Institution of Railway Signal Engineers

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The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, known more usually as the IRSE, is an international organisation, active throughout the world. It is the professional body for all those engaged or interested in railway signalling and telecommunications (S&T) and allied disciplines.

Local sections[edit]

The IRSE has a number of local sections in a number of countries.

Internationally, there are sections in:

  • Australasia
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • The Netherlands
  • North America
  • Singapore
  • Southern Africa
  • Switzerland
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia

In the U.K.:

  • Midland and North Western
  • Plymouth
  • Scottish
  • Western
  • York

There is also a Minor Railways section specialising in railways that are not part of the national network, including industrial, tourist and heritage railways.[1]

Membership grades[edit]

Membership grade is dependent on the individual member's experience and / or formal qualification.

  • Affiliate
  • Accredited Technician
  • Associate Member
  • Member
  • Fellow
  • Companion


The headquarters of the IRSE is located in Westminster, London, in the offices of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

IRSE Licensing Scheme[edit]

The IRSE Licensing Scheme was introduced in 1994, and provides a means of competence certification for personnel undertaking work in the railway signalling and telecommunications industry. There are over 50 licence “categories” that cover the design, installation, testing, maintenance and engineering management of both railway signalling and telecommunications. Possession of a licence (or evidence that you are working towards obtaining a licence) is essential for people who want to carry out S&T engineering work for Network Rail and London Underground. Network Rail and London Underground require their contractors and consultants to ensure that all S&T engineers engaged in safety-critical and safety-related work possess IRSE licences.


  • IRSE News - A near monthly publication featuring technical articles and papers, as well as articles of general interest to the signalling community.


  1. ^ "IRSE - Near you". The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 

External links[edit]