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mediccjh

The Schoolcar Experience

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28 minutes ago, staffspm1 said:

to train a train driver is 12 months in the UK give or take, but we are not nearly as strict as what I have read here!! I've been studying your rules to see the differences and that can be interesting as well!!

In those 12 months, what kind of training or learning is it? and what are the time frame for each phase?

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Ok here goes - it is not standard across the UK (any parts that are are BOLD)

Week 1 - Monday to Wednesday - Company welcome and induction, forms filled etc

week 1 - Thursday and Friday - Personal track safety (qualification to walk on railway tracks)

Week 2 + 3 - Mon - Fri Intro to Operations. Theory rules-based and visits to control centres, signal boxes (towers I think to you) visit stations. Basics of the rulebook and a gentle intro to the job. Test at the end 80% pass mark.

Week 4 + 5 - shift hours Front end Turns. This means just shadowing a driver and watching what they do - NO DRIVING for the trainee.

Week 6,7 + 8 - Rules Part 1 - back in the classroom Mon to Fri for more rule book training. Mostly recapping Intro to operations but also getting into more details. Signalling is covered extensively here as well.  Test at end 80% pass.

Week 9, 10 + 11 -- Basic traction course. Each depot has a main type of train they drive. This three course is to learn the insides and outsides of the train BUT not how to drive it fully. You will do some yard shunting at very low speed and practice coupling and uncoupling. Test on day 8 and 11 of this course 80% pass rate. Mon - Fri usually

Week 12 + 13 - Return to classroom Mon - Fri for last theory training. You cover the previous rules courses and recap but also learn the last bits which mostly cover out of course working and emergencies. At the end of this course, there is another 80% pass test and also a review by a driver manager to ascertain whether they are competent or not.

If you pass this test and driver manager is happy then you are technically a competent driver. However, you still cannot drive!!

For the next 255 hours (40 in darkness) you are assigned a driving instructor who watches you drive and teaches you how to drive. 

During these weeks you get pulled aside for the odd day courses such as Signal Passed at Danger awareness (teaching you the risks of red signals and how you can avoid passing one) also seasonal awareness and principles of route learning.

At the end of this, if all is well you qualify and become a Post Qualified Driver and can drive on your own. During the first two years, as you are considered higher risk you cannot have anyone else in the cab with you and you are subject to more assessments.

Hopefully that answers the questions, anything else please ask.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the very insightful overview! Your training is a lot better paced than the MTA. You're not introduced to basic traction course to get the feel for the train to do slow speed yard movement until week 8 whereas we're told to do that on the 2nd week. Also, you don't get to fully drive a train until week 14-15 (presumably) whereas we're thrown into the main line going 25-30 mph doing station stops on the 3rd week!! It's utterly insane and sheer madness at the MTA. It also explains the attrition rate of induction classes. It's like 50%.

I'm currently wrapping up week 1 of 8 of yard operations (what we call YX) by myself with no trainers. Today I had a former military and police veteran as a supervisor and he was just up on my ass the entire time while I was moving that train in the yard, it was nerve-wrecking. TEN HUT!

Edited by nipaaaa

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sorry to ask odd questions but some of your terminology I don't understand.

 

What are relays?

what is cutting?

puttins? 

 

thanks

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, staffspm1 said:

sorry to ask odd questions but some of your terminology I don't understand.

 

What are relays?

what is cutting?

puttins? 

 

thanks

a relay is moving a train from a northbound track to the southbound track and vice versa

cutting is the act of separating a train into 2 halves (you cut or uncouple a train)

"Put in" is short for putting a train into service. The opposite would be putting a train out of service or a lay up. I jokingly refer to them as "Putin" like ... vladimir putin lol

Edited by nipaaaa

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