How to become a Train Driver

Train drivers drive trains along a rail network in order to transport passengers or freight.

Personal requirements of a Train Driver

  • Ability to work within a team environment
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to solve mechanical and technical problems
  • Good problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Good memory for learning safety procedures and regulations

Education & Training for a Train Driver

To become a train driver you usually need to complete a traineeship in Rail Driving. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Train Driver

Train drivers may perform the following tasks:

  • operate the train’s controls
  • manage and coordinate train movements
  • stop at stations to pick up passengers or freight
  • inspect trains and report defects or adjustments
  • shunt rolling stock in marshalling yards
  • provide information to passengers using an onboard communications system
  • refuel diesel trains and check oil, water and sand, and top up as necessary
  • observe and obey rail signalling instructions, speed limits and other railway rules, procedures and instructions from the network control centre.

Working conditions for a Train Driver

All train drivers work shifts, which may include weekends and public holidays. Train crew on long-distance journeys may be required to stay away overnight.

Employment Opportunities for a Train Driver

Train drivers are employed by passenger and freight rail operators. Rail services are provided throughout Australia by passenger operators and national freight operators such as Asciano. With experience and further training, promotion to supervisory or other positions is possible.

Additional Information
Applicants must undergo a selection process, including an interview, a medical assessment, and personality, aptitude and ability tests. Age limits may apply. You may need a current drivers licence, a National Police Check and a driving history report.
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