- Cheyne, J, human resources adviser, KiwiRail Freight, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2013.
- Farrell, K, human resources adviser - passenger group, Kiwirail, Careers New Zealand interview, April 2013.
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
- Vickery, C, Westfield Rail Depot station manager, KiwiRail, Careers New Zealand interview, August 2009.
Train DriverAlternative titles
This job is sometimes referred to as:
- Locomotive Engineer
Train drivers drive passenger or freight trains.
Contact usCall us on 0800 222 733
What are the chances of getting a job?
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates show the number of train drivers increased by about 17% between September 2010 and September 2012.
People leaving the role creating opportunities for new train drivers
The average age of a train driver is over 50, and the retirement rate is more than double that of most occupations. Openings are also being created train drivers are moving to Australia for better pay.
Experience in the rail industry gives advantage to job hunters
KiwiRail, the biggest employer of train drivers, usually has four to six intakes of trainee drivers a year, with four trainees per intake. People with experience in the industry, such as railway shunters, are usually given preference.
Opportunities best in Auckland and Wellington
Opportunities to become a train driver tend to be best in Wellington and Auckland, which have major freight depots and the only urban commuter networks in the country. The expansion of the Auckland rail network may see more positions become available in Auckland in next five to 10 years.
KiwiRail is also recruiting train drivers in Hamilton, Palmerston North and Christchurch for their freight operation.
Only two employers for train drivers
Train drivers work for either:
- KiwiRail, which runs freight and long distance passenger trains, owns TranzMetro and operates the Wellington urban rail network
- Veolia, which runs the Auckland urban rail network.
Other vacancy websites
- KiwiRail Jobs - search kiwirail's job vacancies
- Veolia Transport Job Vacancies - Search Veolia transport's job vacancies
- Jobs.co.nz - Search for jobs in a range of interest areas
- New Zealand Herald Jobs - View NZ Herald transport and logistics jobs
- SEEK - View SEEK's transport and logistics jobs
- Trade Me - View Trade Me's transport and logistics jobs
- Otago Daily Times - Search job vacancies
- Jobseeker - Search many vacancy sites at once with Jobseeker
- Work and Income New Zealand - Search Work and Income job vacancies
Progression and specialisations
Train drivers usually specialise in either inter-city freight and passenger trains, or urban passenger trains. However, many of the skills needed are the same.
Experienced train drivers may move into trainer positions. They may also progress to become train controllers or station managers.
How many people are doing this job?
Updated 6 May 2013