How to Become a Train Driver in Victoria

rail employee standing on the side of a parked train

From travelling at 160 kph across the fast rail V/Line regional network to the Metro City Underground Loop or crossing the state border with Pacific National or SCT, trains are at the heart of the Victorian transport network. In total, the Victorian network features more than 4,000 kilometres of tracks, including 1,700 kilometres of passenger rail routes. Train drivers play a critical role in guiding trains between platforms and ensuring the safe delivery of passengers, colleagues and freight locally and for export.

 

Are you looking for a rewarding career? If you think you have what it takes to become a train driver in Victoria, read on for a guide to entering the rail industry, undertaking the training to support your career goals and, operating as a train driver within Victoria.

Understand the Job of a Train Driver in Victoria

 

Before you commit to becoming a train driver in Victoria, it’s important to develop a complete understanding of the job. While driving trains is incredibly rewarding, it can often call for early starts, long hours of shift work and of course, plenty of travel. 

Some of the key roles carried out by train drivers in Victoria are:

 

  • Train and Locomotive Preparation 
  • Operating trains at designated speeds while adhering to timetables
  • Observing signals, safeworking rules and procedures, analysing track conditions and reporting faults 
  • Responding to emergencies.
  • Stopping at stations to pick up/drop off passengers 
  • Shunting wagons for freight operations 

Undertake the Necessary Training to Become a Train Driver

 

Safety is a top priority within the Australian train network and Victoria is no exception. If you plan to pursue your career as a Victorian train driver, you’ll need to undertake Rail Category 1 medical examinations, pass the academic testing process, complete the necessary skills training, and then meet the competency standards demanded by the industry. 

 

Looking to specialise or have a keen interest? Consider upgrading with specialised courses that certify you to work as a Steam Train Driver within the Heritage groups. 

Recommended Courses

To gain a qualification as a train driver whether passenger or freight, electric or diesel, you must be engaged in the rail industry by a rail operator such as Pacific National, Aurizon, SCT, Metro Trains, or V-Line or, enter via a program such as Street-to-Seat.

Rail operators recruit and sign drivers up into a Traineeship where they can attain Certificate IV in Train Driving. The process works in a similar way to an apprenticeship. Once you gain your qualification and complete your training, you continue working for the rail operator. 

Street-to-Seat is an education-to-employment Rail Career Path Program initiative hosted by Momentum Rail (an industry skills supplier).  Street-to-Seat is the rail industries most recognised training to employment driver program, supporting rail operators to develop new Train Drivers and Train Drivers’s Assistants. As part of the Momentum Rail recruitment process, you would need to complete a training program to gain the required qualifications to safely access Rail Operator worksites. Once qualified, you could progress to employment with Momentum Rail and/or other rail industry employers.

You will need to respond to the recruitment strategies of the various rail companies who recruit for trainee drivers, and other rail-based callings. There are no shortcuts in the rail sector. The industry is safety critical, and all drivers must be trained on a live network under supervision before they can become certified to drive. 

Seeking out an accredited training organisation is one of the most important steps when researching how to become a train driver. Founded in 2003, CERT Training provides the highest quality flexible, industry leading and cost-effective training solutions to the Australian Rail Industry; including Victorian networks such as V/Line.

CERT Training also works closely with Momentum Rail to support the training and development required for students undertaking the Street-to-Seat Train Driver or Train Driver’s Assistant Career Path Programs.

The pathway to becoming a Train Driver is as rewarding as it is exciting. One of the best ways to get your start is to attain qualifications that enable you to learn from the experts in the industry and gain a thorough understanding of how the rail network operates. 

Whilst train driver courses are only offered to trainees already engaged with an industry operator, our Train Track Safety Awareness (TTSA) course (also known as Safely Access the Rail Corridor (SARC) and by course code: TLIF 2080) can help lay the groundwork for a standout resume application during the next Train Driver Graduate Program offered by the industry operators or the Career Path Program recruitment by Momentum Rail. 

If you can’t find a trainee rail driver program with a rail operator near you, there are other ways to get your start in this essential, well-funded and historic industry. Training to become a Handsignaller, becoming a Track Force Protection Coordinator and working as a Track Vehicle Operator can assist you in understanding the industry, and are themselves great roles to get your start in an amazing and rewarding career. These roles can ultimately assist you in meeting the standards and requirements to end up driving trains across the awesome Victorian landscape.

If you’re looking for a rewarding and varied career, you’ve found it in the rail industry.

Express your interest in the Street to Seat program here.

Enrol in CERT Training now and kick start your career in rail infrastructure.

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