A career as a signaller

SiggysigAah

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14 Feb 2020
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34
Location
Lancashire
Is there an issue with applying for multiple signaller roles within a geographic area or would network rail look down on this?
I am led to believe it is not an issue. Applying for vacancies all over the country may not be the best idea. As the LOM can see all the vacancies you have applied for.
 
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Tomnick

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10 Jun 2005
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5,277
Thank you
I’ve been told the boxes between Frisby and Uffington. I’m not totally sure how many boxes that is?
Any tips for me you’d like to share?
I’m very keen to get started now!
Are you retiring or just off to pastures new?
Eleven locations in total, two of which are just gate boxes. Quite a bit of variety too.

For me, retirement’s still a distant prospect! I’ve gone over to the dark side, driving. I don’t regret making the move but I loved almost every minute in the signalling grade and I do miss my it in many ways!
 

89jordanbj

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16 Dec 2019
Messages
103
Location
Newport
I am led to believe it is not an issue. Applying for vacancies all over the country may not be the best idea. As the LOM can see all the vacancies you have applied for.
Would be interested to hear LOM's opinion on this (having a candidate who's applied for multiple vacancies across the country).

I have a couple of applications in at locations away from home where I would be willing to relocate to start my new career. I also include a cover letter for each application outlining my plan.

In my own opinion it shows a commitment and desire to become a signaller.
 

LOM

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26 Dec 2019
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213
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Railway
Would be interested to hear LOM's opinion on this (having a candidate who's applied for multiple vacancies across the country).

I have a couple of applications in at locations away from home where I would be willing to relocate to start my new career. I also include a cover letter for each application outlining my plan.

In my own opinion it shows a commitment and desire to become a signaller.
It does show commitment to the role but as I think I have said here before it can seem a little bit desperate if someone applies from the other end of the country and they have multiple applications in the system at once. If you apply for every vacancy in your local area the LOM will soon get to know your name. I have a mental list of decent repeat candidates who I would like to employ at some point and who will probably end up as signallers eventually.

NR policy is not to give feedback on an application before the interview stage but HR will pass on a request for feedback to the LOM if you pester them so if you keep failing to be shortlisted it might be worth asking them. Though the LOM is not required to reply I think most would if they had time. I have done it a couple of times.

Again as I have said on this thread before make sure it is crystal clear in your CV and/or letter that you are willing to relocate if you need to. The CV is the single most important thing in the application so make sure it clearly demonstrates how you think you meet the essential criteria for the job, as shown on the advert

On the other side of the coin in my experience there are several names who keep popping up who will never be suitable and are, frankly, just wasting their time and mine. Unfortunately we are definitely not allowed to say that. There is a person who has applied for over 200 vacancies all over the country in the last 5 years. They did actually manage to land a signaller job a couple of years ago but failed the course (spectacularly by all accounts), were dismissed and are still applying for virtually every job going. I expect almost every LOM will know exactly the name I am talking about.
 

amanda08

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19 Oct 2019
Messages
163
Location
blackpool
Is there an issue with applying for multiple signaller roles within a geographic area or would network rail look down on this?
I asked this question a couple of weeks ago and after interviewing two weeks ago, I’ve just this week received a job offer
At my interview I was interviewed by two different LOMS for different boxes, at the same time (same area of the country though).
So I wouldn’t say it’s an issue.
 

LOM

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26 Dec 2019
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All that said, LOMs understand that it is now a desirable job (that was not always the case years ago!) and people who make multiple applications do it because they genuinely want a job as a signaller.
 

Mi&Li

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19 Dec 2019
Messages
38
Location
UK
All that said, LOMs understand that it is now a desirable job (that was not always the case years ago!) and people who make multiple applications do it because they genuinely want a job as a signaller.
This was my wife’s reassurance every time I got a rejection “hopefully you’ll come across as keen and they realise you really want the job” ...that or desperate
 

Sammy2019

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22 Sep 2019
Messages
83
Location
Essex
Thanks for the advice. Certainly going to apply for any in the region then. Unfortunately, not in a position to relocate due to family reasons at the moment but I will travel as far as they let me :)
 

SiggerSigAhh

Member
Joined
21 May 2019
Messages
13
Hiya, does anyone know what grade Shrewsbury's Severn Bridge Junction Box is please?

Just read about it and the worlds largest mechanical box sounds a flipping dream to work. Going to go on the assumption jobs don't come up there very often mind.
 

MrsP2010

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31 Mar 2020
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43
Location
Ellesmere
It’s a grade 5. How do I know that? My husband works there!! It’s always filled internally so best to get a position locally and then try for a promotion
 

SiggerSigAhh

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Joined
21 May 2019
Messages
13
It’s a grade 5. How do I know that? My husband works there!! It’s always filled internally so best to get a position locally and then try for a promotion
Ah haha well in that case I'll take your word for it :D

Probably just a pipe dream to be honest! Currently in a mechanical box and want to avoid moving onto computers etc for as long as possible, but at the same time I'm a bit bored of my location now (very very quiet and repetitive). I assumed that I'd have to make the leap at some point then read about the box and it sounds an absolute dream.

