Operate switching locomotives


Operate locomotives for switching, coupling and uncoupling rail cars for loading and unloading freight.

Alternative labels

control switching locomotives
drive switchers
use switching locomotives to perform railway operations
operate switchers
drive shunters
drive switching locomotives
carry out switching locomotive operations
perform switching locomotive operations
use switchers to execute rail operations
control switchers
operate shunters
conduct railway switcher activities

Skill type


Skill reusability level


Relationships with occupations

Essential skill

Operate switching locomotives is an essential skill of the following occupations:

Rail switchperson: Rail switchpersons assist in the tasks of the traffic controller. They operate switches and signals according to rail traffic control instructions, according to regulations and compliant with safety rules.
Shunter: Shunters move shunting units with or without wagons or groups of wagons in order to build trains. They manage the driving of locomotives and are involved in switching wagons, making or splitting up trains in shunting yards or sidings. They operate according to the technical features, such as controlling movement via a remote control device.

Optional skill

Operate switching locomotives is optional for these occupations. This means knowing this skill may be an asset for career advancement if you are in one of these occupations.




  1. Operate switching locomotives – ESCO


Last updated on September 20, 2022