Train drivers drive trains across the national rail network.

What does a train driver do?

Train drivers drive freight and passenger trains along the national rail network. You’ll need to have excellent communication skills and be able to work for long periods at a time. 

What do I need to do to become a train driver?

You do not need specific qualifications to become a train driver. You can join a company as an apprentice or trainee – your employer will usually provide the appropriate training.

If your initial application is successful, you will be invited to an assessment centre for tests and an interview. Tests could cover:

  • basic mechanical knowledge
  • ability to remember information
  • reaction times
  • concentration skills
  • group exercises

You normally have to be at least 21 to work as a train driver on the national rail network. You will also need to pass medical checks, which will test your fitness levels, eyesight, colour vision and hearing. Companies also screen for drugs and alcohol.

Related skills

  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Mechanical knowledge

Desirable qualifications

  • Apprenticeship

Where could I be working?

As a train driver, you may be working for a passenger company or a freight company. You will usually work shifts

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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