A freight train driver is responsible for driving and maintaining a train that carriers or transports cargo from one destination to another. Basically, the job of a freight train driver isn’t much different than that of one driving a passenger train but while working at the former position, one is not responsible for passengers.
Working as a freight train driver will require you to possess a high school diploma or a GED at the very least. While formal degrees are not required, you will need to go through an extensive training program to make sure that you know how to drive a freight train and handle minor repair and maintenance work on it. In this position, you will be required to be alert and extremely organized, along with possessing the ability to handle tricky situations that may transpire between stations. Mostly, a freight train driver works solo but there may be times when you are in direct contact with other people at different stations and even on the train.
Since transporting cargo from one place to another is great responsibility, you have to make sure that you are up for it. Ensuring that schedules are met and that goods are delivered on time is essential. Some of the main duties that you will be expected to perform in this role include:
• Check train engine before embarking on a journey to ensure that it is in proper working order
• Look through each freight cabin to make sure that it is safe to carry important items
• Oversee the loading and unloading of items to and from the cabins, ensuring safety of each box
• Ascertain that loaded items are properly stacked and secured before the cabin is shut
• Operate controls in order to drive trains in established routes, ensuring that schedules are adhered to
• Communicate with station staff to obtain information of track conditions and map alternative routes in cases of problems
• Keep destination stations updated about delays of problems by using the train’s communication system
• Ensure that the train is kept under control and at appropriate speeds at all times
• Stop assigned trains at appropriate stops at each schedule and ensure that any paperwork associated with deliveries is completed and submitted
• Record delays which may affect service and alert the driver taking over of any problems or issues on the route
• Create and maintain records of cargo picked and delivered, along with source and destination information