We’re sharing some of our favourite engineering moments this World Engineering Day …
… like when Trackside Tara found out how to lift 300 tonnes of concrete from directly above the railway!
Tara Scott, a route infrastructure engineer, is one of our most senior engineers. She’s a track specialist and she’s passionate about sharing her love of engineering and inspiring more young people to get involved with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Last August, Tara and her colleague, Engineer Liz, a programme engineering manager, visited our friends at the East West Rail Alliance to see one of Britain’s most exciting current railway projects up close:
What’s East West Rail?
East West Rail is a major project. It aims to deliver much-needed transport connections for communities between Oxford and Cambridge by:
- upgrading an existing section of railway between Oxford and Bicester
- bringing back a section of railway between Bicester and Bletchley
- refurbishing existing railway between Bletchley and Bedford
- building brand new railway infrastructure between Bedford and Cambridge.
One of the things that makes this project so signifiant is that it will enable you to travel by train from Oxford to Cambridge for the first time since the 1960s. A railway line known as the Varsity Line used to run between the famous university cities via Bletchley but it closed in the late 1960s amid the recommendations of the Beeching Report of 1963 to save money by shutting railway lines.
What happened in Bletchley last summer?
East West Rail Alliance dismantled parts of an existing rail bridge, which needed rebuilding. Replacing the 1960s Bletchley flyover in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, would enable the team to eventually start building the new East West Rail line. In Bletchley, this runs over another railway, the West Coast Main Line.
One night in August, the Alliance reached an especially exciting stage of the dismantling, when it removed the part of the bridge that sat directly over the tracks. It took one of the biggest cranes in the country!
Watch the video above to find out from Tara and Liz Conroy, a proud member of the Alliance.
A great time to be an engineer
Tara says now is a great time to get involved in engineering: “Not only the innovation in research and development… Not only do you get to create your ideas, you’ll probably be able to see them put into track. If you join engineering now, you’ll get to see that innovation.”
We have fantastic projects around Britain, which will make our railway better and more reliable for decades to come. They include:
- the East Coast Upgrade, which will allow more trains to run and deliver quicker journeys across the route
- the Transpennine Upgrade – a huge project to improve rail links between York and Manchester via Leeds and Huddersfield
- Bristol Rail Regeneration, which will mean new tracks, better stations, additional train services and more!
Entry level career opportunities
Our apprenticeships programme gives newcomers three career-advancing years that offer far more than an education. Find out about earning while you learn, qualifications and becoming part of the next generation of engineers.
Our standout graduate and placement schemes provide boundless opportunities.
We provide a strong support network of previous graduates, mentors and scheme managers to help to create an environment for you to thrive and grow.
Read everything you need to know about our graduate scheme, undergraduate placements and the application process here.