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Principal Engineer – Electrification & Power


Birmingham, West Midlands, B2 5RS : Bristol, South West, BS1 6EH : Glasgow, Scotland, G2 1HG : Manchester, North West, M1 2WD : City of Westminster, London, WC2B 4AN : York, Yorkshire and the Humber, YO1 7PX


About the job

Job description

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is the independent safety and economic regulator for Britain's railways and the independent monitor of Highways England. We are here to ensure the network operates safely, reliably and provides the performance efficiently that provides value for taxpayers and customers.

About the role

This role sits within the Directorate of Railway Planning and Performance, reporting to the Head of Train Control Systems.

The Engineering and Asset Management team is a key centre of expertise within the ORR for technical/engineering and is comprised of 20 people.

The main purpose of the role is to provide expert Electrical Power engineering input to support all of ORR’s functions as a combined economic and safety regulator. In addition, the role provides asset management expertise and advice to other engineering disciplines.

More specifically Electrical Power engineering encompasses; Power Distribution, Contact Systems, Signalling Power systems, Fixed Plant and other power related lineside assets.

The key elements of this role are:

• Holding Network Rail to account for the delivery of existing and future delivery plans and evaluating the effect of changes to those plans

• Monitoring infrastructure condition and challenging Network Rail on any failure to meet regulatory outputs. This will include regular liaison meetings with Network Rail’s Professional Heads and other senior staff both at corporate and route level

• Evaluating and challenging, where appropriate, Network Rail’s Asset Management Policies and the effectiveness of their application to the network in respect of Electrical Power engineering and asset management. This will include meeting with Network Rail, undertaking analysis, site visits and producing reports

• Monitoring activity levels for maintenance and renewal expenditure and volume delivery

• Lead the assessment of projects making an application for authorisation under the Railway (Interoperability) Regulations involving the Energy Sub-systems

• Providing specialist technical input to the Railway Safety Directorate activities including joint site inspections, investigations and enquiries. This could potentially include taking the formal role of Expert Witness

• Providing specialist technical input to Rail Markets and Economic Directorate activities including access charges and efficiency considerations.

Additional responsibilities include:

• Providing the Engineering lead at Network Rail Route Reviews

• Reviewing RAIB findings and recommendations, ensuring duty holders take effective action to achieve timely closure of recommendations

• Represent the ORR at national and European standard forums and working groups

• Supporting the technical monitoring and periodic review processes of other railway undertakings under ORR’s remit

• Providing technical expert input to answering public and ministerial enquiries about the railway infrastructure and Freedom of Information Act requests

• Making site visits to the operational railway and for benchmarking purposes also make occasional visits to other railway systems

• Sharing relevant engineering knowledge with colleagues across ORR to support training and development activities.

Whilst this post is intended for a railway Electrical Power engineering expert there could be an advantage in having at least a working knowledge of other railway assets, including Fixed Plant.

This description of the job is to provide you with guidelines within which you would work and may be subject to review. Other duties appropriate to the grade may be assigned from time to time.

The successful candidate will be a good team player with experience of dealing with colleagues with different skills and different professional backgrounds.

Person Specification

• Sound management skills as well as excellent technical abilities and the ability to work independently within key parameters

• That you are an experienced engineer with significant practical experience of infrastructure engineering, preferably within a railway environment

• An extensive knowledge of Power Distribution, Contact Systems and Signalling Power systems and Fixed Plant, and be expert in at least two of these asset groups, with knowledge of inspection, monitoring, assessment, maintenance and renewals

• That you have a working knowledge of cost estimating, project management & sponsorship, contracts and procurement

• Confidence and capable of representing ORR, of providing authoritative advice to senior managers within the rail industry, and able to explain complex technical matters to non-technical colleagues at all levels (both within ORR and externally)

• A working knowledge of Interoperability and associated standards/compliance framework

• A proven track record in Asset Management and working knowledge of Asset Systems

• A good knowledge of UK railway systems is essential

Please see attached Candidate Information Pack for more details about the role.