I joined EWS in April 2002 and spent almost a year up in
Doncaster, South Yorkshire training to become a Train
Driver.  Even though I had a fair bit of railway experience
before, it was still quite a tough course!  There's a lot to
take in and it's pretty intensive!
A TYPICAL DRIVERS TRAINING COURSE

PAY WHILST TRAINING

Typically, pay for a Trainee
Train Driver is about £15 -
17,000 p.a  whilst
undergoing training.  This
can take up to a year!  Hope
you've got a friendly Bank
Manager!

Some Companies will pay
you this until you become
fully qualified, whilst others
may 'step up' the pay rate
incrementally as you pass
each module!

They reckon it costs around
£50,000 to train a Train
Driver so don't be suprised if
you are made to sign a
contract that ties you to the
company for several years,
and if you leave, will have
to pay back some of the
training costs.

CLICK HERE TO FIND PAY
RATES FOR FULLY
QUALIFIED TRAIN DRIVERS
Corporate Induction - Telling you all
about the company and how great it is!
Don't worry, it will soon wear off!

PTS (Personal Track Safety) Training
Gives you the skills to be able to walk
around the track and railways safely
without getting hit or run over by a train!  
Everyone who goes onto the track must
have one of these!  It's a pretty
dangerous place out there!  This is
followed by an assessment and you get
your 'PTS Card'.

Fire Training - Not all companies do this
nowadays!  But, basically you get to
learn about fire, different extinguishers
and what type to use on different kinds of
fires.  PLUS you get to do some practical
training and actually put out some
real
fires! Obviously a serious subject, but
quite good fun as you get to blast foam
at a huge pool of burning diesel!
MODULE 1 - 5 DAYS
WHY IS PTS SO
IMPORTANT?
Check out the video below

DANGER ON THE TRACK

and you'll soon see why the
'untrained' shouldn't go
anywhere near railway lines.
It doesn't just happen to kids,
anyone can get caught out!
Even 'experienced' Railwaymen'.
















IT'S A DANGEROUS
PLACE OUT THERE
Do It Safely!
MODULE 2 - 30 DAYS
Introduction to Railway Principles -
You'll get to learn all the different
terminology of the railways, publications
you need to be familiar with, principles of
the different signalling systems found on
the railways, electrification, level
crossings, points, handsignals, phonetic
alphabet etc.

Versaltility Training - Drivers working
for Passenger companies will not get as
much training on this.

Learning how to work safely in Railway
Yards and Sidings.  Communicating with
drivers, the importance of carrying out a
'Job Brief' before commencing work.
Splitting and forming trains, pulling
handpoints, coupling and uncoupling
between wagons/carriages and
locomotives, using a 'shunting pole' with
'instanter' couplings, marshalling trains,
using different handsignals and radios
to control movements, doing 'brake
tests' and doing manual paperwork,
such as 'TOPS lists' and 'Drivers Slips'  

This is real, practical, hands-on work. Up
close and dirty with trains and
wagons/carriges!  You will get covered
in grease!  This training will normally
end with a formal Practical Assessment
where you will be observed shunting
trains in a Yard or Siding.
GLOSSARY AND
GUIDE TO
'RAILWAY SPEAK'
Learn Terminology
and Jargon
Ever wondered what a
'Bobby' is? SPATE? Red 'un?
Dolly? Green Card?

CLICK HERE FOR THE
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE
TO U.K RAILWAY LINGO!

" Once you've
finished your
formal 'training', It
doesn't end there!

There is always
more to learn.  No
one knows it all.

Every day should
be seen as a new
learning
experience "

A DRIVER INSTRUCTOR
MODULE 3 - 50 DAYS

Rules & Regulations - This part of the course is mainly classroom
based and you will spend weeks trawling through the 'Rule Book'.  
Previously GO/RT3004 Rule Book #4 Train Driver, but since the
6th December 2003 a new Rule Book came into force GE/RT8000.  
This is 'The Bible' of Train Operations, a truly massive book.... but,
you
will know it 'inside-out' by the time you've finished!

Here are the Basics you'll be taught:

  • Signals.
  • Passing Signals at Danger & making 'wrong direction'
    movements.
  • Working of Trains - Normal Arrangements
  • Working of Trains - Out of Course working, Defective
    Vehicles and On-Train Equipment.
  • Working of the Automatic Brake on Locomotive Hauled and
    Multiple Unit Trains.
  • Shunting
  • Trains or vehicles left on running lines and loops.
  • Level Crossings
  • Train stopped by Train Accident, including Fire or Accidental
    Division.
  • Train stopped by Failure and Provision of Assistance.
  • Single Line Working.
  • Working of Single Lines.
  • Working of Single  & Bi-Directional Lines by Pilotman.
  • Protection of Engineering work when the Engineer takes
    Possession of the Line.
  • Temporary Speed Restrictions.
  • Emergency Speed Restrictions.
  • Bad Weather affecting Railway Infrastructure.
  • Accidents.
  • A.C/D.C Electrified Lines. (Normally seperate modules)

By the end of that your brain will be truly frazzled!  But you will know
what to do in
any situation!

