Train and tram drivers

£27,040 Average salary at age 20
£55,120 Average Salary
38 Average hours per week


Job holders in this unit group drive diesel, diesel-electric, electric and steam locomotives that transport passengers and goods on surface and underground railways, and transport passengers in trams.

Main Tasks

  • Checks controls, gauges, brakes and lights before start of journey and studies route, timetable and track information;
  • Checks safety equipment, regulates the heating of passenger compartments and records engine defects or unusual incidents on the journey;
  • Starts train or tram when directed and operates controls to regulate speed;
  • Watches for track hazards, observes signals and temperature, pressure and other gauges;
  • Stops as directed to allow passengers to embark/ disembark;
  • Makes scheduled stops for the loading and unloading of freight and coupling/uncoupling of carriages and tubs;
  • Maintains radio contact with control centre;
  • May make passenger announcements and controls automatic doors;
  • May check travel passes, collect fares and deal with passenger queries.


There are no formal academic requirements. Entrants must pass a series of tests and a medical examination. Age restrictions apply in some areas of work. Good hearing, good eyesight and normal colour vision are required. Off- and on-the-job training is provided. NVQs/SVQs are available at Level 2.

UK Prospects

30900 Workforce Size
0.21% Predicted decline 2020 - 2027
7329 Predicted Replacement 2020 - 2027

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