A career as a signaller

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Leafage

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2019
Messages
23
Location
Surrey
Anybody got any idea if age is much of an issue. I know theoretically the answer is no but I am already retired and looking for a new career.
Hi Keef,
People retire at different ages depending upon circumstances.
I've been a land surveyor all my working life. I really fancied a change, and having worked on track previously, I thought I'd give it a go.
I've just turned 50, and I like to think I'll bring something to the job with my past experiences.
I find it refreshing that I can take on an apprenticeship at 50 and look forward to the challenge. I'm aware that it can be quiet at times but also stressful and possibly even life changing on other occasions.
Not many employers will offer a second chance despite their claims to be open minded and fair.
Good luck if you choose to go forward with your application.
 

Mack1190

New Member
Joined
16 Jan 2020
Messages
2
Location
Kent
Hey all, first post, apologies if I am putting this in the wrong place!
Recently applied to two positions that are local as a signaller, heard back from one saying a better candidate has been found. Just curious if anyone had heard anything if they had applied for the Sandwich position? No worries if not!
 

89jordanbj

Member
Joined
16 Dec 2019
Messages
202
Location
Newport
Morning all. I am interested in applying for the crossing keeper position at Puxton LC but the commute time is near the limit of what I'd consider manageable given the low grade. Does anybody know what type of roster this box is? Thanks
 

ryan__84

Member
Joined
26 Dec 2019
Messages
5
Location
Manchester
Has anyone applied for the grade 4 at Buxton?

Deadline for applications was 10th Jan, I’ve passed the online reasoning tests and received an automated message saying the next stage would be an interview... but still haven’t heard anything?

On the application portal it just says tests completed.
 

Mi&Li

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2019
Messages
82
Location
UK
Just wondering if anybody be had heard the term “contingency signaller” before?

From what I hear, Network Rail have finally acknowledged that when positions become available through long term sickness, retirement, people moving up the grades etc that the cost of occupying these positions becomes high when using ‘premium hours’ because of the length of time it takes to employ and train someone. So they are looking at getting ‘contingency signallers’ who will go to school and then go back home ready for when a position becomes available locally, slot straight into it.

Has anyone here been one or know of anyone who has been one?
 

LOM

Member
Joined
26 Dec 2019
Messages
400
Location
Been and gone.
Only in the sense of management who are trained and passed out to work a box, panel or workstation during industrial action. I have not come across the concept you describe. Indeed it is currently not possible to book a place at signalling school without an IRC number and a Unique Position Number.
 

Mi&Li

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2019
Messages
82
Location
UK
Only in the sense of management who are trained and passed out to work a box, panel or workstation during industrial action. I have not come across the concept you describe. Indeed it is currently not possible to book a place at signalling school without an IRC number and a Unique Position Number.

thanks for the reply. Interesting to hear, it would be unfair to say where I’d heard it but basically I’ve been told I could be employed in such a way. Your response has made me rather dubious!
 

89jordanbj

Member
Joined
16 Dec 2019
Messages
202
Location
Newport
Quick Q re the Cardiff signaller position if anybody is able to answer..

I have seen on the forum a week or 2 ago that another applicant had his/her application updated to 'invitation to assessment 2 pending' whereas mine is still sat at 'test completed' which it has been for over a month now with no change.

Am I right in thinking that the recruitment team update all the successful applicants first before finally giving the bad news to those who are unsuccessful?

Or should I just be more patient waiting for my application to update and understand that the recruitment team are very busy?

I feel for those who waited for 6 months plus before hearing anything!!
 

Defenestrate

Member
Joined
6 Aug 2019
Messages
111
Quick Q re the Cardiff signaller position if anybody is able to answer..

I have seen on the forum a week or 2 ago that another applicant had his/her application updated to 'invitation to assessment 2 pending' whereas mine is still sat at 'test completed' which it has been for over a month now with no change.

Am I right in thinking that the recruitment team update all the successful applicants first before finally giving the bad news to those who are unsuccessful?

Or should I just be more patient waiting for my application to update and understand that the recruitment team are very busy?

I feel for those who waited for 6 months plus before hearing anything!!

Were there several positions advertised within this? If so they may have drawn up an initial list of people for interview - depending on how they go, you may get an interview later if they don't find the right person/people.
 

89jordanbj

Member
Joined
16 Dec 2019
Messages
202
Location
Newport
Were there several positions advertised within this? If so they may have drawn up an initial list of people for interview - depending on how they go, you may get an interview later if they don't find the right person/people.

It didn't state how many positions. I'll just continue to keep my fingers crossed!
 

Jholden

Member
Joined
11 Nov 2019
Messages
5
Location
Yorkshire
Just wondering if anybody be had heard the term “contingency signaller” before?

From what I hear, Network Rail have finally acknowledged that when positions become available through long term sickness, retirement, people moving up the grades etc that the cost of occupying these positions becomes high when using ‘premium hours’ because of the length of time it takes to employ and train someone. So they are looking at getting ‘contingency signallers’ who will go to school and then go back home ready for when a position becomes available locally, slot straight into it.

