July 31st, 2012
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Train Driver Training
It should go without saying no one can become a train driver unless and until they have gone through a required period of training. They must pass this training in order to ensure they are able to operate and control the train they will drive.
If you are interested in becoming a train driver, the following information should prove useful when it comes to looking for train driver training opportunities.
Why doesn’t it seem to be that easy to find information on train driver training
Mainly because there is no one way or course that you can take to become a train driver. Indeed, while many jobs require you to complete your training before looking for a job, things work the other way around in this case.
The idea is that you should find a position with one of the major train operators in South Africa. They will advertise for train drivers every now and then, and if you are accepted you will then undergo their own training program in order to become a train driver.
What does the training involve?
Each training program will involve teaching the prospective drivers about every aspect of the train(s) they will be driving. While breakdowns won’t happen every day, it is important that the driver is able to resolve many problems if or when they do occur.
In addition to this each company will provide a range of theory training. This will involve learning about signals and what they mean, and various systems that may be used on the trains that will be driven. This element will vary depending on the company that is providing the training. For example Gautrain is a South African company that provides high speed trains, therefore you will learn about operating a high speed train and find out about automatic protection systems as well.
You can also expect your training to involve a range of simulated tasks. As you can imagine, it would be very dangerous to allow someone who was not properly trained to get into a real train and drive it. If they were to lose control they would cause an accident – not to mention potentially cause damage to an expensive train. This is why simulations are used to ensure the trainee driver is taking on board the various lessons and facts they must learn before driving a train for real.
You will also be expected to undergo a number of emergency simulations. You never know when something may occur as a train driver, and you must be able to respond in the right way. This training will help you prepare for the job itself. Finally you will get into a real train and drive it under the watchful eye of an instructor.
How long does the training take?
You can expect the training to last several weeks; the exact amount of time may vary slightly depending on the company you are employed by. But if you are successful you will finish as a qualified train driver.