#myjob : civil engineer
Running 1,000 or more trains every day to get our passengers where they want to go doesn’t happen by accident. Many of the people responsible for this feat work behind the scenes at CFL. Engineers make up one of the largest groups in our workforce. They analyse, plan, organise and oversee a range of large infrastructure projects to maintain, modernise or extend the national rail network. Lucien is one of them. Trained initially as a civil engineering technician, Lucien left his position in an engineering firm to embark on a career with CFL. 17 years later, he is one of the many engineers working daily to advance the country’s development.
Why did you decide to become an engineer?
Construction always fascinated me. My father worked in the field, so I suppose you could say I was born into it in a way. I was infatuated with all things technical from a very young age and always wanted to know why and how things worked. I was a whiz at Lego and loved building. Not much has changed since then, except the scale of the projects of course!
Not many people have a clear idea of what engineers do. How would you describe your typical day?
To tell the truth, there are no typical days in my job. Every day brings a new challenge – which is why I love what I do. I am responsible for all aspects of my projects. I oversee them from the planning stage all the way through to invoicing. That said, I’m definitely not office-bound all day. I also spend a lot of my time on site. Contact with people is another critical component of my job. Generally speaking, the projects I work on involve many different contributors, from engineering firms and local authorities to the owners of land adjacent to the site and construction firms. Coordinating all these stakeholders is another aspect of my role.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
For the past few years, I’ve been working on the refurbishment and upgrade of Line 10, the North Line project. We are replacing some sections of this line that have reached the end of their useful life, after more than 30 years of loyal service. My role is to monitor the complete overhaul of one section of the line around Lorentzweiler station. Everything had to be replaced or upgraded, including the rails, sleepers, entire points, drainage system and lineside paths, which are all essential for the security and comfort of our passengers.
At the same time, I’m involved with the Luxembourg station extension works. This project will see the construction of two new platforms in the Central Station, platforms 5 and 6. On completion of the engineering works, CFL will have four additional tracks at this nodal hub. My role in the project focuses on tracks and civil engineering. The engineering challenges entail a large number of factors, including upgrading the existing platforms, preparing the subgrade, laying the rails, sleepers and points and connecting them to the existing network. Of course, the track diagram will also have to be revised to reflect all these changes. Like all infrastructure undertakings, the different engineers and other members of the Luxembourg station extension team work hand-in-hand to deliver a successful project.
What do you love about your job?
I particularly like the responsibility I have to implement in my projects. Naturally, I have to get my manager’s approval and there are procedures to follow, but I have a great deal of autonomy in my day-to-day work. I also love the fact that I can see the fruits of my labour as the projects advance. My job has meaning and it contributes to the development of the country as a whole. I’m proud to be a CFL engineer!