Are you passionate about customer service and fascinated by rail transportation? Transnet Freight Rail is seeking enthusiastic individuals to join their team as Train Assistant Trainees. This is a fantastic opportunity for those eager to contribute to train safety and operations.

No prior experience is necessary, as comprehensive training will be provided. Become a part of a dedicated team today and embark on a rewarding career in railway operations.

Transnet Train Assistant Trainee Program Overview

  • Division: Transnet Freight Rail
  • Position Title: Trainee Assistant
  • Department: OP-COR-EXEC-TCM-Train Crew C1-OGS
  • Location: Ogies
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to Section Manager: Train Traffic
  • Grade: SSTFT
  • Reference Number: req988

Position objective

As a Train Assistant Trainee at Transnet, you will support the Train Driver in safely and efficiently operating various types of trains and locomotive consistencies. Your role is crucial in ensuring the timely and secure transportation of freight and cargo to their destinations. By delivering goods promptly and in good condition, you will help the organization meet and exceed customer expectations.

You will also assist in handling different train types, including airbrake, vacuum, high-speed, heavy haul, and passenger trains, and play a key role in maintaining safety protocols and ensuring smooth operations throughout the journey.


Prepare designated locomotives for operation by:

  • Identifying the locomotive to be prepared.
  • Procuring and installing necessary equipment.
  • Checking and replenishing required equipment.
  • Ensuring cleanliness of work area.
  • Assisting with locomotive startup and brake tests.
  • Coupling locomotives and dispatching as required.

Prepare communication equipment by:

  • Obtaining and checking functionality of radios, handsets, walkie-talkies, and telemeters.
  • Conduct pre-trip preparation of locomotives and entire train:
  • Attaching/detaching vehicles as per works order.
  • Installing telemeters, completing vehicle lists and forms, mounting train indicators, examining train, and conducting brake tests.
  • Execute shunting activities in sidings and en route according to directives:
  • Obtaining works order.
  • Performing shunting/placing/removing of trucks as per works order.
  • Updating vehicle lists and managing load/empty trucks at sidings.

Assist train driver en route to ensure safe movement of the train:

  • Verifying signal positions and displays.
  • Observing proceeding trains and patrolling locomotives.
  • Resetting locomotive trip-outs.
  • Ensuring safe running of the train and providing assistance during emergencies.
  • Adhere to safety standards and instructions.
  • Provide timely and accurate feedback to the train driver regarding incidents and deviations.
  • Assist with various administrative duties.
  • Complete train journal and submit to Section Manager at sign-off after each shift for accurate processing of monthly salary.


As a Transnet train assistant trainee you will be required to have the following:

  • Completion of Grade 12 with pure Mathematics and/or Physical Science.
  • Willingness to undergo periodic medical surveillance and safety behavioral risk assessments during the selection process and every 12 months.
  • Physical requirements including hearing, vision, mental fitness (to be confirmed through medical tests and related safety behavioral risk assessments).
  • Compliance with age regulations: Employees undertaking train driver or train control duties must be 21 years of age or older (SANS 3000, par
  • Minimum Train Assistat Trainee Prerequisites:
    • Minimum height requirement of 1.6 meters.
    • Assessment of psychomotor ability through the Vienna Testing System (VTS) standard.
    • Ability to lift heavy objects.

Functional Training:

  • Readiness to successfully complete Train Assistant duties (both theoretical and practical) to obtain certification for independent work as a Train Assistant.
  • Willingness and capability to obtain certification for Train Assistant duties (both theoretical and practical) to work independently as a Train Assistant.

Skills and knowledge:


  • Familiarity with various communication systems.
  • Understanding of depot layout.
  • Knowledge of different locomotive classes.
  • Understanding of locomotive equipment.
  • Awareness of routes and roads.
  • Familiarity with sections, stations, and sidings.
  • Understanding of signing on duty procedures.
  • Knowledge of train working rules.
  • Understanding of trip reporting.
  • Knowledge of yard and siding layout.
  • Familiarity with general Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) policies.
  • Understanding of shunting procedures.
  • Knowledge of locomotive classes and their hauling capacities, as well as constraints in specific territories.
  • Understanding of Health and Safety Act 85.
  • Familiarity with first aid procedures.
  • Understanding of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).
  • Awareness of SANS 3004 (Human factors).
  • Understanding of HC policies and procedures.
  • Knowledge of train service and In-Train Performances (ITP).
  • Understanding of train workings.
  • Awareness of Substance Abuse policy and procedures.


  • Ability to handle stress.
  • Strong self-management skills.
  • Safety-conscious mindset.
  • Punctuality.
  • Willingness to work shifts.
  • Results-oriented mindset.


  • Proficiency in locomotive coupling and uncoupling.
  • Ability to prepare locomotives (both Electrical and Diesel).
  • Skill in locomotive stabling.
  • Observation skills.
  • Ability to perform shunting movements.
  • Proficiency in train handling skills.
  • Effective time management.
  • Proficiency in handling stress.
  • Assessment skills.
  • Literacy.
  • Communication skills.
  • Judgement ability.
  • Reasoning skills.
  • Psychomotor skills (reactions/coordination).
  • Concentration.
  • Observation.
  • Spatial awareness.
  • Depth perception psychomotor.
  • Numerical skills.
  • Proficiency in train/locomotive handling and preparation.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Proficiency in electrical and diesel locomotive driving.

Transnet Train Assistant Trainee Application Guidelines:

Click here, to apply for the train assistant trainee position.

Hint: Free CV Templates that Pass the Applicant Tracking System

Note: Preference will be granted to qualified applicants who belong to designated groups, aligning with the Employment Equity Plan and Targets of the Organization/Operating Division.

By joining Transnet as a Train Assistant Trainee, you are embarking on a fulfilling career that prioritizes safety, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Apply now and become a vital part of South Africa’s railway operations!