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Requirements for the knowledge and skills of train drivers and for the content of their general training, requirements for the knowledge and skills of train drivers in order to obtain a certificate, and the rules for the examination for train drivers

Issuer:Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications
Type:regulation
In force from:25.03.2017
In force until: In force
Translation published:04.06.2018

Requirements for the knowledge and skills of train drivers and for the content of their general training, requirements for the knowledge and skills of train drivers in order to obtain a certificate, and the rules for the examination for train drivers1
[RT I, 29.07.2015, 2 - entry into force 01.01.2016]

Passed 25.06.2013 Annex 44
RT I, 28.06.2013, 13
Entry into force 01.07.2013

Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

PassedPublishedEntry into force
15.04.2015RT I, 22.04.2015, 125.04.2015
23.07.2015RT I, 29.07.2015, 201.08.2015, in part 01.01.2016
17.03.2017RT I, 22.03.2017, 425.03.2017

This Regulation is enacted on the basis of Sections 45(7) and 452(10) of the Railways Act [raudteeseadus].
[RT I, 29.07.2015, 2 - entry into force 01.01.2016]

§ 1.  Scope

  This Regulation lays down the conditions that must be met for granting and gaining admission to the examination for a train driver’s licence and to the examination for a certificate, and the principles for organising the examination for a train driver’s licence.

Chapter 1 Conditions for admission to the examination for a train driver’s licence and to the examination for a certificate 

§ 2.  General training for train drivers and their general professional knowledge and requirements
[RT I, 29.07.2015, 2 - entry into force 01.01.2016]

 (1) The objective of the general training for train drivers is to provide competence on all topics of relevance to the profession of train driver, focusing on basic knowledge and principles that are applicable independently of the type of rolling stock or railway infrastructure. It is permitted to organise general training without practical exercises. The general training does not cover competence with regard to techniques and safety and operating rules for particular railway infrastructure or with regard to specific types of rolling stock.

 (2) Persons may be admitted to the examination for a train driver’s licence if they have undergone the general training covering the topics referred to in subsections 3–10 of this Section and provided that they meet the requirements set out therein in respect of their knowledge, skills, behaviour and attitudes.

 (3) In order to fulfil the professional and personal demands relating to a train driver’s work, working environment, role and responsibilities in the process of rail operation and relating to the driver’s duties, train drivers must:
 1) know the general thrust of legislation and rules applicable to rail operation and safety, including requirements and procedures regarding the certification of train drivers, dangerous goods, environmental protection and fire protection;
 2) understand the specific requirements and professional and personal demands, including working mainly on one’s own, working a 24-hour shift, individual protection and security, and reading and updating documents;
 3) understand the type of behaviour that is compatible with safety-critical responsibilities and the type of behaviour that is not, for example the use or consumption of medication, alcohol, drugs and other psychoactive substances, and working in a state of stress or fatigue;
 4) be able to explain the reference and operating documents, including the rule book, the route book and the driver’s manual;
 5) be able to explain the responsibilities and functions of persons involved;
 6) understand the importance of being precise in carrying out duties and in working methods;
 7) understand occupational health and safety requirements, including the code of behaviour on and near tracks, the code of behaviour for getting on and off the traction unit safely, ergonomics, staff safety rules and personal protective equipment;
 8) know behavioural skills and principles, including stress management and in extreme situations;
 9) know the principles of environmental protection, including sustainable driving.

 (4) As regards railway technologies, including the safety principles behind operational regulations, train drivers must:
 1) know the principles, regulations and provisions regarding safety in rail operations;
 2) be able to explain the responsibilities and functions of persons involved.

 (5) As regards the basic principles of railway infrastructure, train drivers must:
 1) know the systematic and structural principles and parameters of the railway;
 2) know the general characteristics of tracks, stations and marshalling yards;
 3) know railway structures, including bridges, tunnels and points;
 4) know the operating modes for single track, double track and multiple track operations;
 5) know the signalling and train control systems;
 6) know the safety installations, including hot axle box detectors and smoke detectors in tunnels;
 7) know the traction power supplies, including catenary and third rails.

 (6) As regards the basic principles of operational communication, train drivers must:
 1) know the significance of communication and the means and procedures for communicating;
 2) be able to identify persons whom the driver needs to contact for communication purposes, and explain their role and responsibilities, including the working duties of staff of the infrastructure manager and of other train staff;
 3) be able to identify situations and explain causes that require communication to be initiated;
 4) understand communication methods.

