How to become a Train and Network Controller

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 for 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.


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.

Duties & Tasks of a Train and Network Controller

Train and network controllers:

  • 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.

Tasks

  • Authorises and direct movements of trains..
  • Familiarises themselves with the weight, length and schedules of trains..
  • Contacts relevant personal to deal with faults or mechanical failures..
  • Reports any accidents or incidents to the land transport authority and any other relevant body such as emergency services..
  • Authorises and controls any activity taking place on railway tracks, including maintenance work..
  • Provides other train controllers with information on trains progress..
  • Communicates with locomotive engineers to ensure safe movements of trains..
  • Records movement of trains including departures and scheduled stops..

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, and Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).With experience and further training, promotion to supervisory or other positions is possible.


Specializations

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.

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.

  • Average age
    Average age
    46 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    13% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    43 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,886
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Lower skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    93% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    1,200 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.0%
    NSW: 33.4%
    NT: 0.0%
    QLD: 25.9%
    SA: 6.8%
    TAS: 0.7%
    VIC: 16.0%
    WA: 17.1%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0%
    20-24: 1.8%
    25-34: 18.7%
    35-44: 24.5%
    45-54: 32.6%
    55-59: 13.5%
    60-64: 7.1%
    65 and Over: 1.8%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 8.5%
    Bachelor degree: 8.9%
    Certificate III/IV: 30.4%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 2.7%
    Year 10 and below: 24.4%
    Year 11: 6.5%
    Year 12: 18.6%
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