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.
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.
Train and network controllers may perform the following tasks:
Train and network controllers are required to work shifts, including weekends and public holidays.
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.
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.