 (7) As regards trains, their composition and the technical requirements for traction units, wagons, coaches and other rolling stock, train drivers must:
 1) know the generic types of traction, including electric, diesel and steam traction units and multiple units;
 2) be able to describe the layout of a railway vehicle, including bogies, bodies, driving cab and protection systems;
 3) know the content and systems of labelling;
 4) know the documentation on train composition;
 5) understand braking systems and be able to calculate braking performance;
 6) be able to determine the speed of the train;
 7) be able to determine the maximum load of the coupler and the forces acting on it;
 8) know the operating principles and the purpose of the train management system.

 (8) As regards the general hazards involved in railway operations, train drivers must:
 1) understand the principles governing traffic safety;
 2) know the risks relating to railway operations and the various means to be used to mitigate them;
 3) know safety-relevant incidents and understand the appropriate behaviour/reaction;
 4) know the procedures applicable to accidents involving persons, including evacuation.

 (9) As regards the basic principles of physics, train drivers must:
 1) understand the forces acting on the wheels;
 2) be able to explain factors influencing acceleration and braking performance, including weather conditions, braking equipment, reduced adhesion and sanding;
 3) understand the principles of electricity, including circuits and measuring voltage.
[RT I, 29.07.2015, 2 — entry into force 1 January 2016]

§ 3.  Knowledge and skills relating to rolling stock

 (1) Train drivers may be admitted to the examination for a certificate, in which their knowledge of rolling stock is assessed, if they meet the requirements set out in subsections 2–10 of this Section in terms of their knowledge, skills, behaviour and attitudes.

 (2) As regards the tests and checks to be carried out prior to the departure of rolling stock, train drivers must be able to:
 1) collect the documentation and the necessary equipment;
 2) check the capacity of the traction unit and the information entered in the documents on board the traction unit;
 3) ensure, by performing the checks and tests specified, that the traction unit is capable of providing the required traction power, and that the safety equipment is operating;
 4) check that the prescribed protection and safety equipment is available and functioning at the handover of a locomotive or at the start of a trip;
 5) perform any routine preventive maintenance operations.

 (3) In order to operate rolling stock, train drivers must:
 1) be familiar with the controls and indicators on board the rolling stock, in particular those concerning traction, braking and traffic safety;
 2) be able to detect and locate anomalies in the rolling stock, report them, determine what is required to repair them and, in certain cases, take action themselves;
 3) be familiar with the construction of the rolling stock, the braking and coupling equipment, running gear, safety equipment, fuel tank, fuel supply system, exhaust equipment, the meaning of the markings on the inside and outside of the rolling stock (in particular the symbols used for the transportation of dangerous goods), the trip registration system, electrical and pneumatic systems, electric current collection and high-voltage devices, communication equipment (including ground-to-train radio), preparation of trips, the constituent parts of the rolling stock and their functions, devices specific to the hauled stock, the braking system (in particular stopping the rolling stock by venting the brake pipe), the traction chain, motor and transmission.

 (4) As regards testing the brakes, train drivers must:
 1) be able to check and calculate, before departure, that the train’s braking system corresponds to the parameters required for the rolling stock concerned;
 2) be able to check the functioning of the various components of the braking system of the traction unit and of the train, as appropriate, before departure, at start-up and during running.

 (5) Train drivers must be able to adapt the operating mode and the maximum speed of the train to the characteristics of the line and be able to:
 1) take note of information given to them before departure;
 2) determine the operating mode and the maximum speed of the train on the basis of variables such as speed limits, weather conditions or any signalling changes.

 (6) Train drivers must drive their train and use the installations on the train in a manner which does not damage the train, and they must be able to:
 1) use all available control systems in accordance with the applicable rules;
 2) operate the train, taking account of adhesion and power constraints;
 3) apply the brakes for deceleration and stops, taking account of the properties of the rolling stock and the installations.

 (7) In the event of anomalies, train drivers must:
 1) be able to be attentive to unusual occurrences concerning the behaviour of the train;
 2) be able to inspect the train and identify signs of anomalies;
 3) be able to react according to the seriousness of the situation and to try to remedy the situation, always giving priority to the safety of rail traffic and persons;
 4) be familiar with the available means of protection and communication.

