*One candidate, one application*

We can only accept one scheme application per candidate. Applying for more than one scheme could mean that you won't be considered for your preferred choice.

Scheme overview

Crossrail is one of the most significant infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK. The new mainline railway will be a high frequency, high-capacity service linking 40 stations between Reading and Heathrow in the west, and Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via 21 km of new, twin-bore tunnels under central London and Docklands. It will bring an additional 1.5 million people within 45 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts.

Scheme length
Two years

Entry requirements
Three A*-C grade GCSEs or certified equivalent, including maths and English language. You must be 17 years of age by 1 September 2016.

Salaries will differ according to the scheme. However, all our schemes offer a competitive package with the minimum London living wage.

This scheme is now closed.

Joining us

Initially, there is a three-day induction based in London, which explains everything there is to know about us, the role and where you fit in. Following that, you'll begin an intensive development programme, designed to give your career a real kickstart.

The programme is a mix of classroom, practical and on-the-job training. You'll learn the core skills needed to work safely on Crossrail as well as gaining the skills and knowledge required to become a qualified rail engineering operative.

This apprenticeship provides a basic foundation in many aspects of railway engineering which means you can go on to specialise in one of the following technical areas:

This involves understanding:

  • Track geometry (including track gauge, alignment, elevation, curvature and track surface)
  • The impact of train wheels
  • The requirements, methods and techniques for the installation and maintenance of the track (rail, fastenings, sleepers) and the load-bearing capacity of the track foundation
  • The impact of the railway environment eg tunnels, embankments, vegetation and drainage
  • The inspection and analysis of the condition of tracks, and conductor rail systems
  • How to diagnose and correct faults and to use track specific equipment

This involves understanding:

  • Working to high and low voltage power rules
  • How to isolate and earth AC/DC electrical systems at different voltages and frequencies, as well as reinstating power supplies by local and manual switching
  • How to work on live battery and inverter systems as well as understanding, managing and maintaining:
    • harmonic and power quality systems
    • transformer rectifiers
    • motor generators and transformers
    • DC traction breakers, protection and SCADA control systems
    • other substation plants
  • Compressed air systems and power generation

Overhead lines

This involves understanding:

  • Excavation, ground works, different 'piling' methods and foundations
  • Construction design and bonding layouts
  • Electrical clearance, insulation installation wiring and risks around radial load and correct methodology
  • Different types of overhead line structures, pre-fabrication and installation of main structure and small part steelwork
  • How to run wiring systems, including sectioning, insulation, registration and in-span components plus the installation, enhancement and renewal of earthing and bonding
  • How to use lifting and access equipment while working at heights


This involves understanding:

  • The application of safety integrity and fundamental signalling principles as applied to train control systems
  • The types of signal control and the signalling symbols used in
    signalling design drawings
  • How to apply: installation and maintenance techniques and processes, including wiring, cable access requirements and terminations, adjustment of signalling assets, locate and replace components and methods for signal component handling working on isolated and live signalling equipment
  • Integrity checks and how to carry out component and equipment testing
  • How to write test plans in accordance with specifications


This involves understanding:

  • Telecoms principles and operating procedures for railway communication and information systems, including optical networks, passenger alarm, customer information, CCTV and wireless networks
    • Installation, maintenance repair and testing of telecoms and transmission systems equipment and components, including fibre optics and copper materials
    • The types of operational constraints when carrying out telecoms installation and maintenance

    Rail systems

    This is a specialism in its own right. It needs knowledge and skills from across the rail engineering disciplines above to provide technical support and direction across a number of areas, including traffic management systems, new train control systems, wheel/rail interface, remote condition monitoring and the requirements of a digital railway.

    As an apprentice in this area, you'll help to develop and install the latest traffic control technology which ensures that London's road network is running smoothly. You'll also develop valuable skills, gaining a broad range of industry experience and taking the first step on a career path in engineering the future of London's roads

    The 2016 intake of apprentices will become the first apprentice maintenance operatives Crossrail and may work on site or in a depot or in a technical office. Work could involve:

    • Construction, installation, renewal, enhancement and modification of the railway
    • Fault-finding and diagnosis to prevent or address equipment failure
    • Maintenance and replacement of systems and components
    • Functional and operational testing, and inspection of the railway using specialist equipment
    • Ensuring assets are installed, replaced or maintained to specification and maintaining required records

    Who we need

    This is an exciting development programme for talented, enthusiastic individuals who want to be involved in both the project management and technical delivery of mechanical and electrical engineering projects. We're looking for people who:

    • Are highly motivated
    • Have a keen interest
    • Demonstrate an aptitude for engineering
    • Like to get involved
    • Show a real passion and practical interest in engineering

    What you get out of it

    This is a level 2 apprenticeship that will be full time over two years. On completion, you'll have satisfied the requirements for registration as a rail engineering operative by the relevant professional engineering institution. Also, we'll provide opportunities to continue training to be a rail engineering technician (Level 3).

    When you become one of our apprentices you'll also receive:
    • At least 29 days annual leave, plus standard public holidays
    • Free travel on our networks (Zones 1-9) with an Oyster card for you and one member of your household
    • A 75% reimbursement on the price of an annual travel ticket outside of our network - plus an interest-free, 10-month loan to pay for it
    • Pension scheme membership
    • Optional private medical benefit
    • A range of staff retail and leisure discounts
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