues and stakeholders to ensure processes and safety standards are adhered to at all times.
- Ability to learn – Due to its safety critical nature, there is a lot to learn to become a competent Signaller.
- Ability to work alone – Every signaller requires the ability to operate efficiently and make safety critical decisions confidently on an individual basis.
- Ability to work as part of a team – Despite being able to work confidently alone, it is important you are a team player.
- Attention to detail – The signaller role requires consistent high levels of attention but varying levels of concentration.
- Multi-Tasking –You will be expected to deal with phone calls, signal trains, block lines for maintenance work and complete administration tasks.
- Working Under Pressure – Due to the intense and challenging events that can occur on the railway, it is crucial you are able to remain calm whilst working under pressure.
- Decision Making – By its nature, the Signaller roles requires you to make safety critical decisions throughout the course of your shift.
Why join Network Rail?
A range of pension schemes
28 days annual leave entitlement
My benefits – Our discounted online shopping site
Subsidies of up to 75% on rail and underground season tickets
A range of discounted offers and other benefits
2 weeks paid reserve leave for our Armed Forces community
Your recruitment journey
- Application – completed on our career's portal, you'll need an up to date CV
- Application questions – completed online, you'll need 10 minutes in a safe, quiet location where you’re comfortable to answer questions about your interest and understanding of the Signaller role
- Virtual assessment – you'll take part in in an online assessment which will include a Video interview to talk through your skills and experiences in more detail.
- Offer – you'll receive a call from our Careers Team to discuss further details including salary, benefits and your medical declaration
- Pre-employment checks – you'll need to provide some documents to prove your identity and right to work in the UK
- Induction – you'll receive more information about your Signaller training
Your well-being and the health and safety of our workforce is our top priority; we are following guidance from Public Health England and are taking extra precautions to reduce risk. This means all interviews & assessments will be held virtually.
We recommend that you save a copy on a word document as you write the answers in case of any technology issues such a loss in wifi connection. If the system times out please message us through our chat service for support, we're on hand to help!
We’re proactive in providing training opportunities to our signallers and there are lots of opportunity to progress from within, no two signalling careers are the same.
Whichever route you take, you will be provided with Signaller training which involves a 12-week residential signaller course followed by on the job training and familiarisation in the signal box where you’ll be working. Both the training and signal box familiarisation require dedication and focus but will grow your understanding in the essential technical and non-technical skills, railway rules and regulations, health & safety and operation of signal box equipment.
If you'd like to progress through signalling grades in your career, formal training will be more focused on learning any new technology and familiarisation with the workings of the new box or panel i.e. local geography, traffic flows and patterns.
All offers of employment are conditional upon satisfactory completion of Government Baseline Security Standards (BPSS) which include:
- A right to work and identity check
- Pre-employment verification for the last three years.
- A basic criminal record check for any unspent convictions
- National Security Vetting (if relevant to the role)
This will include a counter terrorist check in accordance with the Home Office (regulated for the transport sector).
- Medical assessment
- Visa application (We sponsor under Tier 2 of the UK Immigration points-based system (PBS). If you require a visa to work in the UK or would like further information on the PBS visit the UK Border Agency website. We do not provide financial support for visa applications.)
- Drugs & Alcohol test (pre-appointment) for safety-critical roles and sentinel card holders
Assessment centre tips
What is signalling?
Signalling is essentially a sophisticated traffic light system for the railway.
The complexities of moving trains around such a large network, keeping them safely apart, and allowing for their long stopping distances, means the signalling system is very complicated and comprises a great many parts.
The signals themselves are the lineside pieces of equipment that tell train drivers when it is safe to proceed and what route their train will take.
Watch the video to find out what signals do and how they play their part in the running of the railway.