 (8) In the event of operating incidents, accidents, fires and accidents involving persons, train drivers must:
 1) be able to take steps to protect the train and summon assistance if there has been an accident involving a person or persons on board the train;
 2) be able to determine whether the train is transporting dangerous goods on the basis of the train documents and cargo manifest;
 3) be familiar with the procedures for leaving the train and evacuating passengers in an emergency.

 (9) Train drivers must be aware of the conditions for continuing running after an incident involving rolling stock and:
 1) be able to assess whether the rolling stock can continue to run after an incident and under what conditions, and inform the railway infrastructure manager thereof as soon as possible;
 2) be able to determine if an expert evaluation is necessary before the rolling stock can continue to run.

 (10) Train drivers must be able to take measures to stop the train, thereby ensuring that the train, or parts thereof, does not start up or move unexpectedly, even in the most difficult conditions.

§ 4.  Knowledge and skills relating to railway infrastructure

 (1) Train drivers may be admitted to the examination for a certificate, in which their knowledge of the area in which they drive is assessed, if they meet the requirements set out in subsections 2–9 of this Section in terms of their knowledge, skills, behaviour and attitudes.

 (2) Train drivers must be able to check and calculate, before departure, that the train’s braking power meets the requirements for the corresponding type of rolling stock, as specified in the train documents.

 (3) Train drivers must be able to adapt the operating mode and the maximum speed of the train to the characteristics of the line and:
 1) take note of and act on information given to them, such as the speed limits or any signalling changes;
 2) be able to determine the operating mode and the maximum speed of the train on the basis of the characteristics of the line.

 (4) As regards their knowledge of the area in which they drive, train drivers must be able to anticipate problems and react appropriately in terms of safety and other factors, and also to take account of the need for punctuality and of economic considerations. They must therefore have a thorough knowledge of the railway line and the installations on the route, and of any alternative railway lines and their installations. The following aspects are important:
 1) operational conditions, including changes of track and single-line running;
 2) checking the general condition of the railway line, and the ability to find the necessary information in the relevant documents;
 3) identifying the operating mode that is appropriate for the track in question;
 4) the applicable traffic rules and the meaning of the signalling system;
 5) the operating regime;
 6) the protection system and associated regulations;
 7) station names, and the position and distance-sighting of stations and signal boxes to adapt driving accordingly;
 8) transition signalling between different operating or power supply systems;
 9) speed limits for the different train categories driven;
 10) topographical profiles;
 11) particular braking conditions, for example on lines with a steep downward gradient;
 12) the various permissions for entering a section of open track, such as signals, instructions given by radio, and written permissions.

 (5) As regards safety regulations, train drivers must be able to:
 1) start the train only when all the required conditions are met, including the timetable, the order or start signal given and, where necessary, the use of other signals;
 2) observe trackside and in-cab signals, interpret them immediately and without error, and act as specified;
 3) run the train safely according to the specific mode of operation: apply special modes if instructed, and take into consideration temporary speed restrictions, running on the track for the opposite direction, giving signals in the event of danger, shunting, etc.;
 4) respect scheduled or supplementary stops and, where necessary, perform supplementary operations for passengers during these stops, notably opening and closing the doors.

 (6) When driving a train, train drivers must:
 1) know the train’s position on the line at all times;
 2) be able to apply the brakes for deceleration and stops, taking account of the rolling stock and installations;
 3) be able to adjust the running of the train in accordance with the timetable and any orders given on saving energy, taking account of the characteristics of the traction unit, the train, the line and the environment.

 (7) In the event of anomalies, train drivers must:
 1) be attentive, insofar as train operation permits, to unusual occurrences concerning the infrastructure and the environment: signals, tracks, energy supply, level crossings, track surroundings, other traffic;
 2) be able to judge distances to obstacles;
 3) inform the railway infrastructure manager as soon as possible of the place and nature of anomalies observed, making sure that the information has been understood;
 4) taking account of the railway infrastructure, ensure or take measures to ensure the safety of traffic and persons, whenever necessary.

 (8) In the event of operating incidents, accidents, fires and accidents involving a person or persons, train drivers must be able to:
 1) take steps to protect the train and summon assistance;
 2) determine where to stop the train in the event of a fire and facilitate the evacuation of passengers, where necessary;
 3) provide useful information on the fire as soon as possible if the fire cannot be brought under control by the driver acting alone;
 4) inform the railway infrastructure manager of the circumstances of the incident or accident as soon as possible;
 5) assess whether the rolling stock can continue to run and under what conditions.

