All about the profession train driver

All about the profession train driver

Railway gave life to mass of very important varieties of human activity. But before tie themselves with her, you need to learn the main nuances of specific types of work. Perhaps the most important topic in such a context – find out all about the profession of train driver.


Such a kind of activity as a train driver has a rather long history. It is believed that In our country, this profession appeared in 1836. It was then that the first practical movement on the site of the first Russian railway from Big Kuzmin began (now part of Pushkin) to Pavlovsk. If you count the story from the first full pass throughout the railway branch, then the date of the occurrence of the profession can be considered November 11, 1837.

Of course, it would be possible to remember the launch dates into the work of the railways abroad. But to describe the essence of the profession it is not required. It is much more important that Today, the driver is found in the root different from the first half of the XIX century. And yet there is an undoubted similarity between them. In the cab cabin, as in the old-fashioned locomotive, will have to focus on management and not distracted. High technologies have significantly changed not only the process of moving the locomotive, but also. However, the effects of errors are still fatal. Moreover: the level of knowledge and skills that the driver must have, over the past 180 years grew by two orders of magnitude. Without these specialists, it is impossible to imagine the movement both in the main railway tracks and within the stations.

The locomotive brigade as a commodity (cargo) and passenger, fire, repair and restoration, military, sanitary and any other train belongs to the “traction part”. And despite all the changes that the domestic rail transport survived, the machinists have left the elite from the moment of its foundation.

Wage levels are higher than any other railway personnel that does not occupy a guidance position. But now we need to look at the positive and negative sides of such work.

Pros and cons

Of course, the prestige already mentioned above and relatively high wages. And also it is worth emphasizing that the machinists will need at least a few decades. Even if the full automation of the locomotive movement suddenly begins (which is very doubtful), which come to the profession now have every chance to work to the end of the career. As you can see, this is a rather stable area of ​​human activity. Be sure to mention and the romantic component of railways by rail. True, professionals rarely can highlight the time to admire the beauty. Yes, and the “romantic crossing of the wheels” will gradually become routine. But this is compensated to a large extent a number of benefits and privileges that railway workers may apply. They are trying to provide material assistance in difficult cases.

And now it is worth saying about the explicit disadvantages of the employee’s profession:

  • Harm to health – constant sitting work, it is impossible to get up once again and warm up+
  • High initial requirements for health status – because of them, many people will be sifted already when selected for training+
  • Training lasts a very long time, much longer than that of motor vehicles, turners or construction machine operators+
  • The level of responsibility is always great, which generates constant voltage+
  • It remains all the time in a monotonous setting – even drive most often on more or less identical routes+
  • Specialization is very narrow – to occupy another position on the railway will have to retrain.

It is worth noting that in recent years, the requirements for health status are only increasing. After all, traffic speeds increase, like their tension. Have to:

  • Driving the train for many hours in a row, and on some routes – a few days, even with interruptions+
  • be extremely attentive+
  • enjoy impeccable vision, hearing, vestibular apparatus+
  • eliminate heart problems, breathing, central nervous system+
  • be ready for long and systematic business trips+
  • Develop the skills of the highest discipline and self-discipline.


The easiest way to say, of course, that the work of the driver is reduced to the fact that it must lead at the appointed time entrusted to him “from point A to point B”. But in practice other nuances are immediately discovered. The job instruction states, for example, that, with a driver, a certificate must always be confirmed by the right to manage a specific type of locomotive. These tasks are also indicated as:

  • Permanent increase in its qualifications and general technical culture+
  • Exception of overload and other disorders when moving+
  • Compliance with the generally accepted regulations of negotiations with dispatchers and other leaders of the movement+
  • Prevention of accidents, crashes and material damage+
  • rational use of the material part of the railway in general and rolling stock in particular+
  • Control of the health and normal operation of safety devices, engines, radio communications+
  • records management+
  • Operational elimination of all problems on the locomotive, if it is impossible – the release of the run and the message to the relevant services+
  • Exception of obstacles to other trains+
  • Exception of interference for repair and restoration work+
  • execution of disputes of dispatchers and other responsible persons+
  • Inspection of the movable part of the composition at each stop+
  • Notification of dispatchers about all cases where other railway workers violated safety rules.

