Alex Harper-Bourne

Alex Harper-Bourne

Rail Engineering Technician

Alex's job title is Locomotive Fitter at North Norfolk Railway

What I do

I maintain and restore preservation steam and diesel engines that are over 100 years old. This can include conducting day-to-day maintenance so we can run a rail service or restoring engines that have been left derelict since their working days. 

Train repair shed

Hear more about Alex's role by watching the video below...

How I became a technician

A typical day in my
working life

As I’m a Duty Fitter, I get in at around 6:00 am to ensure that the engines are running efficiently and fix any issues that arise. The engines must leave on time to take their first service. Once those trains have left, I move on to my in-shed tasks. These can range from maintenance to heavy repairs and restoration jobs. Usually, we have a restoration job in the background, and when we’re not busy with maintenance, we jump back on to that project. 

A little more about
my everyday role

What I love most about my job

I get a lot of satisfaction out of it. Especially the big projects, when we strip an engine down from start to finish and rebuild it - it’s very satisfying. We are bringing engines back to life, and to see that transformation is great!

The best bits about working in a team

We’re a close bunch, and we all get on and have a good laugh together. I have colleagues who previously worked on mainline trains, so they bring a lot of knowledge, and I can call on them for advice.

The most exciting thing I’ve achieved so far in my job

I have gained the skills needed to be a diesel driver and now get to drive diesel engines. I am on my way to becoming a steam driver too. It was also a proud moment to see a diesel engine that I had helped restore running and pulling a train.

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