Has anyone here been one or know of anyone who has been one?

In November I joined NR as a Contingency Signaller. Basically, i was brought in to be a 'reserve' if someone dropped out of Signalling School. Its too expensive to run a course thats not at full capacity. There were no dropouts so I have been shadowing at level crossings and doing some basic admin for a team in the York ROC. I start Signalling School on the 27th in Manchester and cant wait to get started.

Since day one I have been encouraged to apply for roles as I am currently on a 12 month contract. Because of the lengthy recruitment process, I currently have multiple Signaller vacancies going on in the background. I would imagine that if I have not found a role in 12 months I would be extended. They wouldn't spend all this money getting me through Signalling School, have me pass, just to give me the boot.

However, I would be highly surprised if you passed Signalling School and you were told to stay at home. You would have to get a role just like everyone else through the usual process applying from the day you join. In the mean time, they would have you in doing something, even if just shadowing.

This is whats happened to me. I can't vouch for what the process will be for future Contingency Signallers. Any questions just let me know.
 

9tfrizzco

Member
Joined
17 Oct 2019
Messages
115
Location
worthing
Just completed the verbal reasoning test. I completed 15 of 30 questions. Think I should be worried? On most of the questions the answer seemed clear to me, maybe hummed and hawed over a couple.
My advice to anyone would be work through the questions much faster than this, after 45 seconds just guess. Sometimes the questions are worded strangely and it is by all good reason a toss-up
 

Rockhopper

Member
Joined
29 Apr 2019
Messages
625
They will keep you at test completed until the successful person is actually in post, just in case he/she drops out for any reason.
 

Rockhopper

Member
Joined
29 Apr 2019
Messages
625
I’d say that’s a fair bet I’m afraid. Like I’ve said several times though, there might have been close to two hundred applicants who got to that stage so it’s incredibly competitive.
 

89jordanbj

Member
Joined
16 Dec 2019
Messages
202
Location
Newport
I’d say that’s a fair bet I’m afraid. Like I’ve said several times though, there might have been close to two hundred applicants who got to that stage so it’s incredibly competitive.
Ahh I see. Can't say I'm not gutted but still have my hat in on one more position so fingers crossed for that. Cheers
 

johnny0712

Member
Joined
13 Jan 2020
Messages
5
Location
Glasgow
My advice to anyone would be work through the questions much faster than this, after 45 seconds just guess. Sometimes the questions are worded strangely and it is by all good reason a toss-up

Yeah I was being super careful and trying to focus on accuracy but I was too careful I think. Could have moved through the questions at a quicker rate. Unfortunately I was even more careful on the maths questions and completed even less oh well! It’s all a learning curve. I won’t be holding my breath on hearing I’ve progressed to an interview.
 

Ollywild

New Member
Joined
20 Jan 2020
Messages
3
Location
Northampton
Hi all, first time post.

I have passed the online section, was wondering if anyone knew what the recruitment day tests involved?

Thanks

"The Recruitment Day will include the following
  • 45 minute Interview.
  • 3 x Workshop Assessments (mixed individual and group reviews/assessments).'
 

cogload

Member
Joined
29 Jan 2012
Messages
108
At the risk of repeating myself from lots of pages back - I know for new applicants it is frustrating how slow the process is (believe me for internal applicants it is equally as slow) but stop wasting your own time and screwing your mental health obsessively checking emails after the various stages: If you have been successful they will let you know.

Also - all the information you require to join the grade is in this thread (albeit in various parts) - and at the risk of repeating myself a 2nd time there are other routes into the grade than straight applications off the street - via TRUST delay or even off the platform are examples.
 

Gallius

Member
Joined
10 Nov 2019
Messages
91
Location
Uk
Hi all, first time post.

I have passed the online section, was wondering if anyone knew what the recruitment day tests involved?

Thanks

"The Recruitment Day will include the following
  • 45 minute Interview.
  • 3 x Workshop Assessments (mixed individual and group reviews/assessments).'
I've also been invited to this next week, what day is yours? I found a thread on here last week, and I wish I could find it again, from someone who had attended a similar day. From what I recall, it wasn't anything you can really prepare for, other than the interview itself. There was some kind of group discussion and recalling information type test but the person who posted suggested that the LOM had designed the tests themselves so I don't know whether they will be the same for us. Good luck and if I find the post again I'll let you know!
 

Ollywild

New Member
Joined
20 Jan 2020
Messages
3
Location
Northampton
I've also been invited to this next week, what day is yours? I found a thread on here last week, and I wish I could find it again, from someone who had attended a similar day. From what I recall, it wasn't anything you can really prepare for, other than the interview itself. There was some kind of group discussion and recalling information type test but the person who posted suggested that the LOM had designed the tests themselves so I don't know whether they will be the same for us. Good luck and if I find the post again I'll let you know!