Additionally, For the Freight Train Driver - you will also be
taught the 'White Pages'  GO/RM3056 -
Working Manual for Rail
Staff - Freight Train Operations
and the 'Pink Pages' GO/RT3053 -
Working Manual for Rail Staff - Handling and Carriage of
Dangerous Goods.

THEN YOU'LL HAVE AN ASSESSMENT - IF YOU FAIL, YOU DON'T
GET TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT PART!

BUT IT'S NOT OVER YET!  Now you will do your TRACTION.

Traction Training -  This part of the course will be both classroom
based, but with lot's of hands on experience.  You'll be out and
about, looking at locomotives or units (depending on whether your
a Freight or Passenger Driver, or will be driving diesels or electric
trains.)

Traction - You'll possibly learn about diesel engines, the way they
work, fuel systems, cooling, lubrication, electrical systems, basic
circuits, alternators, main and auxilliary systems, traction motors
and blowers.  Air systems, compressors, braking systems. In-cab
systems and controls.  Safety equipment. Faults and failures,
diagnosis and rectification.  Preparation and Disposal.

Quite often you will be trained on one type of 'core' traction, and
then do 'conversions' to other types depending on what is normally
driven/in regular service at your depot.

Check out the links opposite to find out more about the various
different systems you'll be learning about.  Thanks to the excellent
site 'Railway Technical Pages' for these links.  Just Click on the
diagrams!

You'll then have another assessment on your Traction
knowledge, again, if you fail, you don't move on to the next
part!

SO, YOU'VE BEEN ON THE DRIVERS COURSE FOR 3
MONTHS NOW, AND YOU'VE STILL NEVER DRIVEN A
TRAIN!

Simulator Training - Now the fun really begins!  Most Train
Operating Companies now use simulators as part of the Driver
Training Courses.  Basically a complete driving cab, with all the
controls as you'd find on the trains you will be driving.  Using
advanced graphics, they replicate actually driving a train.  Some
are static, some move so you get the feeling of being on the track!

Although driving a simulator isn't really the same as actually driving
a train, they are brilliant at getting you familiar with the controls and
learning how it feels to be actually 'in the seat'.

What they are also
very good at, is putting you into situations that
you might never experience whilst driving a train... for years.  You
will get to know how to deal with all kinds of 'out of course' working
and emergency situations when the pressure is really on.  They are
also good for testing you on your 'rules' knowledge and how it is
actually applied in real life.  All in the safety of a darkened room!

You'll get an assessment on the simulator, again you've got
to pass this before moving on to getting to drive real trains!
Now you'll go to your Depot and be assigned a 'Driver
Instructor/Mentor'... now you're out on the tracks for real!
RULE BOOK
ONLINE!
Finally, you can get
to view the current
Rule Book
GE/RT8000 Online.

WOULD YOU
KNOW WHAT TO
DO IF THIS
HAPPENED TO
YOUR TRAIN?
Diagrams and explanations of
the principal parts of the diesel
locomotive.
How the wheels sit on the
rails, bogie parts,
suspension systems and
the types of steering
available for bogies.
Diagrams and operation of
various railway braking
systems, including air brakes,
vacuum brakes, electro–
pneumatic systems and
electronic control.
The DC motor, how it
drives the wheels and
how the motors fit into the
bogies and linear drives,
all with diagrams
Auxiliary
systems,compressed air,
heating, air conditioning,
battery charging, controls
etc. with diagrams, plus a
link to an electrical
auxiliaries page.
Microsoft make an
excellent Train Sim
Software Package, with
loads of add-ons...give it a
try and see if you can
drive a train!  Click on our
links below to buy your
copy!

"..When I first went
on the simulator, I
was made to wear a
blindfold and was
told,

'now drive the
train'...!!"

A DRIVER
MODULE 4 - 150-200 HOURS
Train Handling -

So, now you're at your Depot and have been assigned a Driver
Instructor, now begins the real business of driving trains!  You'll be
expected to get into 'the seat' and start driving!  It's a bit like when
you had your first driving lesson in a car!  Only twice as
nerve-wracking and no 'dual controls'!!  You will be working a train
that is 'in service' ie: carrying fare paying passengers or customers
goods and you are expected to run on time!


Training
www.andrewsexton.com
www.traindriver.net