Travel Perks

Depending on which train operator you work for, you will receive free leisure travel on your company’s services. In addition, you and your family (partner and children) will also be a eligible to apply for a Privilege Travel Card, which offer a 75% reduction on many GB train journeys. Keen to explore beyond these shores? After a year in role, you will also be able to apply for international rail cards for you and family members, offering travel across much of Europe at a hefty discount. For more information, visit the Rail Staff Travel website

Pay & Pension

Driving a train is a very responsible role and drivers’ pay reflects this. Your pay will depend on the company you work for and exact role you are employed in. According to Glassdoor in 2018, the average pay for a fully qualified main line driver was over £47,000. Even though retirement might seem like a long time away, train drivers also receive a very generous pension scheme.

Work life balance

While everyone rightly wants to have a job they enjoy, we all need to strike a balance – and it’s crucial that drivers get the right amount of downtime to ensure they can recharge their batteries. The railway is a 24-hour, year-round operation and drivers work in shift patterns – usually over a four or five day period. While some shifts can start or finish in the early hours, meaning you’ll need to ensure you can get to and from home at that time, drivers work a set number of hours per week and you’ll know your shift pattern up to six months in advance, giving you plenty of time to plan. All of our driver role models commented on how they value both the level of free time they have, and not having to take work home with them once their shift has finished. Naomi tells us more about a driver work life balance.

Health & Wellbeing

From health campaigns through to sports events, train operating companies wellbeing programmes have something for everybody.
The rail industry takes health and wellbeing seriously. The majority of companies have dedicated teams providing occupational health services to help employees proactively manage their health in the workplace. This is particularly important in the role of a Train Driver with mental wellbeing being as critical as physical health. You’ll receive lots of support.
Find out more


If you join the rail industry, you’ll hear everyone talk about it being like one big family (you probably heard our role models talk about this in their videos). You’ll receive support from your trainers, managers and colleagues as you train and pass out as a driver. And although you work on your own as you drive a train, there’ll be no shortage of people happy to chat when you are in the mess room. There are also lots of different industry networks to offer support, including Young Rail Professionals, Women in Rail, and company-based mentor programmes. There will also be opportunities to get involved in charity work and of course, plenty of social events!