How do I become a Train driver???

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Will.C

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Im currently looking into becoming a train driver but finding it very difficult to get a lot of information. A lot of what I find on the internet is out dated and any jobs or vacancies I find are for experienced drivers only.
Where should I be looking, asking and calling?

Is it likely that a younger person would get hired?

Thanks in advance to those that can help.
 
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A-driver

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To be honest you just need to keep looking at TOCs websites career pages until a trainee vacancy comes up in your area or somewhere you would relocate to. They tend not to take on speculative applications for trainee drivers so you just need to keep checking.

FGW, FCC, scotrail and southern seem to recruit trainees fairly regularly-but I don't know where in the country you are.

Not an awful lot more you can do other than check the websites.

As for age I know trainees in their 20s and others in their 50s so age really dosnt make much difference.
 

ainsworth74

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Isn't the minimum age that you can be at passing out from training 21 on National Rail (you can apply and be trained earlier but have to be 21 to be qualified)?
 

Will.C

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Thanks for the replies. I currently live in Brighton so Southern and FCC would be quite suited although relocating wouldn't be a problem.

Is there anything I should be reading up on, looking into and learning? What do employers look for in a driver candidate? I have a bit of knowledge of the railways from being an enthusiast as a young lad along with my Grandfather and have kept an interest in the railways over the years even though I don't go out anymore.
 

GB

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With respect, if you cant find information (I'm not talking about vacancies) then you are not looking hard enough. ALL the information you will need is contained within this forum section including the very good stickied thread at the top of the page.
 

Will.C

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With respect, if you cant find information (I'm not talking about vacancies) then you are not looking hard enough. ALL the information you will need is contained within this forum section including the very good stickied thread at the top of the page.
Thanks, yeah Im just reading through it now. :oops:
 

klambert

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Umm I would recommend finding a job in the railway, such as Station Dispatch, or other platform staff and then when a vacancy for a driver arises, look into it. The experience of working on the railway would help when questioned during the interview to become a driver.
 

Dieseldriver

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Isn't the minimum age that you can be at passing out from training 21 on National Rail (you can apply and be trained earlier but have to be 21 to be qualified)?
That's right, I started my training when I was 20, this cropped up in my job interview and basically as I understand it, you can start training at the age of 20 but you must be 21 when you pass out.
 
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If you are in brighton you shouldn't have to wait too long.

They recently recruited again at FCC, and Southern recently had a depot driver vacancy. I would echo the above though, if you get the opportunity to become a station assistant or conductor first then I would recommend it!
 

Beveridges

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Just look at the vacancies page on TOCs every day. Apply for not only Drivers roles but other grades on the railway. Once you've got in as a Station Despatcher (or other role) then its a lot easier to apply for Driving. Thats how I got a Depot Drivers role anyway. There is also the Assessment Center which only has a 40% pass rate and if you fail it twice you are out for good.
 

Will.C

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Firstly, thanks to everyone who's contributed to this thread, has been really really helpful.
Still have a couple of questions,

1. Did read a little on this but is it really frowned upon if you have points on your driving license, not for drink driving but for speeding?? Im a delivery driver and have been told points are an occupational hazard! :s

2.Again, read a little but just want it cleared up, being and enthusiast/trainspotter(if theres a difference) will this work in your favour or not?

3.I had an accident a while ago, 4 years to be exact, broke my back. I feel Im more than capable and am doing heavy lifting daily but on the odd occasion get a bit of back pain. Will they look at this as a hinderance??

4.With route knowledge, do freight drivers know more routes than a passenger driver would? And how many different loco's would a normal freight driver be able/trained to drive?

Thanks in advance
 

GB

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1- A few points on your road license should not be an issue...well at least that is the case where I work.

2- This is a bit of a grey area. Someone who has a healthy interest in what they do will be fine. The "know it all" types might have a bit of a problem.

3- You would have to have a standard railway medical so providing you pass that you wont have an issue. You won't do much heavy lifting (other than your wallet if you do become a driver!) but bending and squatting you could expect.

4- This probably depends on the company and area but Id say yes, a freight driver probably would have more route knowledge than a passenger driver. The types of different traction is wholly dependent on the company. Where I work the standard traction is a class 66. Some of the drivers have retained some traction knowledge from previous jobs tho. Freightliner in contrast have their drivers sign 66's, 86's, 70's and 90's as standard...probably a few more in other areas.
 

Will.C

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1- A few points on your road license should not be an issue...well at least that is the case where I work.

2- This is a bit of a grey area. Someone who has a healthy interest in what they do will be fine. The "know it all" types might have a bit of a problem.

3- You would have to have a standard railway medical so providing you pass that you wont have an issue. You won't do much heavy lifting (other than your wallet if you do become a driver!) but bending and squatting you could expect.

4- This probably depends on the company and area but Id say yes, a freight driver probably would have more route knowledge than a passenger driver. The types of different traction is wholly dependent on the company. Where I work the standard traction is a class 66. Some of the drivers have retained some traction knowledge from previous jobs tho. Freightliner in contrast have their drivers sign 66's, 86's, 70's and 90's as standard...probably a few more in other areas.

Wicked, thanks for that,great help :)

Another question Im affraid :oops: , do employers frown upon you being a smoker?
 
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