Train Driver Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

Updated October 2, 2022
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Train Driver Job Description

Railroads and trains are a dream for many people especially those who wish to take up a career in railroads.

Railroad drivers drive both passenger and cargo trains depending on their specific job instructions.

Their main duty is to transport cargo and people from one place to another.

Along the way, railroad drivers enjoy the countryside scenery and this may be enough motivation for them. While it might seem that driving a train along a specified route is mundane, it is actually quite an interesting job.

Train Driver Education and Skills

Train drivers do not need any formal education although standard education such as a high school diploma or GED is preferred by many employers.

The skills that are needed to work as a train driver include the ability to concentrate for long periods of time and ensuring good customer service.

Train drivers also need to be aware of unexpected circumstances and possess the ability to handle adverse situations in a proactive manner.

Related: Train Driver Resume

Train Driver Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

• Drive freight or passenger trains from one place to another in accordance with a predefined schedule.

• Ensure that the train makes appropriate stopovers at designated platforms in accordance with the provided schedule.

• Stay in constant contact with control centers to ensure that routes are clear and that any problems along the routes are reported.

• Oversee the embarking of passengers to ensure that proper procedures and rules are being followed.

• Oversee instruments and gauges to ensure that everything is working well and make announcements to passengers regarding stations and stops.

• Ensure that signal instructions are followed properly.

• Check the train’s engine for possible problems or maintenance needs prior to the journey.

• Perform both preventative and general maintenance tasks.

• Make sure that all equipment that assists in running the train efficiently is properly maintained and in good working order.

• Make destination and passenger announcements and control automatic doors.

• Maintain liaison with staff to ensure that passengers and/or freight are appropriately seated/loaded.

• Ensure that the train is at the proper speed throughout the journey.

• Keep an eye out for possible engine for route problems and ensure that each issue is recorded in the logbook immediately.

• Handle shift changes in an efficient manner by alerting drivers of problems or concerns regarding the journey or vehicle.

• Read log entries left by previous train drivers in order to acquaint themselves with possible issues.

• Record delays that may affect schedules.

• Alert the control center about any hazards or accidents that may have been spotted along the way.

• Ensure that freight/cargo is properly loaded in assigned cabins, and is placed in a safe manner.

• Make sure that assigned tracks and routes are in good working condition by coordinating efforts with railway personnel.

• Open automatic doors for passengers to embark and disembark and alert train drivers taking over duties about any major events or incidents or engine problems.




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