Train Driver Requirements: The Candidate’s Guide

Friday, January 29th, 2016

a core train driver requirement is that drivers must be able to cope with adverse weather, such as snow

Train Driving is an extremely difficult job, a fact which is often lost on the general public. Train Drivers hold huge amounts of daily responsibility, and undergo huge amounts of mental and physical strain in order to do their job effectively. What this means is that in order to become a Train Driver, you will need to meet a range of train driver requirements. In this blog, we’ll examine the Train Driver requirements/eligibility criteria, and give you some tips on how you can make sure that you meet them.

Train Driver Requirements

Before we begin, it’s important to note the following: the eligibility criteria will generally depend on the TOC that you are applying for. This means that some TOCs will have differing requirements for their candidates than others. The list we have provided you with is based on general expectation, and not that of any 1 particular TOC. You should check your train driver requirements with the TOC that you are applying to before completing any application forms.


The majority of employers will now look for their train drivers to demonstrate that they have achieved C+ grades in GCSE Maths and GCSE English. Mechanical or electrical knowledge will also prove to be extremely useful. While these educational requirements are not set in stone, remember that you will be competing against a huge number of people for this role, and therefore it stands to reason that many of them will have grades and achievements that gain them extra points. For this reason, along with the assessment centre tests, it is extremely useful to have high grades.


Generally, the minimum age requirement for train drivers is that they are 18 or over. There are some TOCs who require their drivers to be 21+.

Medical requirements:

Medical requirements are extremely important to TOCs, for health and safety reasons. In order to become a train driver, you’ll have to pass a range of medical and fitness checks, including eye tests, hearing, drug and alcohol screening. The requirements are generally as follows:


You must be between 5 foot 4 and 6 foot 4.


You must have normal hearing, with no more than 30 decibels hearing loss in either ear. This needs to be met without a hearing aid. Candidates who use a hearing aid will not be disqualified, but will need to show that they can meet these standards without the hearing aid in.

one train driver requirement is for you to be punctual and on time

Previous conditions:

You must not have a history of any of the following: co-ordination problems, mobility issues, epilepsy, blacks or loss of balance. You will also have diabetes and blood pressure tests in order to ensure that you have no underlying medical conditions.


You must have distance vision of at least 6/9 or 6/12, in your weakest eye. Certain TOCs will not allow contact lenses, but others will. Colour blindness will also hinder your chances of success.

Alcohol and drug use:

All TOCs will screen their drivers for illegal drug use and the presence of alcohol. Train Drivers must not be under the influence of substances, such as alcohol, whilst working.


To learn about the TfL train driver requirements, visit their official website!

attend our course to learn more about train driver requirements

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