2 Blog Ditl Rail Focus

​For Renee Fallon, being a train driver was an unexpected yet positive career shift from her government office role, where she had spent eight and a half years.

The door opened when her husband began a traineeship with Trojan Recruitment Group, and Renee decided it might be interesting to go and meet everyone herself. From the friendly people working at Trojan Recruitment Group to how they spoke about the role, Renee was drawn to learning more.

"I went down and chatted with them all, and they said to my husband - Your wife's really nice, and she should apply!" Renee explains.

Renee's new career as a train driver has been a welcome change from working in an office all day; she says, "It's nice to experience a variety of people, and you don't have the same stress."

Renee will get her roster emailed to her two days before her shift and will receive a wake-up call to ensure she is awake and able to drive a train, "My wake-up call is an hour and a half before my time to roster on is, so let's just say it's 6am, I'll get a 4:30am wake up call. They'll make sure you're awake, and if you're feeling dozy or anything, they'll have a big chat with you and ask you to check the weather and just make sure you're awake and alert," she says.

Renee often finds herself on jobs that take her away for one night, so she packs an overnight bag with clothes, books, safety glasses, safety hats, gloves, and other necessary equipment for the day.

When she arrives at work, she will speak with her supervisors, who will run her through any safety precautions or restrictions Renee might need to know that day.

Most days, Renee will drive the train for 10 hours if the job involves going out to the mines. Due to these longer hours, she operates on a four-day roster, giving Renee the extra flexibility, she loves.

While 10 hours may seem like a long shift driving a train, Renee is the first to confess that it's far from boring. There are many checks and tasks to perform as a train driver, including checking oil, fuel, sanding, and cleaning. Renee jokes, "It's not just pressing a button!" Renee has found train driving far more enjoyable and engaging than expected.

When asked what part of her job brings her the most joy, Renee replies, "I'll drive, and I'll look at my mirror, and to see what I've got pulling behind me is amazing. It's extraordinary, the power that you control. I think you don't realise it when you're in the front, so I like to watch the rear of my train. You're like, 'Holy cow. I'm pulling 84 of those things!'"

Renee has found the diversity in the industry to be "really encouraging towards women being out there with them" and invites other women to try the profession.

Renee advises others wanting to make a similar career move: "Start at the bottom, don't think you're going to walk in, and you're going to be able to do the job straight away and don't be cocky. Because train handling is a skill, and it's not just going to take six months or a year to know how to do it; you've got to study it."

For anyone considering a Trojan training course, Renee believes they should absolutely go for it, "It can get you places; it's a good thing to do. My son is about to graduate and while he wants to do something else, we'll be looking at the Trojan website to see what opportunities there are locally."

"I'd definitely do it again because it can open up different avenues in different departments."

If you are open to new opportunities, like Renee, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.