Train Driver at TransPennine Express

What is NSAR?

The National Skills Academy for Rail Ltd (NSAR) was established for wider railway industry support to help tackle current and future skills needs within the rail industry. Train Drivers can be found in companies who are members of NSAR.

What is a train driver?

Everyone knows that a train driver drives trains, but did you know it’s a job with lots of responsibility? As a train driver, it’s up to you to make sure hundreds of people get safely to where they want to go, and on time too! It’s not as simple as just “get in the train and go”. There are various safety procedures to be carried out, too. You’ll be responsible for checking the train, preparing it for service and testing the train to make sure everything is in good working order ready for the journey ahead. At the end of your journey, you’ll return the train to the depot for inspection, ready for servicing and repairs.

Along with driving the train, you’ll be responsible for the train and its passengers if anything should go wrong. You’ll need to work out what’s happened using your mechanical and technical skills and then either fix the problem or call for help from your team.

What does a train driver do?

Love the idea of a career that’s going to take you places? Will you take pride in knowing you’re helping people make their journeys safely every day? If so, then becoming a train driver could be a great career for you.

There’s a lot more to driving a train than you might first think. As a train driver you’ll control the whole train, carrying passengers and cargo to their destination. You’ll have to have sharp eyes and top-notch concentration, as a train drives at high speeds and you’ll be ready to spot any potential problems on the track ahead. You’ll also need to be a great problem solver too. If something does go wrong with your train, you’ll need to be able to assess the situation, stop at the next station if possible and get another train to assist you.

You’ll also need some great people skills. You can put people at ease when your train is running behind schedule, by announcing the estimated arrival time to passengers. A friendly and understanding announcement on a train will always brighten someone’s journey too!

DID YOU KNOW? Train drivers are listed as one of the 12 top career types of the future (between 2012 and 2020)!

Is this career right for me?

Ever wondered what it’s like to be in the driver’s cabin of a train? Like being in control? Want a job where you’ll get to see the country and its beautiful scenery from the best seat in the house?

If that sounds like you, then a career as a train driver could be the answer.

How to become a train driver

Lots of people want to become train drivers, so expect a lot of competition if you apply for the role. However, you can boost your application by applying for a different role in the railway sector first. For example, starting in a train station ticket office will build your customer service skills as well as expand your knowledge of how train stations and the rail industry operate.

When applying for a trainee train driver role, spend some time carefully looking over your application. If you’re chosen to go onto the assessment stage, you’ll be tested on your reaction to emergency situations, how you deal with pressure, your reaction speeds and basic understanding of mechanical and technical principals. It’s always useful to your application to get learning early, so you can impress at the assessment stage.

Once you’ve completed the assessments and interviews, you’ll be given a medical examination to make sure you’re fit and healthy. These include hearing tests and eyesight tests as well as making sure you’re fit enough to climb up into the train where there’s no platforms and able to carry out emergency procedures.

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