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Become a Train Driver

It sometimes seems as if every young boy once dreamed of becoming a train driver when he grew up. But of course if you want to turn that dream into a reality to become a train driver today, you will want to know more about this career path.

We’ve listed some basic information below so you will know more about what this career entails.

What does a train driver do?

A train driver is responsible for driving a train from point to point. This may be either a freight train, carrying goods of various kinds, or a passenger train, carrying people from place to place.

A train driver must be alert and able to control the train as well as to watch for signals and potential obstructions on the track. While they must know how to operate the train, they must also know what to do if something goes wrong. This means it is wise to have some degree of knowledge or an affinity with engineering.


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What training is required for you to become a train driver in South Africa?

The training that will help you become a train driver is provided not by colleges or universities, but by the train companies that will employ you. They have their own training facilities that are specific to their company. While some of what you will learn will be universal among all train companies, other aspects will differ. For example the trains used by freight companies (Transnet Freight Rail is an excellent example of this) will be freight trains – very different from passenger trains. Thus the training provided to drive a freight train will be relevant to that position, while the training provided to operate a passenger train will include all aspects that are relevant to that job.

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What jobs are available for train drivers?

As mentioned above, there are two main positions to consider – being a freight train driver or a passenger train driver. Since you are up the front in the cab, operating the train, you will rarely come into contact with your passengers or freight, depending on the situation. However if you are driving a passenger train you will obviously have to be aware of the potential contact between the passengers and the train when you pull into and leave a station.

Jobs are usually offered directly by the train companies. You can search for openings and apply for positions accordingly. Some train drivers work for one company and then switch to another for some reason, although they will still have to undergo fresh training.

As you can see, there are opportunities to take the required training with a particular company in order to be a train driver in South Africa today. There are several companies to choose from, and if you have the required skills and you find a position that is suitable, you may soon become a train driver. Just imagine being able to fulfil a dream that could be years old by now!

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