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!

A to Z

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Since last I wrote, I’ve been engaged in almost continual route learning and one by one ticking off each of the routes that I shall be required to drive. Unlike some of my colleagues, I’ve not been taken off from time to time to cover driving jobs, which is both good and bad. On the … Continue reading A to Z

No news is good news

Friday, May 5th, 2006

It’s gratifying to say that things have been very quiet of late. I completed the last of my twenty solo turns without incident and am now out learning the rest of the routes that will eventually make up my workload. So far I’ve been learning the Enfield Town and Hertford East branches, which are both … Continue reading No news is good news

Company man

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Looking back over the past few entries, it seems that all I’ve done is whinge about how rotten my luck is and all the things that have gone wrong. Since then, things have been very quiet and I’ve just got on with my booked jobs with little in the way of incident. The problem with … Continue reading Company man

Won’t they learn…?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

Well folks, it’s the early hours of Wednesday morning and I’ve had a very rare occurrence. Today’s shift went almost entirely without hitch. I say almost entirely, as things didn’t go precisely as planned. However, given the dramas that I’ve suffered recently, being swapped off one pair of units and onto another was hardly dramatic. … Continue reading Won’t they learn…?

Round the houses

Friday, April 7th, 2006

I’m not entirely sure exactly where to begin, as this week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Fortunately my bad luck has held off for the duration, although I have been victim of the misfortune of others. Monday started quietly enough, although I was treated to an unusual and slightly comical sight on my … Continue reading Round the houses

“Kick me”

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

While I was off work following my incident, I received a text message from my minder in which he called me “probably the unluckiest bastard on the railway”. I’m beginning to think that he’s right as, thinking back, I’ve had at least one thing happen every shift since passing out. Prior to that my luck … Continue reading “Kick me”

Back to the coalface

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

Well folks, I’m now back at work properly and have completed my first full job which, I’m pleased to report, passed without incident. It was quite odd being back at the pointy end after such a long time off, but I’ve had plenty of opportunity to settle back into the routine before being allowed out … Continue reading Back to the coalface

Abducted by aliens

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

In case any of you were wondering, I am still alive and well and have not been abducted by aliens. The reason for the lack of updates is that I was involved with a railway incident on the day before my previous entry. It was only my fifth solo driving turn and a day given … Continue reading Abducted by aliens

My big mouth

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

I notice from my last entry that I was bemoaning the fact that this week was going to be rather dull. Well, I have been proved wrong in spectacular style. Still, according to some of my colleagues I am now a proper driver. Unfortunately, I don’t feel at liberty at the present moment in time … Continue reading My big mouth


Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Although it’s now been over a week since passing out, I’ve still only completed three solo driving turns. This is mainly down to me taking the last of my annual leave left over from 2005 (which also explains why I’ve not updated the weblog recently). However, today was a veritable cornucopia of happenings. Because of … Continue reading Christine