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Head of Rolling Stock engineering: Opportunity Brief

Ford & Stanley Executive Search (Part of the Ford & Stanley Group) are specialists in Executive Interim and Permanent appointments to the UK & North American Rail, General Manufacturing, Envirotech & Digital Industries.

We have been exclusively entrusted and appointed by Gemini Rail Services on a retained search for a Head of Rolling Stock Engineering.

Below you will find an ‘opportunity brief’ developed from notes taken during the scoping meeting (Situational Discovery) held between the F&S Search Director, Research Manager and The Gemini Rail Services Leadership Team. This brief is designed to give candidates deeper insight into the opportunity inherent within the role, the challenges the role presents and provide access to the detail that sits behind the job specification.

Client Opportunity Statement:

“We can control our own destiny in looking at exciting engineering opportunity. There is no fixed workstream, the work is varied and complex. Innovation is an everyday thought.  How can we explore other markets such as the GemEco brand projects, turnkey decarbonisation solutions.  These include 3D automated scanning, design of battery installation to current, ever evolving battery chemistries, hydrogen power, start/stop fuel savings to name a few”

3 Main Challenges the role presents:

  1. Engineering Change Control to the current plethora of UK Rail standards.  Avoidance of safety escapes, NIR issues and costly reworking of manufacturing errors.  This includes the running of and control of our PLM system Teamcenter.  Ensuring every part no., BoM, drawing, data sheet, Work Instruction, RAMS, FEA report and 3D CAD models etc are linked and have full engineering change control.  Teamcenter is coupled to our MRP SAP, and every business department is effectively governed in some way by the engineering controlled master data within Teamcenter.
  2. Meeting budgeted outputs of safely overhauled trains.  The Head of Rolling Stock is the conscience in ensuring trains that we have modified are fit for purpose on UK mainlines.
  3. Assessing the continuous professional development and improvement of all Rolling Stock Engineers from apprentices through to Chartered Engineers.  Assessing if the existing team is fit for current work and future innovation engineering works.

About Gemini Rail Services

Wolverton Works

  • Site covering more than 650,000ft2
  • 84 internal vehicle positions with added external stabling capacity
  • Site comprises of assembly areas, lifting shop, incident repair, paint prep and paint booths
  • Highly skilled and experienced team to complete all manner of works, including vehicle building, welding, mechanical engineering and testing
  • Easy access for all rolling stock via West Coast Mainline


  • Decarbonisation of Fleets / Alternative Propulsion
  • Rolling Stock Maintenance & Overhaul
  • Rolling Stock Incident Repair
  • Rolling Stock Managed Installations
  • Rolling Stock Modernisation
  • Components & Spares
  • Design & Engineering

Our Vision

Delivering innovative solutions to enable better journeys.

Our Mission

Building on our experience to become the preferred provider of innovative rolling stock upgrades for the UK rail market.

Our People

We are proud to bring together a unique team that has a wealth of experience in rail and other diverse industries. This team are dedicated to growing and diversifying Gemini Rail Services through flexibility, partnership, collaboration with a forward-thinking can-do approach. Our team currently brings together more than 300 people across the UK, from Engineering, Project Management, Technical and business support functions, and we believe that everyone in that team has a vital role in our future.

Our History

We bring together many years experience in a Rail Market that is evolving at an ever increasing pace. This earned trust makes us the partner of choice to provide innovative and competitive life cycle solutions to our customers throughout the Rail industry, and makes us a vital part of their success.

Our Approach

Safety and quality are essential requirements for every project Gemini Rail Services undertake. Our facilities and processes meet the most exacting safety standards and deliver assured quality in everything we do. We have a strong ethos and are committed to doing business in an ethical and collaborative way – both internally with staff and suppliers, and externally with customers and the community.

The Future

Gemini Rail Services is at the forefront of developing products and solutions that will have a positive impact and enable a more sustainable railway. GemEco is leading the way to develop new and hybrid technologies on existing rolling stock, and will put Gemini on the map as the leading company for existing rail vehicle hybrid conversions.


As well as running and providing vigilance to your own project responsibilities you will have a key role in the development of younger engineers and be expected to deliver improvements supporting site production influencing material procurement and production activities. With a background in rail vehicles and engineering change processes this would be an ideal position for a candidate who wants to make a difference and move to a leadership role.

