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Becoming a Train Driver

The Instruction Company receives many enquiries from people that are keen to know about becoming a train driver.  Most of the enquiries are about what qualifications a person needs to hold in order to get a job as a train driver and as to how long it takes to become a driver.  The answer is that it varies according to the specific rail transport operator requirements.


For example the training and qualification required to be a train driver for a predominantly freight transport operator in Victoria is different to what is required in NSW.  That is largely a consequence of the fact that the states generally operate different safe working systems according to how the network has evolved over time.  While there has been some significant movement towards a more nationalised rail system, unfortunately a lot still remains divided.  What this means is that if you are keen to enter the rail industry in any capacity it is important to understand where you would like to be.  The application of any training and qualification you may hold needs to reflect the area that you wish to work in.


Other factors that influence the variations can be the types of rolling stock they operate, the rail corridors they operate on, the training pathways they have for various roles and many other rail industry specific requirements that each operator may encounter.


Another important aspect of becoming a train driver or indeed any of the various roles within the industry is to understand that it is much better to have an undertaking of employment with an organisation before committing to undertake training on your own behalf.  You can complete as much training as you wish however it is important that the demand is there to supply the work in that field.  While The Instruction Company is happy to train you, we want to know that you have a good chance of gaining employment in that respect before we enter into a training task with you.


The Instruction Company is a rail training provider, not a rail operator.  We provide extensive training and assessment services to the industry and most of that to the larger rail operators.  To gain a qualification in rail requires an assessment of competence against nationally recognised qualifications.  In respect to becoming a train driver hat can only happen once you are employed by a rail operator as a trainee.


So what does this mean for people looking to enter the industry to become a train driver?  Ideally it is better to try and seek employment with a rail operator and in most cases if they have employment opportunities the operators will arrange for you to complete the necessary training requirements along the way.  If that option is not available because of the lack of opportunity it is indeed possible to commission certain aspects of the required training independently.  The important thing to remember is that just because you complete a course in rail, it does necessarily guarantee you employment.


There is theory content training associated with most aspects of the rail industry.  It is part of what we do as a training provider in the rail industry.  That part of your training you can complete independently however we strongly recommend that you first examine the employment prospects that may be more opportune if you go down that path.  There are also other considerations that need to be factored in respect to required medical standards and specific rail operator pre employment checks.


That being said there are some rail operators when it comes to employment that will look more favourably on people that have undertaken rail training in their own regard.  If you wish to go down that path then feel free to contact our office for details.