Thanks I think i know which post you're on about! Just wanted to check there was no obvious preparation I was missing. I'm down for tuesday you? Good luck maybe see you down there :)
 

ZombieLaydee

Member
Joined
7 Jul 2016
Messages
26
Location
South Wales
Hi guys,
Im currently employed by NR and have been for 3+ years. I work in signal maintenance and completed an apprenticeship to get my technicians post. I volunteer a lot with HR to promote rail careers and run q&a sessions at assessment centres for apprentices. Theres a bit of crossover with the "signalling apprenticeship" which is what they were calling signalling school when i last checked. Im more than happy to answer questions or send you the right direction. Im south wales based and since we are rather devolved some things are dependent on your area but i will point this out where possible.
 
Last edited:

Gallius

Member
Joined
10 Nov 2019
Messages
91
Location
Uk
Thanks I think i know which post you're on about! Just wanted to check there was no obvious preparation I was missing. I'm down for tuesday you? Good luck maybe see you down there :)
Mine is on the Monday so I won't see you there but good luck!
 

Mi&Li

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2019
Messages
82
Location
UK
In November I joined NR as a Contingency Signaller. Basically, i was brought in to be a 'reserve' if someone dropped out of Signalling School. Its too expensive to run a course thats not at full capacity. There were no dropouts so I have been shadowing at level crossings and doing some basic admin for a team in the York ROC. I start Signalling School on the 27th in Manchester and cant wait to get started.

Since day one I have been encouraged to apply for roles as I am currently on a 12 month contract. Because of the lengthy recruitment process, I currently have multiple Signaller vacancies going on in the background. I would imagine that if I have not found a role in 12 months I would be extended. They wouldn't spend all this money getting me through Signalling School, have me pass, just to give me the boot.

However, I would be highly surprised if you passed Signalling School and you were told to stay at home. You would have to get a role just like everyone else through the usual process applying from the day you join. In the mean time, they would have you in doing something, even if just shadowing.

This is whats happened to me. I can't vouch for what the process will be for future Contingency Signallers. Any questions just let me know.

thanks for the reply very informative. I thought as much, that they would have me at least doing something even if just shadowing until a place at school became available. I suppose it’s a relief to hear that contingency signallers do exist and it might be my chance to get through the door
 

MC0096

Member
Joined
20 Jan 2020
Messages
10
Location
Dunblane
Hi everyone, first time poster.

Had a good read through the thread and it has all been really helpful. I have recently applied for the Dunblane (Greenloaning) signaller position. I have met the required benchmark and was due to hear a response about my application today. Instead of the usual email update my online account was updated today to another 'Test Completed'. That is three 'Test Completed' updates in a row (12th/13th/20th).

Anyone know what this means RE my application?

Hope that makes sense,
Cheers!
 

Mart1n888

Member
Joined
9 Jan 2020
Messages
11
Location
Scotland
Hi Mate,

I'm the same as you, Roughly same updates aswell. But from what I've read it can take weeks/months before you hear anything further. Where did you hear it would be today?

cheers


Hi everyone, first time poster.

Had a good read through the thread and it has all been really helpful. I have recently applied for the Dunblane (Greenloaning) signaller position. I have met the required benchmark and was due to hear a response about my application today. Instead of the usual email update my online account was updated today to another 'Test Completed'. That is three 'Test Completed' updates in a row (12th/13th/20th).

Anyone know what this means RE my application?

Hope that makes sense,
Cheers!
 

MC0096

Member
Joined
20 Jan 2020
Messages
10
Location
Dunblane
Hi Mate,

I'm the same as you, Roughly same updates aswell. But from what I've read it can take weeks/months before you hear anything further. Where did you hear it would be today?

cheers

Hi Mate,

Good to know someone else is in the same boat. Ah, that makes sense. In one of the emails after completing the online tests I was told I would be updated about my application in 5 working days. However, I'm thinking that that might have been whether I passed the online benchmark or not? Hard to know for sure.

Ill keep you updated about my progress on here!

Cheers
 

Peterperfect

Member
Joined
5 Apr 2018
Messages
88
Dont want to dash anyones hopes the benchmark pass doesnt guarantee an interview. The better you do the better chance you have of getting an interview. The tests by SHL are a tool to whittle down the applications to a level that HR and the hiring manager can deal with.

Basically every post advertised will be decided on the talent of that process.

So if that process only attracts applicants that are academically average. One will get a job. Same said if the next process attracts very clever applicants. One will get the job.

Mr Average and Mrs V Clever could be in the same intake at York.

Doing well in the online tests is essential. Doing well in the interviews and selling yourself will get you the job.

Signaller jobs are now desirable and that means many applications for each post. Competition is high and NR can pick and choose who they want.

But dont think it's just about the pay. You'll be paid well for the responsibility you will have to take for running trains safely and minimising delays.
 

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