Train controller

Train controllers plan and control daily train schedules. They oversee the safe movement of trains using computerised train control signalling systems.
Also known as: Control system operator, Signals operator, Remote signaller, Train control systems specialist, Tram controller, Light rail controller, Area controller, Network controller

Is this role right for you?

You’ll be 100% focused on monitoring trains, track and signals along your allocated part of the rail network. You’ll need to concentrate and stay alert because if a fault causes trackside signals to fail, you must get passengers to the right station safely and on time. You might have just minutes to re-plan train movements and communicate new routes to drivers and other train operators. So you’ll need to think quickly, collaborate with others, and be able to plan carefully without making expensive or dangerous mistakes.

What are some example projects or experiences?

Like air traffic controllers, train controllers use advanced signalling, telecommunications, and control systems to direct the movement of trains on a network. They’re in constant contact with train drivers to ensure the safe movement of trains. They also provide other train controllers with real time information on activity happening on rail tracks.

Modern networks use autonomous rail traffic control systems which are supervised by train controllers. Train controllers look for faults or mechanical failures, report incidents, and plan and implement solutions to ensure people and freight move safely along the railway line. They also find ways to make train movements safer and more efficient.

What is the work environment like?

Train controllers typically work in centralised train operation centres. They work in a team (often in different locations) to monitor and control the movement of trains remotely.

They use sophisticated computer systems and specialised signalling and communications equipment. Some train controllers may operate manual equipment to change rail signals.

Most train controllers work in major cities but some work in regional or remote locations.

Eligibility & pathways

You may not need to have any previous experience or qualifications for this role. Most employers provide you with all the training you’ll need.

You’ll complete a vocational training course and receive a certificate level qualification while you work. You’ll be trained in all aspects of safe and efficient train operations.

It may be useful to have previous experience as a train driver or hold a Certificate III in Rail Infrastructure, Certificate III in Mechanical or Electrical Rail Signalling, or a Certificate IV in Rail Network Control.

Current job vacancies

Finance Project Controller - Places 

Arcadis Global
Melbourne CBD
Avenues of Entry
Pay Range
$91,500 - $160,000
Senior level
$145,000 - $181,000

Salaries may vary outside of these ranges, based on company size and location, level of experience, competence and time in role.