Labourer (Railway)

Railway Labourer's prepare, lay and repair railway tracks and other transportation pathways. They also assist in constructing and repairing signs, signals and equipment to facilitate in the proper operation of railways and other tram services. They must perform physical labour and be outdoors for long periods of time installing or repairing tracks.

Duties and tasks

  • Apply grease or oil to wheels and tracks to help railways and trains or carts transport smoothly
  • Assist in emergency or problematic situations when trains derail
  • Construct and repair signs, signals and equipment for railways to facilitate in proper operation of railways
  • Install railway sleepers to tracks and place and join rails to them to help hold the rails upright, keep them gauged and properly working
  • Measure rails, cut, grind and remove damaged rail ends
  • Provide routine maintenance and replace or repair rails, sleepers, switch signals and controls that are worn out or damaged
  • Use a variety of tools and equipment to bolt and weld rail sections together

Skills required

  • Communication Skills
  • Organisation Skills
  • Physical Fitness
  • Strong Attention to Detail
  • Time Management

Working conditions

Railway Labourer's typically work varied schedules according to railway maintenance and scheduled lying of tracks. They may need to work late evening or early morning hours if maintenance is required in populated areas. They need to perform manual labour and should be able to withstand hot and sometimes uncomfortable working conditions.

Professional associations / Industry information

Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union (RTBU) 

Rail Careers 

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