Skip to main content

This is a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Apprenticeship training course

Train driver (level 3)

Responsible for driving trains in a safe, punctual, economic manner over various routes.

Qualification level
Equivalent to A level.
Typical duration
12 months
Apprenticeship category
Transport and logistics
Maximum funding
Maximum amount government will fund
for apprenticeship training.
Also known as
  • Depot driver
  • Freight train driver
  • On-track machine driver
  • Passenger train driver
Skills an apprentice will learn
  • Continuously monitor area of responsibility to ensure compliance with rail legislation and organisational procedures. Overall responsibility of passengers, staff and goods to enable compliance with regulations through safe and effective rail operation. Constructively challenge unsafe practice at all levels and report through the necessary channels.
  • Constantly maintain a secure environment and respond to security issues and take appropriate action in the event of a breach of security and review how effective the methods and actions have been e.g. safe systems of work, closing gates and doors when entering secured premises, securing cab doors when leaving trains on main lines and stations.
  • Monitor compliance with legislation, procedures and regulations in a rail environment within own area of responsibility. Continuously keep up to date with all relevant train legislation and retaining vast amounts of information.
  • Clearly and accurately carry out verbal communications, face to face and by using written methods and procedures e.g. using the PA system or train radio.
  • Follow procedures to lead and manage incidents and emergencies until incident response teams arrive onsite e.g. overall responsibility for protecting passengers, other staff the train when deciding which line/s are blocked and making a decision as to which line/s to protect first.
  • Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and safety of themselves and others e.g. wears appropriate personal protective equipment, uses authorised walking routes, informs all relevant parties of hazards when these are observed.
  • Supports other colleagues in demanding work situations e.g. be cooperative and give guidance to colleagues and managers and communicate effectively.
  • Make instant complex autonomous decisions during normal, degraded and emergency working.
  • Check and monitor rail systems effectively, diagnosing and resolving problems upon identification of faults or errors in a timely manner to minimise risk and a delay to services. Remain alert at all times and have the ability to perceive any hazards, which may occur during the journey.
  • Locate and prepare trains for service, marshal and shunt trains, drive trains on main lines, depots and sidings, deal with operational incidents, emergencies and berth trains.
  • Dispatch trains under different circumstances e.g. Driver only operated services and guard operated services from staffed and unstaffed stations.
  • Ability to learn and memorise routes features within required timescales e.g. signalling types, principle junctions, tunnels, names of running lines and line-speeds.
  • Make autonomous decisions and work through altered methods of working when in operation, communicate details of the hazard/defective equipment to necessary stakeholders using appropriate methods. Ensure the safe operation of the train in degraded situations and carry out any necessary protection arrangements according to the situation.
  • Effectively manage dangerous goods in own area of competency, report and protect other lines in a dangerous goods emergency.
  • Able to identify and comply with relevant special conditions of carriage e.g. speed restrictions, heavy axle weight, dangerous goods, tunnels and bridges.
  • Manage the speed, braking and driving of trains to optimise fuel economy, reduce maintenance costs and minimise financial penalties for late or wrong time arrivals or departures and fail to call at scheduled stops.
  • Identify and manage individual development needs, maintain and develop skills, knowledge and behaviours, in compliance with the competency management system.
  • Manage own fitness and lifestyle to enable work to be carried out competently in order to reduce the risk to health and safety to self and all stakeholders.
  • Deal with customer enquiries promptly and politely and in the correct manner
  • Redirect customer complaints and/or enquiries using the correct wording and tone to the appropriate personnel when unable to personally deal with them.

Full information on Train driver (level 3) is available from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Find training providers for this course

Apprenticeship location

Check if a provider can offer this training for the apprenticeship location.

Back to top View shortlist