 (9) Drivers who communicate with the infrastructure manager on critical safety issues must have language skills in at least one of the languages indicated by the infrastructure manager concerned. The language skills of train drivers must be such that they can communicate actively and effectively in routine, adverse and emergency situations. Train drivers must be able to use the methods for messages and communication defined in Commission Decision 2012/757/EU of 14 November 2012 concerning the technical specification for interoperability relating to the ‘operation and traffic management’ subsystem of the rail system in the European Union and amending Decision 2007/756/EC (OJ L 345, 15.12.2012, p. 1). The level at which train drivers must be able to understand the language when listening and reading and to communicate in the language when speaking and writing is B1.
[RT I, 29.07.2015, 2 — entry into force 1 January 2016]

§ 41.  Training method

  The method of training train drivers must satisfy the criteria laid down in Annex III to Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community (OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 51).
[RT I, 22.03.2017, 4 — entry into force 25 March 2017]

Chapter 2 Examination for a train driver’s licence 

§ 5.  Holding of the examination for a train driver’s licence

 (1) The examination for a train driver’s licence is organised by the Technical Regulatory Authority and held on the premises of the Road Administration.
[RT I, 22.04.2015, 1 — entry into force 25 April 2015]

 (2) The examination for a train driver’s licence is a theory examination.

§ 6.  Questions in the examination for a train driver’s licence

 (1) The questions in the examination for a train driver’s licence shall be drawn up and approved by the Technical Regulatory Authority. The approved exam questions shall be sent to the Road Administration, which shall enter them in the computer-based examination program database.

 (2) The examination for a train driver’s licence is held electronically, using the appropriate examination program. The questions are generated on the exam paper by the examination program from the examination program database when the person begins the examination.

 (3) The examination program database consists of modules of exam questions. The exam questions are divided into the following modules:
 1) the Railways Act;
 2) the technical regulations for railways;
 3) the railway signalling guidelines;
 4) the rail traffic and shunting guidelines.

 (4) The exam paper for a train driver’s licence consists of 20 questions. The questions are generated from the examination program database in such a manner that the exam paper contains five questions from each module.

 (5) The time allowed for answering the exam questions for a train driver’s licence is 30 minutes from the point at which the exam paper is generated for the person taking the examination. An answer must be given for all options for each question. The answer shall be deemed incorrect even if only one of the options is incorrect or has been left blank.

§ 7.  Assessing the results of the examination for a train driver’s licence

 (1) In the examination for a train driver’s licence, up to four incorrect answers are permitted. No mistakes are allowed when answering questions on the railway signalling guidelines.

 (2) The result of the examination for a train driver’s licence is indicated by the examination program as either a pass or a fail.

§ 8.  Notification of the results of the examination for a train driver’s licence

 (1) The Road Administration shall present the data on the results of the examination for a train driver’s licence to the Technical Regulatory Authority within three working days.
[RT I, 22.04.2015, 1 — entry into force 25 April 2015]

 (2) The results of the examination for a train driver’s licence shall be approved by the Director-General of the Technical Regulatory Authority within three working days as of their receipt.

 (3) Persons who sit the examination for a train driver’s licence are informed of the results immediately after taking the exam.

 (4) A person who fails the examination for a train driver’s licence shall be entitled to resit the examination not earlier than 14 days after failing the examination. A person who fails the examination for a train driver’s licence for a second time shall be entitled to resit the examination after attending additional training to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills and not earlier than three months after failing the examination for the second time.
[RT I, 29.07.2015, 2 — entry into force 1 August 2015]

§ 9.  Implementing provisions

 (1) This Regulation shall enter into force on 1 July 2013.

 (2) [Omitted from this text.]

 (3) Train drivers issued with a train driver’s licence before 1 January 2016 in accordance with Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council shall be deemed to meet the requirements of this Regulation.
[RT I, 22.03.2017, 4 — entry into force 25 March 2017]


1 Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the certification of train drivers operating locomotives and trains on the railway system in the Community (OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 51); Commission Directive 2014/82/EU amending Directive 2007/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards general professional knowledge and medical and licence requirements (OJ L 184, 25.6.2014, p. 11).
[RT I, 29.07.2015, 2 - entry into force 01.08.2015]