So you want to be a train driver…? Here’s how to get your licence

7 June 2019
Paul Carey
Paul Carey
Railway Safety Policy Senior Executive

Driving a train has been a childhood dream for generations, but I don’t imagine that when youngsters fantasise about life on the rails they spend too much time thinking that their choice of career would involve tangling with a web of regulations. But safety must come first so the Train Driving Licences and Certificates Regulations 2010 were introduced and by the deadline of October 2018 the ORR had issued licences to around 20,000 train drivers working on Britain’s mainline railway.

During the run-up to this deadline we were called on time and time again to advise people on the regulations, and we realised it was an ideal opportunity to overhaul the guidance on train driver licensing and make it easier for everyone to use.

It’s not just train drivers, it’s also their employers – the train operators, the doctors performing the medical examinations, the psychologists carrying out the ‘aptitude’ tests, and the trainers and examiners who make sure that drivers are competent to drive trains.  With such different groups we thought that a ‘one size fits all’ guide wasn’t the best way of getting the message across, so we have created series of guides aimed at meeting their needs.

Simpler guidance

So after a few months of drafting, consulting and more drafting we have published four new guides. They are:

We have also published a key facts leaflet specifically aimed at drivers to give them a handy, quick way to understand what the regulations mean for them.

Good for the drivers, good for the industry and good for passengers, who can rest assured that the driver has been through the fitness and competency tests they need to be at the controls.