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Rail Transport Operatives

Rail transport operatives assist drivers in the operation of passenger and goods trains, drive locomotive engines in coal mines, guide wagons and coaches in marshalling yards and sidings to make up trains, operate signals and points to control the movement of rail traffic, and monitor the operation of surface and underground railways.


Median Salary

New workers start around £22,574. Normal pay is £38,368 per year. Highly experienced workers can earn up to £55,560.

Daily Tasks

  • Checks loading of tubs and carriages, and informs driver of load distribution and any special features of route.
  • Assists drivers in the operation of diesel, diesel-electric, electric and steam locomotives.
  • Examines shunting instructions, uncouples wagons and coaches, guides movement of carriages using manual points and wagon breaks, links-up carriages, ensures security of couplings and reconnects brake and heating systems.
  • Operates signals and opens and closes barriers at level crossings as required.
  • Examines schedules and decides priority of movement of trains, monitors movement of trains and issues instructions to drivers, signal operatives and level crossing keepers.
  • Provides crews for breakdown trains, allocates relief and replacement crews as necessary, keeps crews informed of any line repairs or restrictions, and checks train running times for punctuality.

Skills employers are asking for

  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Speaking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Science

Related Courses

FdEng Rail Engineering

This degree will equip you with multi-disciplinary rail engineering and management skills to help you enter the industry.

Length: 2 years
Study: Full-Time
Start date: 9th September 2024
Location: Rail Academy

View Course