How to become a train driver in the UK? 

How to become a train driver in the UK

Steps to become a train driver in the UK

Many individuals have a childhood desire to be a train driver. At the same time, other people decide later in life that they would want to pursue a different professional path and would prefer to drive trains instead. To become a train driver, you must first have the necessary qualifications.

Steps to become a train driver in the UK

Requirements for Admission

For train drivers, unlike some other occupations, there are no specific educational qualifications; nevertheless, certain companies may ask that you have a minimum level of arithmetic and English proficiency (usually GCSE level). For the most part, firms in the United Kingdom need drivers to be at least 21 years old in order to work on the national rail network, while certain driver roles are available in yards and depots that are not connected to the main passenger train network. 

Drivers of London Underground trains must be at least 18 years old to operate the system. However, certain firms may be willing to begin the training process for talented persons before they achieve the minimum age requirement, as long as they attain the minimum age requirement throughout the training process.

Preliminary Evaluation

For their applications to be considered for advancement, prospective train drivers must complete a series of examinations. Visual and hearing tests, fitness level assessments and urine and blood testing are all part of the medical examination process. Other medical examinations include drug and alcohol testing. It is prohibited for train drivers to operate their vehicles while under drugs or alcohol. It is possible to become a train driver even if you do not pass the medical examinations; nevertheless, you may require extra help to safeguard your health and safety and the health and safety of your passengers in certain situations.

Also necessary are basic aptitude tests in the areas of memory, response speed, and focus, as well as a criminal background check and a drug test. Because you may be working alone as a train driver, you must have the ability to maintain concentration for extended periods. The inability to maintain attention and sluggish response times may put people’s lives in danger. 

What qualifications do train drivers require?

It is necessary to possess the following abilities in order to become a railroad conductor.

What qualifications do train drivers require

  • Since train driving entails spending long periods alone in a cab, concentration skills are required. During this period, you will need to be awake and aware since you will need to respond quickly in the case of an emergency. As a result, concentration abilities are essential.
  • Excellent attention to detail – as a train driver, one small mistake can have a significant impact, either because of the risk of damage to the vehicle and tracks or because you are transporting a large number of passengers. Your ability to pay attention to the smallest of details will be extremely beneficial in your position.
  • Patience and the ability to remain cool under pressure are essential while operating a train since difficult circumstances, delays, and crises may arise. When dealing with emergencies, you’ll need to maintain your composure and find solutions while keeping your train and passengers safe.
  • Public safety and security knowledge are essential since, as a train driver, you will be operating an extremely large vehicle at high speeds, where errors may result in the loss of life or injury. You must use caution to ensure that you remain within public safety parameters and comply with any security rules.
  • Ability to work effectively in a group or on your own – you will be spending lengthy amounts of time in the cabin doing virtually nothing other than remaining attentive and awake. While a train crew may accompany you on passenger services, this is not always the case, so the ability to work both independently and as part of a team is essential.
  • Technology is becoming more pervasive in every industry. Thus it should come as no surprise that solid IT skills are becoming increasingly important and a necessity for a train driver to succeed. 

How much does a train conductor earn in a given year?

When compared to many other occupations, train drivers are quite highly compensated. According to data performed by Glassdoor, the average compensation for a trained train driver in 2018 was £54,000. As a result, you may anticipate earning around the following amounts:

  • Apprentice train driver salaries range from £18,000 to £27,000.
  • Entry-level trained train driver salaries range from £35,000 to £40,000.
  • Train driver with experience earning between £47,000 and £67,000 each year.

What is the proper title for a train driver?

While they may be referred to as an engineer, engine driver, or train engineer in international media, the term “train driver” is used in the United Kingdom and other nations that use Commonwealth English.

Preliminary Evaluation to become a train driver

What are the working hours for train drivers?

Train drivers are required to perform a variety of schedules, including early and late ones, and are compensated accordingly. In order to complete the job, you will be asked to work roughly 35 hours per week, which will be divided over 4 or 5 shifts. Weekends, late nights, and early mornings are all possibilities for these shifts. 

In certain situations, you may even be required to provide services overnight. Aside from that, there are secret restrictions stating that you must have at least 12 hours between shifts and that you cannot work for more than 13 days in a row without taking a day off in between. Because working on Sundays is not required under your employment contract, it is quite rare that you will be required to work more than 5 or 6 days in a row. 

Is it stressful to be a train driver?

On the surface, train driving is not very demanding compared to other occupations — at least not in the same way as others. When things go wrong, on the other hand, tension may build up very fast. A train driver’s position places them as a cog in a much bigger railway network; if anything goes wrong, there will be delays, cancellations, and other unpleasant situations. The ability to classify these events and accept that you cannot always avoid them from occurring are critical aspects of the work.

You may also be confronted with distressing circumstances, such as coming face to face with an animal or a person on the train tracks. While some of these incidents will result from an accident, others will be the result of persons feeling suicidal. There is good assistance for train drivers who are subjected to this sort of situation. Still, it is important to be conscious that there is a risk that you may be engaged in an accident of this nature before deciding to become a train driver.

Final Words 

When it comes to trainee drivers, the number of years of necessary experience varies depending on the organization you want to work for. However, most applicants may begin their transition from trainee drivers to train drivers after one or two years. Using search engines and job search websites, you may uncover employment opportunities as a train driver on the internet. We hope that this information has helped you if you plan to start your career as a train driver in the UK.