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Get on track with Hi-Rail

What does it take to get off road and onto the railway?

Go-Train spoke with Hi-Rail trainer David Dray to get the low-down on our up-and-coming course – the Road Rail Plant Operator (otherwise known as a ‘Hi-Rail’ or ‘TMO’).

Go-Train: Hi David, tell me, what is a ‘TMO’?

David: A TMO is a Track Machine Operator. They are the person who drives the Road Rail Vehicles or ‘Plant’ as it is also known. This means they have the skills to drive the vehicle, often heavy machinery, from the road and onto the rail – which is called ‘tracking-on’ the vehicles.

Go-Train: Okay. So what kind of skills does a person need to do this kind of work?

David: To work in a TMO role, the person will need a Heavy Vehicle license. And of course they will need to have an RIW card, which requires the SARC course for the Rail Network they intend to work in. It can also be useful to have completed some Rail Industry training, like our Seven Core Units course.

When a student does the Hi-Rail course, they learn all the specifics of operating a road rail vehicle on the railways, plus the process for getting the vehicle on and off the track. It is focused predominantly on operating the vehicle on a rail track, which has its complications!

Go-Train: What do students enjoy the most about this course?

David: I think it’s the extension of their existing skills into the rail industry. Many of our students have driven heavy vehicles before and this course gives them the opportunity to take those skills and apply them in a new way.

Go-Train: How does the Hi-Rail course fit into the career path of a rail worker?

David: The great thing with this course is, it’s a good fit for people coming to the rail industry for the first time and it’s also a good career move for people who’ve already been working in rail infrastructure. For example, a seasoned heavy vehicle driver might want to move into the rail industry, opening up a different field of work. And for existing rail workers, the Hi-Rail course can be a great next career step from working on smaller infrastructure projects to being directly involved in major rail maintenance and construction.

Go-Train: Sounds like it could be a great course for anyone in the rail industry! When is the next course running? Is there one before the end of the year?

David: Yes, we have one coming up in early October, from Monday 12th – Tuesday 13th. It’s filling fast though, so interested students need to be quick to book.

Go-Train: Okay, thanks for the warning. So if you are interested in booking into the Road Rail Plant (Hi-Rail) Operator course, or TMO for short, please check out the course page for more information or call the Tuggerah office on 02 4355 4595 to book now.

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