Train drivers work in more or less the same capacity whether it is a freight train that they are driving or one that carries passengers. Their main job (as is obvious) is to operate assigned train engines to ensure that they meet established schedules for arrival and departure. It is important for train drivers to know how to drive in a safe manner in order to keep both cargo and passengers safe, which is why they need to go through extensive training before they can assume the position.
While formal education is not required to qualify as a train driver, it is important for them to possess a high school diploma or a GED at the very least. Extensive training in operating and maintaining train engines is a prerequisite of this job. Since a train driver does not only drive train engines but also performs maintenance and minor repair on them, it is important for them to be hands-on in this work. Deep insight into standard train driving principals and traffic rules are very important. The ability to stay alert during the time that you are driving a train, and the capability of handing adverse situations if and when they arise are also two major requirements from someone working as a train driver.
What follows is a list of job duties particular to the work of a train driver:
• Assess the state of the train engine to ensure that it is track-worthy and perform both preventative and regular maintenance on it
• Oversee the embarking of passengers to ensure that proper procedures and rules are being followed
• Ascertain that freight / cargo is properly loaded in assigned cabins, and is placed in a safe manner
• Obtain go-ahead from conductors when all passengers and cargo have been loaded
• Ensure that the precise route is mapped before starting off towards destinations
• Create and maintain effective relationships with station masters to keep them abreast of the status of the train
• Make sure that assigned tracks and routes are in good working condition by coordinating efforts with railway personnel
• Follow all signals and safety regulations in a bid to ensure passenger safety
• Keep assigned train under control and at appropriate speeds at all times
• Oversee instruments and gauges to ensure that everything is working well and make announcement to passengers regarding stations and stops
• 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