More duties of driver are:

  • Notification of any case of emergency braking and other emergency situations+
  • Elimination of spills of petroleum products, ejection of other substances or goods+
  • Saving material and other resources (not interfering with normal operation)+
  • Delivery at the end of the change of all necessary documentation+
  • Performance of labor protection standards, fire, environmental, sanitary safety+
  • When transporting special cargoes – compliance with the norms of chemical, radiation and biological protection+
  • Compliance with the Main Training Main Training Technologies established by the Rules+
  • Objective mobile health monitoring+
  • Regular qualification level confirmation+
  • Compliance with the established signs, semaphore signals, other prescriptions, restrictions and notifications.

Skills and knowledge

Professional driver thoroughly knows the locomotive device and its features. Before entering the flight, it will be necessary to learn the path profile and other features, the most complex and dangerous areas. It is very important to know the places of permanent signals, signs, the location points of the moves and the allowed locations of the transition of the railway canvase. Since railway transport – a source of increased danger, it is impossible to do without first-aid skills.

Another locomotive brigade should:

  • carry out technical maintenance+
  • eliminate independently small problems and defects in his work+
  • Successfully and weigly act in a critical situation+
  • Know the rules of movement by rail+
  • Be able to use radio communications+
  • know the requirements for exploitation and storage of inventory+
  • be able to check the health of all locomotive systems+
  • Evaluate the correspondence of the actual state of rolling stock by official prescriptions.


Of course, becoming a train engine today is very difficult. Relevant education is given in specialized colleges and technical schools. There are taught not only actually driving trains, but give the theoretical base. Much attention is paid to such subjects as mathematics, information technology, physics. To note: those who wish to become metro machinists can undergo a training course directly in the depot.

The unconditional advantage for the future driver will be the presence of technical education on the adjacent profile or higher education in the railway sphere. True, this option is mainly suitable for those who are immediately going to go to a leadership position.

IMPORTANT: Candidates must have experience of military service. After universities or academies of ways to communicate, additional education in the training centers of Russian Railways OJSC will take 2 years.

Where it works?

Train Management Specialist is most often interested in Russian Railways. Significantly less machinists work in the subway, on the access roads of various enterprises and organizations (usually – mines and large factories, but sometimes individual military units). The salary of the driver in Russian Railways is usually higher than in other structures. In 2020, its average level is 70,000 rubles. Plays the role of a region of work.

Locomotive brigades of the passenger message receive greater income than their colleagues in the cargo movement. Salary on electrified lines is superior to the salary of controlled locomotives. The further distance of the trips, the greater the salary. Also taken into account:

  • Development of time+
  • experience+
  • Qualification level+
  • Day or night work.

The initial point is usually becoming the post of driver’s assistant. In this post, the average income is 40-50 thousand. rubles per month. The most experienced can over time become instructors of locomotive brigades. These specialists not only pass the accumulated experience, but also give practical recommendations, how to pass complex areas, how to solve certain problems. Important: Instructors also serve also controllers of the work of subordinates, since their qualifications can immediately notice any slip.

Special form to employees of locomotive brigades are issued as necessarily as at the zare of railway transport. Today it is a half-walled kit. No special demands for shoes no one imposes. But you must have a reflective vest with you. What is interesting, some particularly passionate people become even driver locomotives. Such locomotives today are found in single instances, and are used mainly for excursions and entertainment trips. But since they even ride rarely, the most common machinists attracted to work, which in everyday life are busy on diesel locomotives and electric locomotives. For them, it is very important to obtain an additional admission, since the locomotive is officially recognized as a separate type of rolling stock.

It should be emphasized that the management of each series of steam locomotives needs to be studied especially, and this is much painstaking than the use of automatic controls.

Perspectives and Career

As already indicated, the train driver can work not only in Russian Railways, but also in other organizations. Available to him and traditional “vertical” career. True, to become a dispatcher, head of the station, the leader of the distance or another narrow specialist, will necessarily need additional education, and higher. And to his quality on any railway, very strict requirements will be brought.

Probably destinations of career development will be:

  • exploitation+
  • Maintenance+
  • Design of rolling stock+
  • General management (this is just the same approximate profiles of higher professional education).

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