Train and tram drivers


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2017


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2015


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Job holders in this unit group drive diesel, diesel-electric, electric and steam locomotives that transport passengers and goods on surface and underground railways, and transport passengers in trams.


There are no formal academic requirements. Entrants must pass a series of tests and a medical examination. Age restrictions apply in some areas of work. Good hearing, good eyesight and normal colour vision are required. Off- and on-the-job training is provided. NVQs/SVQs are available at Level 2.

Typical tasks

  • checks controls, gauges, brakes and lights before start of journey and studies route, timetable and track information;
  • checks safety equipment, regulates the heating of passenger compartments and records engine defects or unusual incidents on the journey;
  • starts train or tram when directed and operates controls to regulate speed;
  • watches for track hazards, observes signals and temperature, pressure and other gauges;
  • stops as directed to allow passengers to embark/ disembark;
  • makes scheduled stops for the loading and unloading of freight and coupling/uncoupling of carriages and tubs;
  • maintains radio contact with control centre;
  • may make passenger announcements and controls automatic doors;
  • may check travel passes, collect fares and deal with passenger queries.

Common job titles

Driver, engine (railways)
Driver (railways)
Driver, car, rail
Driver, engine, shunting
Driver, engine, railway
Engineman (railways)
Operator, train
Driver, engine, locomotive
Driver, locomotive
Driver, tram
Driver, train
Driver, loco
Driver, car, shuttle
Driver, shunter
Driver, diesel (railways)