Breaking barriers to pursue career in rail

Staff & Operators

Despite facing language barriers and cultural differences, Jaspinder Singh persevered through his studies to become a train driver for Metlink.

The father of two moved to the Hutt Valley from India in 2005 and says learning in a different language can have its difficulties.

“I didn’t get through the testing the first time I tried, but I did on my third attempt. Having a different cultural background and English as a second language made it more challenging, but I persisted and it paid off.”

After starting in the railways as a Passenger Operator, Jaspinder progressed to Train Manager, then to Train Examiner (TXO). Finally he persevered with the testing phase and reached his goal of becoming a Locomotive Engineer.

Jaspinder encourages others to give it a go and keep trying even if they do not pass the first time.

The new train driver has lived in various places in the Hutt Valley since 2005 and now resides in Melling, which he says is great as his wife can easily walk their two young children to preschool.

Three others were in the training school with Jaspinder, and he says he “enjoyed learning together in the classroom, helping each other and sharing information and experiences”.

It was his father’s dream for Jaspinder to become an engineer, so he hoped he made his dad proud after being signed off as a Locomotive Engineer.