Train Managers are responsible for the security of the trains, for checking tickets and for looking after passengers. They also answer passengers' queries and provide assistance when needed.
Also known as
- Conductor, Train
- Train Conductor
- On Board Manager
Video: - Michael: Conductor
As a Train Manager, you will help passengers and carry out duties to ensure the smooth running of the train.
At the railway station, you check with the Train Driver and station staff that it is safe for the train to leave.
During the journey, you make announcements on the train's public address system about destinations, and provide any further relevant information. To do this, you must have a good knowledge of routes, timetables and regulations.
As you walk through the train, you make sure everyone has a valid ticket. You answer any passengers' questions about connections and other similar queries. A Train Manager will also have to be tactful when they are talking to any awkward passengers.
If a train breaks down, you will work with the Train Driver to ensure the safety of the passengers and the railway network.
Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Train Manager, you'll need:
- to be polite and tactful when dealing with passengers
- good communication skills
- the ability to deal with difficult or awkward passengers
- basic maths skills, as you could be dealing with money, as well as card payments
- some knowledge of local and national train routes
- to be reasonably fit
- normal colour vision, good eyesight and hearing
Applicants must pass a medical examination, which includes tests for alcohol and drug abuse.
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £28,500 - £30,500
- With experience: £32,500 - £37,000
- Senior Train Managers earn £40,000 - £43,000
Hours of work
Train Managers usually work 35 - 40 hours a week, which will include shift work, evenings, weekends and public holidays. Overtime may be available.
Where could I work?
Employment is usually with Train Operating Companies (TOCs), London Underground and the Eurostar.
Train Managers work on board trains, travelling to local/national destinations throughout the UK.
Where are vacancies advertised?
Vacancies are advertised on WorkTrack, all the major job boards, on Find a Job, and at Jobcentre Plus.
Vacancies are also advertised on TOCs' websites. A list of TOCs can be found on the Association of Train Operating Companies website.
Entry Routes and Training
There are no set entry routes into this career. However, it's useful to have a few GCSEs, or equivalent. Useful subjects include:
- leisure and tourism
An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article
Train Operating Companies (TOCs) usually require you to be aged over 18 because of the shift work involved. Some companies run training schemes for people 16 and over.
TOCs recruit people for training. This could last between two and three months and include a short induction.
Some of the things you'll learn about include:
- ticket types
- railway rules and regulations
- how to deal with difficult situations and emergencies
This is followed by on-the-job training.
City & Guilds offer a level 2 qualification in rail services (passenger services). By the end of the course, you will have learnt:
- how to maintain a safe and secure working environment
- how to operate and control trains in service
- how to drive trams
- signal operations
- how to provide a clean and tidy environment
- how to provide travel products
Train Managers may take on more of a supervisory role by progressing to the position of Train Crew Leader or Revenue Protection Officer.
Previous work experience in customer service, retail sales, dealing with the public and handling cash can be helpful for this career.
No qualifications are usually needed, but good English and maths skills are necessary. GCSEs in English and maths graded 9 - 4 (A*- C) would be useful.
Knowledge of railway geography is important. You'll do assessment tests as part of the recruitment process.
Experience of working in customer facing roles is also important.
To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.
Age limits apply to this occupation.
The minimum age for a conductor on Network Rail lines is 18, as this is a safety-critical job.
Previous work experience in customer service, retail sales, dealing with the public and handling cash can be helpful.
It may be possible to get into this career via the Rail Services Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.
- 16% of Train Managers work part-time.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000
City & Guilds
Address: 1 Giltspur Street, London EC1A 9DD
Tel: 020 7294 2468
Address: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
Tel: 020 7557 8000
Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC)
Train operating companies via Acces Rail
Transport for London (TfL)
Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 028 4844