Trainee Driver’s Blog

This is a blog written by a new recruit to ‘One’ railways in West Anglia (now National Express East Anglia) who joined the railway in March 2005 after several years in other jobs. The experiences are typical of what can be expected at a passenger TOC and cover his experiences from interview to passing out nearly a year later, then his first few months as a qualified driver. It was written both to illustrate the training process and to provide information and encouragement to other trainees and people considering train driving as a career.

Many thanks to the author for allowing me to display this blog.

UPDATE: As of 2016, this blog now also includes the latest industry news and free advice for those wanting to get into the rail industry.The last entry from the trainee train driver training series can be found here: We have 100s of insightful posts!

Rail Delivery Group: Passenger Revenue Results

Monday, May 9th, 2016

A new survey conducted by the Rail Delivery Group, has uncovered some startling new statistics about rail travel in Britain. Primarily, the survey shows that rail passengers in the UK made just over 1.7 billion train journeys during the past year. The South-East alone, and London, accounted for 1.2 billion of this. As a result … Continue reading Rail Delivery Group: Passenger Revenue Results

Train Driver Application Form: The Ultimate Guide

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

One of the most important areas when applying to become a train driver, is the application form. An application form is a way for Train Operating Companies (TOCs) to filter out unsuitable candidates from their selection process. The application form is a huge hurdle for candidates to overcome, and you would be surprised by the … Continue reading Train Driver Application Form: The Ultimate Guide

Female Train Drivers: A Critical Imbalance?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Recent figures collected by a railway gender diversity survey, have drawn up some alarming results. The results show that less than 2 in every 10 railway employees are female. ‘Women In Rail’ conducted the survey. Women In Rail are a pro female train drivers support group,. They say the results are indicative of the fact … Continue reading Female Train Drivers: A Critical Imbalance?

South London Trains: TfL Train Reforms 2016

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Last month, TfL (Transport for London) made the game changing announcement that all South London rail services will be brought under their control. In this blog, we’ll investigate the pros and cons of this move, and what it means for South London based rail travellers. What are the plans to reform South London Trains? The … Continue reading South London Trains: TfL Train Reforms 2016

Great Western Railway: Door Operation Changes

Friday, February 26th, 2016

A recent story to hit the headlines came from Swindon, and Great Western Railway. There has been some controversy over new plans from Great Western to put drivers in charge of operating train doors. Largely opposed by Unions, the debate over the plans rolls on. We decided to investigate and explore the ramifications of such … Continue reading Great Western Railway: Door Operation Changes

Train Driver Careers: The Top 3 Commandments

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Train Drivers are a very elite and selective group of people, and the process of joining this group is extremely difficult to achieve. Due to the nature and responsibility of the role, you must be able to exhibit a number of essential core qualities throughout the selection process, in order to be successful. In total, … Continue reading Train Driver Careers: The Top 3 Commandments

Train Driver Requirements: The Candidate’s Guide

Friday, January 29th, 2016

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 … Continue reading Train Driver Requirements: The Candidate’s Guide


Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

I’m afraid that I’ve come over all “Bill Oddie” after yesterday, having spent the day on our suburban lines. A combination of the good weather and slower trains meant that I got to see some of the wildlife that makes it’s home along the verges of the railway. Chief amongst these is the urban fox. … Continue reading Springwatch

Dispensing the unpleasantries

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

Well, it’s been an unusual day for me today. The job I was on today required me to travel as a passenger on almost as many trains as I had to drive. However, the sun was out and I was in a good mood, so everything went swimmingly. Perhaps it was the weather that put … Continue reading Dispensing the unpleasantries

Left hand – Right hand

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

I’ve been quite a busy bunny of late. I have now “signed” all the routes with the exception of Cambridge , and have been back out driving again. As promised, I have been enjoying a much more varied workload, with trips out to Stratford , Ilford and Hertford East. I do still get the occasional … Continue reading Left hand – Right hand