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Mechanical Engineering Graduate scheme

Creating smarter solutions matters 

If the opportunity to explore unique engineering challenges matters to you. You matter to us. 

Male mechanical engineering graduate in hard hat and orange jacket gazes off camera.

Our Mechanical Engineering Graduate Scheme offers world-class training and access to some of the biggest engineering projects in Britain. It’s also aligned to UK-SPEC objectives and accredited by the IMechE. Through rotational placements you’ll gain a real insight into how Network Rail works. You’ll learn from industry experts, share your experiences with other graduates, and develop sought-after skills that will set you up for life.  


  • Your starting salary is  £26,500 (including regional allowances where relevant) plus a £2,000 welcome bonus.
  • The scheme lasts for two years with a further two years monitored support.
  • There are opportunities available in: Basingstoke, Glasgow, Cardiff, Doncaster, Gateshead, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, and York.

Who you are matters

We look for logical thinkers. People who can find creative solutions to challenging problems. Resourceful and hardworking, you’ll be good at managing your time and be able to motivate yourself to get the job done. You’ll be a skilled communicator too. Happy engaging with people at all levels and building relationships with colleagues, suppliers, and customers alike. You’ll also need a degree of flexibility and not mind occasionally travelling to attend training opportunities at various locations.

What you’ll be doing

Rotating through four placements you’ll gain a broad perspective of the railway and learn all about the processes, products and systems that make it function. You’ll get to grips with a variety of unique and exciting mechanical engineering challenges. And you’ll be able to develop your skills in a range of specialisms – from power distribution, plant, traction and rolling stock to asset management and infrastructure engineering.

You’ll even have the chance to get involved with major projects. Things like rejuvenating and servicing current infrastructure, or delivering ambitious improvements to track equipment, signalling and overhead lines. Work that matters to our passengers’ comfort and safety.

When you apply for our mechanical engineering scheme, you also have the chance to be considered for our fleet programme. This runs separately to our mechanical scheme and has its own set of rotational placements. It’s come about due to the large-scale engineering upgrades across our network and the variety of different vehicles that are needed to support its delivery. So, the Fleet programme offers you the opportunity to manage engineering assurance activities and keep them safe and reliable across our network.

You could be responsible for carrying out engineering change processes and supporting the development of railway vehicle modifications. There’s also the chance to take on an external placement with our Train Operating Companies and gain an insight and understanding of the delivery of passenger trains. So, you’ve lots to choose from and lots to explore.

What you’ll get out of it

The scheme is focused on giving you a solid platform of knowledge to build on.

In your first four weeks with us, we’ll help you to register with either the IET, IMechE or ICE. We’ll refund you the cost of this too. Then each placement and training opportunity that follows will be structured towards you becoming either a qualified Chartered Engineer (CENG) or Incorporated (IENG).

You’ll rotate through four modules of technical training. The first is a systems approach with an overview of engineering disciplines at Network Rail. The rest relate to the specific disciplines you select. You’ll take some leadership modules too. These will help develop your softer skills and support you to become one of our future leaders. And, you’ll have four workplace experiential learning placements.

Each year you’ll need to submit your quarterly and annual reports to the IET, IMechE and ICE Institutions. Do this successfully and you’ll qualify in IENG in 3 to 4 years and CENG IN 5 to 6 years.

Your benefits matter

Welcome bonus icon

A £2,000 welcome bonus

Annual leave icon

28 days annual leave plus bank holidays

Volunteer days icon

5 volunteer days to contribute to your favourite causes

Employee assistance icon

Access to our employee assistance program

Discount on the rail icon

Up to 75% discount on rail and underground season tickets

Discounted online shopping icon

Discounted online shopping

Healthcare membership icon

Healthcare club membership discount

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Childcare vouchers

Pension schemes icon

Access to a range of pension and insurance schemes

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Two weeks paid reserve leave for members of our Armed Forces community

The opportunities it leads to

Previous graduates have gone on to achieve internal promotion and become assistant project engineers, assistant design engineers, assistant asset engineers or rail fleet support engineers. There are also plenty of opportunities for promotion to senior management positions across the organisation.

The entry requirements

You’ll need at least a 2:2 in an Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) accredited degree to apply to join our Mechanical Engineering Graduate Scheme.

We matter to millions. You could too. 

Applications are now closed

Due to the high interest in this programme, we have received enough applications for this intake . We will be accepting applications for our 2023 schemes in October 2022. To be the first to find out please register your interest below.

Discover a different scheme

If the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Scheme isn’t quite what you’re looking for, why not take a look at some of the other graduate schemes we have. You’ll find them here.

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