Train Driver

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Eva B

00:00:02 My name is Eva B, I’m a train driver for ScotRail. When things go wrong you have to communicate with people and that’s when really the pressure starts to tell and we’ve got to do things, you know, right. Obviously we’ve got to bear in mind that you’ve got maybe 300-400 passengers that you’re ferrying around so you’ve got to do everything to the best that you can do.

00:00:27 You know, I’m probably not your average typical train driver and I quite like that about the job. Mostly the reaction that you get from people is really good, positive. I can’t say that becoming a train driver is something I always wanted to do. Probably a bit of luck, a bit of influence from friends that encouraged me to go into the job. When I was at school probably I was more interested in the science subjects, maybe maths and chemistry and geography.

00:01:02 I wasn’t overly great at the arty subjects or, you know, English and things like that but definitely the science based things were my favourite. I probably went through lots of different phases as a young girl of different jobs, you know, I wanted to be an air hostess or I wanted to be an archaeologist. You know, it was so extreme. I hadn’t any sort of clear career path in mind. There was nothing that sort of jumping out at me at that point.

00:01:34 I knew I wanted to go on to University. I think that the whole process of learning, you know, to go to University was something that I wanted to continue but obviously the social life was a good thing to get into as well. My time at University was great. I loved the subject that I studied which was geography and the friends that I made there are probably friends that, you know, you keep for life.

00:02:02 My first thought when I left University was to go and do further study, do a post graduate but I had got a job just working part time temporary employment. Maybe just getting used to a bit of money. It made me think, you know, I want a full time job. The first job I got when I left school, when I left University was working in a factory that makes cashmere accessories and it’s probably one of the most boring jobs that I’ve ever had.

00:02:31 I knew when I was in there that I didn’t want to stay in there. I couldn’t have stayed in a job like that forever basically. I definitely wanted to go on and do something else. Why did I decide to become a train driver? I have to blame my boyfriend for that one. He was already in the railway and when the positions came up he sort of encouraged me to apply. I just fancied it, something a bit different.

00:03:01 I’ve never been into the sort of stereo-typical girlie jobs so I thought that was something that appeals to me, a different challenge, so. I think the next thing for me is to go to the instructing side. I have recently started the driving instructor programme whereby you get a trainee to come with you. Teaching, you know, new drivers isn’t something that I had thought about prior to starting the instructing but I found I really enjoyed it and I would really like to go out and make more of it. ENDS

Eva B is a Train Driver for First ScotRail. It’s not something she planned to be, in fact she went through university and into a job without having any plans at all. But her boyfriend persuaded her to apply to be a train driver and she took to it. Now she’s thinking of becoming a full-time instructor.

More information about Train and tram drivers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

94%  male 
6%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Job holders in this unit group drive diesel, diesel-electric, electric and steam locomotives that transport passengers and goods on surface and underground railways, and transport passengers in trams.
There are no formal academic requirements. Entrants must pass a series of tests and a medical examination. Age restrictions apply in some areas of work. Good hearing, good eyesight and normal colour vision are required. Off- and on-the-job training is provided. NVQs/SVQs are available at Level 2.
  • Checks controls, gauges, brakes and lights before start of journey and studies route, timetable and track information;
  • Checks safety equipment, regulates the heating of passenger compartments and records engine defects or unusual incidents on the journey;
  • Starts train or tram when directed and operates controls to regulate speed;
  • Watches for track hazards, observes signals and temperature, pressure and other gauges;
  • Stops as directed to allow passengers to embark/ disembark;
  • Makes scheduled stops for the loading and unloading of freight and coupling/uncoupling of carriages and tubs;
  • Maintains radio contact with control centre;
  • May make passenger announcements and controls automatic doors;
  • May check travel passes, collect fares and deal with passenger queries.
Employment by region
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Land transport, etc 18171
Warehousing, etc 2965
Air transport 1064
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