Train drivers play an important role in the transport sector as they are responsible for moving people and goods safely from point A to point B. Have you ever dreamed of driving a train? Find out what it takes to qualify.
How to become a train driver?
There are two types of trains that require skilled and experienced drivers. Freight trains deliver goods while commuter trains transport passengers.
Train drivers, especially those who steer commuter trains have a major responsibility to their communities, as the lives of commuters are placed in their hands on a daily basis.
For this reason drivers must be physically fit and healthy and able to make quick, responsible decision.
Both sets of drivers must be willing to work long and unusual hours on local or national routes.
To become a qualified driver students must possess a National Diploma for Train Drivers (NQF Level 5) or similar qualification.
The minimum entry requirements for a train driver course may differ depending on your chosen training programme.
However, a matric certificate with Mathematics, English and/or Science is the standard requirement.
Training programmes can be completed at Transnet’s Freight Rail School.
The school has campuses situated in Kempton Park, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Wentworth, Bellville, Pretoria, Germiston and Port Elizabeth.
These centres all offer Railway Operations Training, Railway Signalling, Permanent Way Construction and Maintenance, Permanent Way Welding, Railway Maintenance and Railway Engineering & Safety Training, as well as many other rail-related training interventions.
This is done in partnership and collaboration with local and international universities and service providers.
Operations Training specialises in the training of Train Drivers and Train Control Officers. Courses are based on theoretical and some practical training in compliance with unit standards registered with South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).
Some learning materials from Railway Operations are fully accredited – learners may be able to attain National Qualifications after undertaking a course of training disciplines in the Functional Yard Operations or Train Control Officer’s fields.
Training opportunities are advertised sporadically in the local and national newspapers.
Interested parties should submit an application letter accompanied by a CV, certified ID copy and Matric certificate addressed to the respective HR manager as advertised.
Once the qualification has been obtained qualified drivers can find employment opportunities at Metrorail, Rovos Rail, Gautrain or Shosholoza Meyl.