There are approximately 16,000 qualified train drivers in Britain today, a vital role in the 200,000 industry-wide workforce that keeps Britain moving. Once qualified, you can follow a specialised career in driving; as a trainer, or managing your own team of drivers.

Passenger rail offers a wide variety of fleet types and routes; commuter, inter-city and local, with digital technology at the heart of the new generation of trains and signaling investment. You’ll get early hands-on responsibility; enjoy the world-class training and invaluable experience, rewards and career progression you would expect as rail professional.

If you decide to progress your career outside of driving you can use your driving skills and knowledge as a great platform to move into rail operations, such as timetable or resource planning, managing performance, technical standards or safety.  Your level 3 apprenticeship helps you to build transferable skills.

Train driver

Everyone’s career is a journey. But very few are as enjoyable as the ones you’ll undertake.
It’s a critical job, being a Train Driver. You’ll be responsible for the safe and prompt transport of customers to their various destinations.

Listen to Drivers talk about what they love about their jobs and give advice on what to consider if you are thinking of applying for this fantastic role.

Train Driver Instructor

The Driver Instructors role is crucial to the development of new train drivers. As an Instructor you’ll still drive trains but throughout the year you’ll be accompanied in your cab by trainee drivers who will be learning new traction (train locomotives) and routes (journeys from station to station). Your job will be to observe them while they take control of the train to ensure they are doing the job safely and competently. You’ll need a number of years experience as a train driver before moving into this role.

Listen to Driver Instructors talk about the role and whey they enjoy it.

Driver trainer

As a Driver Trainer you’ll be responsible for the initial training of new drivers joining your company. This role includes classroom training, instructing new and existing drivers on train simulators and accompanying drivers in cabs. You will still need to ensure you keep your train driving competence though by driving a certain amount of hours every month.

Listen to Driver Trainers talk about their role and how they progressed in to it.

Managers & Senior Roles

Driver Managers are responsible for looking after a number of train drivers to ensure they are doing their jobs in a safe and competent way. They are also responsible for supporting driver’s welfare and having regular conversations about careers. As in any train driver job family role you’ll still need to drive trains to keep up your own competence.

An Operations Driver Manager is the person who looks after the Driver Managers. This role is a more strategic role covering planning, analysing training and looking at future developments, as well as ensuring the Driver Managers are doing a brilliant job. The next step for someone in this role will be into a Head of Role (a step away from being a Director).

There are many other career opportunities for experienced train drivers these include working with other industry organisations who look strategically at future industry developments. If you have worked as an Instructor or Trainer this could also open up the opportunity of roles in Learning & Development or HR.

Listen Managers talk about their roles and give advice on how you can progress your career in rail.