Train Driver


Train drivers operate trains on rail networks (including underground and Eurostar trains) making sure that passengers and freight get to where they’re going safely and on time.


You will need to apply for a trainee driver job with a train operating company, such Great Western Railway.

  • To apply you’ll usually need:

     *  to be at least 21 to work as a train driver on the national rail network (18 to work on the London underground);

     *  to live within 1 hour’s commute of the area you’re applying for.

  • Some employers may expect you to have GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and Maths.
  • To be accepted for training, you’ll need to pass a medical check which will include eyesight, colour vision and hearing.
  • You could start out by doing another job like passenger assistant or conductor, which will show you have an interest in the industry. You can then apply for trainee driver posts when they become available.


You’ll need the following skills:

  • the ability to concentrate over long periods;
  • customer service skills;
  • the ability to react quickly, calmly and safely to unexpected problems;
  • a responsible attitude and a high level of safety awareness.


  • You’ll drive trains on local and national rail networks, stopping along your route to pick up and drop off passengers or goods.
  • Your day-to-day tasks may include:

     *  checking equipment and engines;

     *  contacting control centres for information about routes and any problems;

     *  following signalling instructions during the journey;

     *  making passenger announcements;

     *  controlling automatic doors;

     *  positioning and handing over engines to drivers on the shift recording incidents like equipment problems, danger and delays;

  • You’ll communicate and work with other staff like signal operators, train maintenance staff and station staff.
The following salaries are a guide only:



  • Starter: £18,000 to £25,000
  • Experienced: £25,000 to £50,000
  • Highly Experienced: £50,000 to £80,000 (senior)

Working Conditions

  • You’ll usually work Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm.  You may work evenings or weekends. Hours may be longer if you work on-site as a contractor.
  • You’ll spend time in an office and visiting building sites.
  • You’ll usually need a full driving licence.

Further Information

For further information click on the links below:

Next Steps

Careers that Move

Travel Weekly

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Virgin Trains Jobs