  • Reports operationally to the Chief Engineer
  • Leads correct business wide PLM Teamcenter usage.
  • Responsible for all Project Engineering activities.
  • Responsible for all BoM related activities.
  • Interfaces with Project Manager and assists in generation, production and update of project engineering plans.
  • Influences the material and project engineers.
  • Acts as an interface with production engineering, production and site on technical issues.
  • Manages engineering documentation in line with local procedures and PLM Teamcenter – including archiving.
  • Has responsibility for engineering plans to ensure work is on time and to cost.
  • Ensures engineering follow project processes and procedures.
  • Ensures all engineering output meets the technical and safety requirements of the customer and all relevant standards.
  • Interfaces with Design Authority and assists in resolution of technical issues.
  • Resolves project resource issues.
  • Production of engineering work packages and costs for technical tenders.
  • Contributes to local improvement activities.
  • Liaise with customer’s technical representative to obtain necessary technical documentation, including Pads checks.
  • Plans and maintains current and future workload requirements for engineering and design resource.
  • Develops training, development and succession plans to support the short, medium and long-term requirements of the Engineering functions.
  • To provide regular reports to the CEO on Engineering activities against agreed targets.
  • Deputy for overall responsibility for all engineering activities within the business.

Candidate Essentials:

  • Excellent leadership and management experience with a strong personality. Have proven examples of implementing change both operational and culturally. Ability to empower and lead a team on the journey from good to great.
  • An engaging, clear and concise communicator at all levels who ‘gets things done’ and with ability to find solutions to problems.
  • Qualified – highly likely to be degree educated in some form of engineering discipline. Ideally mechanical but open to Electrical.
  • Good sense of humour
  • Ability to become, in process of or already secured chartered engineer status.
  • Proven background in continuous improvement.
  • As this is a leadership role it is expected to have a site presence at least 3 days per week. Ideally 4. With that in mind it is likely the successful candidate will live within 1.5 hour commutable distance from Wolverton, Milton Keynes.
  • History of managing rail vehicle engineering tasks to budget and time constraints.
  • Refurbishment of rail vehicles and components.
  • Knowledge and understanding of railway standards and approvals.
  • Use and application of PC based project planning tools e.g. Microsoft Project etc.
  • Ability to be client facing
  • Membership of professional body would be ideal.

Good to know:

  • The role reports to the Chief Engineer
  • 6 Direct reports, BoM, Document Control and Project Engineering.  Potential of inheriting the design team of 2 also.
  • The role has become vacant due to the current incumbent deciding to retire.
  • There is a new CEO in place appointed in 2023 that has bought a fresh energy, swifter decision making and budget to invest.
  • There is a lot happening at any one time, circumstances can change quickly sometimes hourly and one of the challenges in this role is the ability to spin several plates at once.
  • There will be a 2 stage interview process, remote 1st stage with the Chief Engineer, Head of Rolling Stock Engineering and HR (4 candidates) and face-to-face for the final stage (2 candidates) which will include a site tour, presentation and formal interview. Interview dates are already pre-booked for Mid/late April and the Start of May respectively.
  • We have an organisational chart and role profile available for candidates to review upon request.
  • This role averages 40 hours per week 8am-4pm Monday to Thursday and a nice early finish of 8-1pm on Fridays.


  • Base Salary Banding: Low of £75k, Mid of £80k and top end of £85k
  • Annual Salary Reviews
  • Car Allowance of £6k
  • Bonus up to 20%
  • Private Healthcare option
  • 25 days Holiday + 8 Statutory
  • 5% Pension matched contributions
  • Life Assurance

Likely Job Titles:

Engineering Manager, Head of Engineering, Fleet Manager, Head of Fleet, Technical Director, Rolling Stock Lead Engineer

Executive Search Delivery Team:

  • Lavina Munteanu – Executive Assistant (Coordination & Diary Management)
  • Oliver Nunn – Research Manager (1st Line Enquiries, Proactive Search, Longlisting, Market Intel, Advert Response Management, Headhunting)
  • Daniel Taylor – Search Director (Shortlisting, Recommendations, Client Advisory)

About Ford & Stanley Executive Search:

At Ford & Stanley Executive Search we go beyond a recruiting transaction with our core mission being that of every interaction we have with clients and candidates is best in class. We are select in the opportunities we represent, as such, work under strict exclusivity or retained agreements with forward thinking and proactive Rail companies that place their trust in our ability to deliver a winning shortlist at the first time of asking.

Our Search Directors (who are themselves members of the F&S Group Board) and in-house research team invest time at the front end of process with our client’s leadership team or stakeholders to consult, understand the opportunity inherent within the role, business need, map and agree timescales with supporting delivery plan well in advance of conducting the search.

All candidates both active and passive (head-hunted) can expect full and professional engagement from the Executive Search team in addition a timely, thorough and engaging recruitment process from a committed employer that seeks to secure ‘cream of the crop’ from a busy and noisy Global Rail candidate market.

Ford & Stanley Group Ltd is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all opportunity seekers and approach all opportunity with a mindset of who is right for the job irrespective sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, age, disability, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief or political beliefs and we place an obligation upon all staff to respect and act in accordance with the policy. We shall adhere to such a policy at all times and will review on an on-going basis all aspects of recruitment to avoid unlawful or undesirable discrimination


    • Job type: Permanent
    • Location: Milton Keynes
    • Date posted:
    • Salary:£75000 - £85000