How to become a Train and Network Controller

Train and network controllers move trains across their area of control using computerised and mechanical control systems, and liaise with other employees across the network to ensure trains run to schedule and safety standards are maintained.

Personal requirements of a Train and Network Controller

  • High-level communication skills
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Able to act appropriately in emergency situations
  • Able to work in a team environment
  • Good memory for learning safety procedures and regulations
  • Able to concentrate for long periods on detailed information
  • Alert and safety-conscious

Education & Training for a Train and Network Controller

You can become a train and network controller without formal qualifications, but employers usually require Year 10. Once you are employed, you will receive intensive formal training, both on and off the job. On completion of this training, you may receive a nationally recognised qualification.

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Duties & Tasks of a Train and Network Controller

Train and network controllers may perform the following tasks:

  • operate mechanical or computerised signal equipment to control the running of trains
  • liaise with all areas of the rail system to ensure smooth running of trains
  • use computerised control systems to coordinate the safe crossing of trains and ensure they are on the right path
  • control when the trains stop and start, ensuring they arrive at their destinations on time
  • initiate and manage emergency procedures in the event of an incident, and coordinate the train network so that each train within the area remains safe.

Working conditions for a Train and Network Controller

Train and network controllers are required to work shifts, including weekends and public holidays.

Employment Opportunities for a Train and Network Controller

Competition for train and network controller positions is very strong. Entrants often start at a lower level (as a railway station assistant, for example) and then work their way up to these positions. Train and network controllers are employed by railway owners and passenger and freight operators. Rail services are provided throughout Australia by passenger services, the national railway asset owner, Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC); and national freight operators such as Asciano. With experience and further training, promotion to supervisory or other positions is possible.


Railway Signaller

A railway signaller operates signal equipment to control the running of trains, records the details of trains that pass and notifies the control centre in cases of a delay or accident. Advances in signalling technology have enabled the centralisation of this function in some organisations, with both signalling and train control being managed by train and network controllers.

Additional Information
Applicants will go through a range of recruitment processes, including personality, aptitude and ability tests; an interview; and a medical assessment. Age limits may apply.
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