Job Overview


The Federal Railroad Administration’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) promulgates and enforces rail safety regulations; consolidates government support of rail transportation activities; administers financial assistance programs; conducts research and development in support of improved railroad safety and efficiency, and national transportation policy, including improved intercity passenger service. 

FRA is committed to fostering a diverse, highly skilled workforce capable of meeting or exceeding our strategic goals with efficiency, innovation, and a constant focus on better serving our customers.
Do you like identifying problems, analyzing facts, and making recommendations; are you a good communicator; would you like to make a difference in the railroad industry, if so, then this job is for you!
The FRA is the agency that administers and enforces Federal rules (CFR) and regulations promulgated under a number of laws and regulations directed toward railroad safety. These include numerous other laws and regulations concerning railroad safety. The primary purposes of this position are to provide expert professional engineering consultation and advice on safety matters pertaining to motive power and equipment to FRA staff and a wide variety of individuals outside the FRA and to provide continuous oversight of regional enforcement and CFR compliance nationwide working directly with region inspectors.The ideal candidate for this position is a senior level Mechanical Engineer with experience in the design, inspection, testing and maintenance, and/or repair/modification of railroad locomotives and rolling stock.  Railroad experience is desirable.  This candidate should have experience with Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations and how these safety rules apply to locomotives and (freight and/or passenger) rolling stock.  Experience with developing/applying railroad industry specifications, standards, or recommended practices is also highly desirable.TELEWORK: This position is telework eligible and the selectee may be eligible for full-time, regular (at least 1 day per pay period, ad hoc (on a supervisor approved intermittent basis) or emergency telework in accordance with FRA’s Telework Policy (FRA Order 3600.3b) and implementation plans. PLEASE NOTE: THIS ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL NOVEMBER 27, 2013.


The Mechanical Engineer:

  • Develops and monitors engineering and safety programs to ensure uniform enforcement of the rules, standards and procedural instructions that apply to railroad equipment (locomotives, passenger and freight cars) and which fall within the purview of the FRA’s mission.
  • Provides safety oversight nationwide for in-field testing of new equipment, conducting of safety audits and performing safety assessments of new equipment.
  • Reviews and approves railroad test plans, rides test trains, observes test conditions, analyzes test data and performs other related safety evaluations.
  • Conducts analyses of FRA field inspection and accident investigations, disseminates findings to appropriate parties and provides guidance for and monitoring of safety plans.
  • Performs engineering computations and analyses to ensure CFR compliance in such areas as crashworthiness, safety appliance strengths, etc.
  • Provides comprehensive analysis of waivers from federal regulations involving new technology and equipment for major systems and subsystems.