Train driver’s salary UK: how much do train drivers earn?


During today’s strike action (July 27), 40,000 workers from over 14 railway companies went out in protest against working conditions, wage increases and job security.

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With more strikes expected throughout the summer, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has accused unions of “intending to cause misery to the traveling public”.


While RMT union leader Mick Lynch said “this dispute is not just going to go away”.

The strikes are unlikely to be resolved any time soon, so why exactly are rail workers striking? And how much does an average train driver earn?


Here’s everything you need to know.

When are the strikes?


Four train strikes will take place this summer, causing widespread travel chaos.

The first, held today (July 27), saw 40,000 workers from over 14 rail companies.

Test Engineer Scott Bibby in the driver’s seat of a Hitachi Intercity Express Program (IEP) train at the Hitachi factory in Newyton Aycliffe, north east England (Photo: SCOTT HEPPELL/AFP via Getty Images)

Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef) workers will go on strike on July 30, with two more RMT walkouts planned for August 18 and 20.

Continued strike action over the summer holiday period is expected to have a significant impact on services.


Less than one in five train services are expected to operate on these days, with limited service between 7am and 7pm and only on main lines.

Why are they pitching?


The RMT union claims rail workers who have worked during the pandemic are suffering from job losses, a wage freeze and attacks on employment standards.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in the negotiations, the rail industry, with support from the Government, has not taken their concerns seriously.


“We have a cost of living crisis and it is unacceptable that railway workers either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1% and rising.

“Our union will now launch an ongoing campaign of industrial action that will shut down the rail system.”


How much does a train driver earn?

Drivers work an average of 35 to 40 hours a week, including evening and weekend shifts, and free or discounted rides are one of the perks.

A Southern Train pulls into Selhurst Park Station in London (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Corresponding Reed recruitment companythese are the average salaries of a train driver working in these companies:

  • London North Eastern Railway (LNER) – £30,000 to £70,000
  • Transport for London (TfL) – £57,217 to £61,620
  • Scotland – £50,659 to £56,245
  • north runway – £40,104 to £57,546
  • East Midlands Railway – £54,403 to £61,467
  • Great Western Railway – £49,807 to £67,304
  • Mersey Rail – £50,572 to £55,415
  • southeast railway – £37,261 to £58,503

conductor are paid less and tend to work longer hours; They can earn anywhere from £23,000 to £36,000 and work an average of 43 to 45 hours a week.


Train station staff who deal with passengers and perform tasks in stations and on platforms can expect to earn between £17,500 and £27,000.

rail track maintenance worker Those who inspect and repair railway tracks, bridges, tunnels and viaducts have it the worst, earning between £16,500 and £34,000 for 45+ hour weeks.


Could the strikes be stopped?

Talks to stop the strikes have collapsed and the RMT rejected Network Rail’s salary proposals, which fell below inflation.


In a statement, Lynch said: “The rail industry and the government need to understand that this dispute is not going to just go away.

“They must seriously make a salary offer that will help address the cost of living crisis, provide job security for our members and provide good working conditions.


“Network Rail’s recent proposals have fallen far short on pay and safety around maintenance. And the EVU didn’t even make us a salary offer in the last negotiations.

“We remain open to talks, but we will continue our campaign until we reach a negotiated settlement.”


Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has called for the strikes, saying the government had offered an 8% pay rise which had been turned down.

He accused the union leaders of “wanting to cause misery to the traveling public”.


On the basis of the planned strike action, the government has taken action to call for a minimum service requirement for the rail industry, but it could take time for the proposals to take effect.