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NOC Code: NOC Code: 7531b Occupation: Railway track maintenance workers
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Railway track maintenance workers operate machines and equipment to lay, maintain and repair railway tracks. They are employed by railway transport companies. Railway track maintenance workers operate machines and equipment to lay, maintain and repair railway tracks. They are employed by railway transport companies.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.

  • Read health and safety posters that are posted at the workplace or handed out. (1)
  • Read memos from supervisors concerning changes in procedures. (2)
  • Read specification sheets from the engineering department showing the required elevation of tracks on curves. (2)
  • Read bulletins outlining rules, regulations and procedures for track maintenance. (2)
  • Read manuals to locate information on track geometry and curve easements and on equipment inspection processes. (3)
  • Read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) regarding transporting hazardous goods. (3)
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  • Fill in coding sheets to designate the use of old and new rails and the location of work which has been completed. Numeric codes are provided in a schedule. (1)
  • Write notes to record information received from the rail traffic controller. (1)
  • Complete inspection and welding reports. (2)
  • Write draft procedures for maintenance operations. (2)
  • Write a daily log to record weather conditions and details of repairs and maintenance carried out. (2)
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Document Use
  • Complete a daily log and timesheet. (1)
  • Read computer printouts showing the actual and the required grade levels for various tracks. (1)
  • Fill in inspection forms and permits such as the Track Occupancy Permit (TOP) to register when crane trucks or other equipment will be on the tracks. (2)
  • Enter information in the rail replacement chart which includes information about the weight, length and mile number where replacement rails were laid. (2)
  • Read work orders. (2)
  • Read Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) labels. (2)
  • Refer to track locator maps to identify repair sites. (2)
  • Read code books which describe the types of flags which must be set up to provide various types of warnings to railway engineers. (2)
  • Read train timetables which show the arrival and departure times of all trains in the area. (2)
  • Read assembly drawings for tools and equipment and consult schematic drawings for electrical circuits. (3)
  • Refer to sketches of switch construction to plan a repair. (3)
  • Read load charts to calculate load capacities on a crane truck. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use computer-operated machinery. For example, program machines to lift and align the track to the required standards. (1)
  • Use specialized computer programs. For example, use a computer program to determine the required grade standard and the actual grade and elevation of a track on a curve. Then program the machine to lift and align the track to the required standards. (1)
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Oral Communication
  • Inform farmers with property along the track of the procedure to follow to have the fencing repaired by the railroad. (1)
  • Communicate with suppliers about purchasing requirements. (1)
  • Talk to children near the tracks and other members of the public about the importance of staying clear of the tracks. (1)
  • Listen to radio reports from yard traffic control personnel to note movement of trains in the area. (1)
  • Call co-workers on the radio to advise that a train is approaching on the other track. (1)
  • Discuss safety procedures with co-workers. (2)
  • Communicate with supervisors and co-workers to discuss how repair and maintenance operations are to be carried out. (2)
  • Interact with contract operators of track laying machines or other machine operators to co-ordinate activities. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Record the number of rails used in a shift and the number rejected. (1)
  • Measure rails in order to cut them into appropriate lengths. (1)
  • Calculate the weight of loads of rails to be lifted by a crane truck and calculate the number of spikes required to secure ties over a certain distance. (2)
  • Take precise measures using a measurement gauge to show in millimetres how much of the rail surface is worn. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the number of planks which should be carried to a site to repair a road crossing. (1)
  • Estimate the time required to replace ties to schedule train delays for the time needed to complete the job. (2)
  • Estimate the weight of a load, staying well within the safe capacity of the crane truck. The effect of rust and water logging of ties must be taken into account. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Railway track maintenance workers plan their work by blocking a period of time in which rail traffic will be halted or rerouted while they carry out their tasks on the tracks. In order to minimize disruption to rail traffic, they need to clearly identify the tasks which will be performed and the time frames necessary to carry them out. They integrate their work plan with co-workers who are part of the work crew to make sure that all aspects of the job are completed within the time allotted. Since railway track maintenance workers may cover an extended area, they plan their workday carefully, making sure that they bring all necessary supplies and tools to the work site and that necessary machinery is at close range. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide whether to lift materials manually or to use rail-lifting machines. Take into account the strength of the work crew and the location of the machinery when making this decision. (1)
  • Decide whether to close down a defective machine immediately or whether to use it at reduced capacity for the rest of the shift. Balance the urgency of completing the job quickly with the likelihood of damaging the machine when making this decision. (2)
  • Decide how long it will be necessary to stop train traffic for the carrying out of a repair. (2)
  • Decide which tools to take for specific jobs. (2)
  • Judge whether a section of rail or a switch is faulty and needs adjustment. Follow routine procedures and specifications and judge with a well-trained, experienced eye. A wrong decision could cause serious damage or injury. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Supplies kept in the main depot are insufficient for upcoming repair requirements. Notify the yard master that supplies are running dangerously low. (1)
  • Winter repairs have been requested; however, the rails are frozen into the ground. Use picks or small heaters to budge frozen rails out of position. (1)
  • A repair has been requested; however, all the necessary equipment is not available at the worksite. Rail traffic may need to be halted or temporary repairs may be carried out until returning to the site with the required materials. (2)
  • Difficulties have occurred when adjusting switches. If one piece is too long, it will create the need for adjustments further along the track. Use trial and error and past experience to adjust switches carefully so that the likelihood of track damage or derailment is minimized. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Consult supervisors to clarify rules pertaining to a specific region. (1)
  • Consult an engineer to determine whether to install a culvert. (1)
  • Refer to manuals and rule books to find weights of materials or to review flag set ups. (2)
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