Student spends 6 months working with Network Rail Infrastructure Projects Track Environment team in the North West

‌‌‌‌‌Trains public domain

The Organisation

Network Rail is the authority responsible for the railway network in Great Britain. Within this the Infrastructure Projects Track Team work to provide the efficient delivery of renewals and enhancements of the infrastructure through professional control and management of track renewal projects.

The Challenge

Network Rail wanted an environmental graduate to join the Infrastructure Projects Track Environment Team to provide support to the operational railway, helping to develop and maintain the organisation’s environmental management arrangements in the North West of England.

Skills Sought

  • Environmental knowledge
  • A working knowledge of environmental legislation
  • Excellent IT skills
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills, with proven ability to present information effectively and appropriately
  • Excellent organisational skills and the ability to prioritise own workload effectively

The Solution

Ryan Walker, MSc Resource and Environmental Management was recruited through the Science and Technology Internship Programme for a six month internship with Network Rail, supporting the Infrastructure Projects Track Environment Team.


The six month placement was fully funded by Network Rail.


Ryan worked to measure performance against environmental legislation, standards and Network Rail sustainable development objectives, supporting staff with advice and guidance on environmental issues, monitoring suppliers’ implementation of environmental plans, strategies, standards, procedures and systems and providing input to the education and training of staff to ensure that they are fully aware of their responsibilities for the environment. This work imputed into the team’s wider work, which improved the environmental impact of Network Rail’s work.  

Benefits to the company

  • Made use of a Lancaster student’s expertise and knowledge
  • Provided staff training to ensure that they were fully aware of their responsibilities for the environment
  • Improved the companies environmental impact
  • Provided a more robust support

Company Feedback

“The internship placement scheme provided a fantastic opportunity to access high calibre graduates.  It enabled the provision of valuable local support to our project delivery teams in the North West and allowed our intern to gain insightful work experience and progress their career. Ryan became valued member of our team during his internship and went on to secure a permanent position within our wider organisation; this reflects well on Ryan himself and the quality of the internship programme for businesses looking to obtain talented staff.

"I can highly recommend the programme to both employers and students, it has certainly has proven to be mutually beneficial for both parties.” Lorraine Young, Programme Manager Sustainability, Network Rail.

Student Feedback

"Working within a vast organisation such as Network Rail has provided me with invaluable experience in understanding the expectations of environmental professionals, outside of the University environment. Throughout the internship, I had the fortune to work with a team of highly professional, experienced and dedicated individuals, that helped to fully support my learning and development throughout the entire duration of the internship.

"Network Rail on a whole are a fantastic company to work for and the range of opportunities available to graduates are immense. I would highly recommended Network Rail's graduate opportunities to any aspiring environmental graduate." Ryan Walker, MSc Resource and Environmental Management, Network Rail Intern.

Future Plans

­­Network Rail continues to work with the University in future projects and hosting interns.