Are you ready to take the first step towards becoming a train driver? This comprehensive guide walks you through the 9 key steps to securing this challenging and rewarding career. By following these steps and being dedicated, you will be able to join the team of professional train drivers.

If you have a passion for trains and a desire to work in the transportation industry, becoming a train driver may be the perfect career path for you. In this article, we will take a detailed look at the process of becoming a train driver, highlighting the key steps and requirements you will need to follow in order to achieve your goal. From completing the necessary training and education, to passing the relevant exams and obtaining the necessary licenses, we will walk you through every step of the way. So, let’s get started and take the first step towards becoming a train driver.

What is Train Driver?

Being a train driver is not just about operating the train, but also includes maintaining the train and ensuring that it is in good condition. Furthermore, they make sure that the train is loaded and unloaded correctly, and ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers on board.

Responsibilities of a Train Driver

As a train driver, you will be responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the train. This includes a wide range of responsibilities such as:

  • Operating the train: This includes navigating the train through its route, monitoring the train’s speed and braking systems, and ensuring the safe and timely arrival of the train at its destination.
  • Communicating with dispatchers and other personnel: Train drivers need to communicate with dispatchers and other personnel to ensure the smooth operation of the train and to coordinate with other trains on the tracks.
  • Ensuring compliance with safety protocols: Train drivers must adhere to strict safety protocols, including signaling, speed limits, and other regulations, to ensure the safety of the passengers and the train.
  • Handling emergencies: Train drivers need to be able to react quickly and calmly in the event of an emergency, such as a mechanical failure or an accident. They must also be able to communicate effectively with emergency personnel.
  • Maintaining and reporting on the train’s condition: Train drivers need to inspect and maintain the train’s systems and report any issues or defects to their superiors.
  • Monitoring and documenting the train’s performance: Train drivers need to keep track of the train’s performance and make necessary adjustments to ensure efficient and safe operation. They also need to document any incidents or deviations from the standard operation of the train.

How to Become a Train Driver

Becoming a train driver may be the perfect career path for you. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you achieve your goal of becoming a train driver:

  1. Complete secondary school: While it’s not a requirement, completing secondary school can be beneficial for train drivers as it usually requires basic math and reading skills. You can use your GCSE or transcript to show your highest level of education to potential employers.
  2. Verify your age: To be a train driver on the national rail, you need to be at least 21 years old. Some candidates may be eligible to drive trains for the tube at the age of 18. You can verify your age to potential employers by showing them your UK photo card or passport.
  3. Receive a medical evaluation: Train drivers in the UK typically need to get a medical evaluation before applying to work for the national rail. The evaluation includes tests for hearing, eyesight, and colour accuracy. It’s recommended to choose a doctor registered under the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) physician register to conduct the examination.
  4. Visit a certified psychologist for a psychometric test: Train drivers also need to undergo a psychological evaluation. Search for a psychologist certified by the ORR to perform the psychometric test. Keep the psychologist’s registration number to include on your job applications in the future.
  5. Apply for a train driving license: Applying for a train driving license is a crucial step in becoming a train driver. You can access the application on the government’s rail licensing website. Include all necessary information such as your name, address, phone number, reference number, birthdate, photo, proof of medical evaluation, and proof of psychological evaluation. You can check the status of your application online.
  6. Search for a trainee driver job: Most aspiring train drivers start as a trainee train driver, which is an entry-level job in train transportation. Look for job openings online and apply for the trainee driver role in your desired location.
  7. Complete training: Train companies often provide training for new trainee driver recruits. The training includes both theoretical and practical training on operating and controlling a train, navigating the train’s route, and communicating with dispatchers and other personnel.
  8. Pass exams: After completing the training, you will need to pass the relevant exams, including the train driver’s license exam, to become a fully licensed train driver.
  9. Obtain a job as a train driver: Once you have passed the exams, you can start looking for jobs as a train driver. With proper training, education and the right attitude, you can join the ranks of professional train drivers and take charge of the tracks.