The practical part of train driver education: experiences, expectations and possibilities

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Despite all the technical aids introduced to the railway the train drivers’ knowledge and skills are still important for traffic efficiency and safety. The literature shows a clear connection between practical experience and safer and more efficient action. Thus, the aims were (1) to examine what is likely to be included in the internship of the train driver education, and (2) to assess the difference in expectations on novice versus experienced drivers. Quantitative data, obtained through Swedish train drivers, indicate a great possibility that a student will not have the possibility to practice many situations sufficiently or even at all during internship. Results from the instructors and employers show that the expectations on the novice drivers can be regarded as realistic and correspond with the literature about development of profession expertise. Finally, we argue that pedagogical use of simulators may provide effective practice of critical situations in a safe environment.

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