Thanks for your reply either way!

Just out of interest do you mind letting me know if it's 8's or 12's? And am I right in saying that it's worked by 2 signallers simultaneously?
 

Chaz T

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6 Jun 2019
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41
Location
The Shire
I have a mental list of decent repeat candidates who I would like to employ at some point and who will probably end up as signallers eventually.
I really hope this is what is happening for my applications for roles that come up in my area, and not a 'Oh god, not this one again'
 

89jordanbj

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Joined
16 Dec 2019
Messages
103
Location
Newport
It does show commitment to the role but as I think I have said here before it can seem a little bit desperate if someone applies from the other end of the country and they have multiple applications in the system at once. If you apply for every vacancy in your local area the LOM will soon get to know your name. I have a mental list of decent repeat candidates who I would like to employ at some point and who will probably end up as signallers eventually.

NR policy is not to give feedback on an application before the interview stage but HR will pass on a request for feedback to the LOM if you pester them so if you keep failing to be shortlisted it might be worth asking them. Though the LOM is not required to reply I think most would if they had time. I have done it a couple of times.

Again as I have said on this thread before make sure it is crystal clear in your CV and/or letter that you are willing to relocate if you need to. The CV is the single most important thing in the application so make sure it clearly demonstrates how you think you meet the essential criteria for the job, as shown on the advert

On the other side of the coin in my experience there are several names who keep popping up who will never be suitable and are, frankly, just wasting their time and mine. Unfortunately we are definitely not allowed to say that. There is a person who has applied for over 200 vacancies all over the country in the last 5 years. They did actually manage to land a signaller job a couple of years ago but failed the course (spectacularly by all accounts), were dismissed and are still applying for virtually every job going. I expect almost every LOM will know exactly the name I am talking about.
Thanks for the insight as always.
Out of all my applications over the last 8 months or so, only 3 are outside of a 60 minute commute and my intentions to relocate have been made clear in my cover letter so I would like to think that this wouldn't fall under the 'desperate' category.

I'm buoyed by the fact I've managed to get to interview stage recently and narrowly missed out so I will keep plugging away applying for relevant positions as hopefully I'm going in the right direction.
 

Connorjuk

New Member
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24 May 2020
Messages
2
Location
Oakham
I asked this question a couple of weeks ago and after interviewing two weeks ago, I’ve just this week received a job offer
At my interview I was interviewed by two different LOMS for different boxes, at the same time (same area of the country though).
So I wouldn’t say it’s an issue.
Hi Amanda,

A bit off topic but I applied to the vacancy as Oakham relief signaller with 4 positions available. I’ve passed the benchmark and now just waiting to here if I’ve made it to interview. I’m just wondering if you could give me any advice for the interviewing stage if I get that far and what kind of prep you did for it?

Thanks
 

MrsP2010

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31 Mar 2020
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Location
Ellesmere
Ah haha well in that case I'll take your word for it :D

Probably just a pipe dream to be honest! Currently in a mechanical box and want to avoid moving onto computers etc for as long as possible, but at the same time I'm a bit bored of my location now (very very quiet and repetitive). I assumed that I'd have to make the leap at some point then read about the box and it sounds an absolute dream.

Thanks for your reply either way!

Just out of interest do you mind letting me know if it's 8's or 12's? And am I right in saying that it's worked by 2 signallers simultaneously?
It’s a mix of 8’s and 12’s. He’s on a 7week roster. They are doubled manned during the day and single overnight except Sundays when they are single all day and night. He’s been there over 12 years and loves it. Apparently there is a vacancy coming up soon he says!
 

amanda08

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19 Oct 2019
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163
Location
blackpool
Hi Amanda,

A bit off topic but I applied to the vacancy as Oakham relief signaller with 4 positions available. I’ve passed the benchmark and now just waiting to here if I’ve made it to interview. I’m just wondering if you could give me any advice for the interviewing stage if I get that far and what kind of prep you did for it?

Thanks
Good luck!
I prepped several alternative answers and scenarios to the 8 NTS questions - and I was asked a question on all of them. I also thoroughly researched as much as I could
about network rail as a company, their safety vision and the job in general. Again I was asked about all of that.
Fingers crossed for you
 

LOM

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26 Dec 2019
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213
Location
Railway
I'm buoyed by the fact I've managed to get to interview stage recently and narrowly missed out so I will keep plugging away applying for relevant positions as hopefully I'm going in the right direction.
If you are getting through to interview you are definitely going the right way. Keep polishing your interview techniques/answers and keep going. Good luck!
 

Connorjuk

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Joined
24 May 2020
Messages
2
Location
Oakham
Good luck!
I prepped several alternative answers and scenarios to the 8 NTS questions - and I was asked a question on all of them. I also thoroughly researched as much as I could
about network rail as a company, their safety vision and the job in general. Again I was asked about all of that.
Fingers crossed for you
Thanks for the info!
I’m guessing they ask you to demonstrate a time you’ve used the NTS skills in the past?
I’ll have to start revising the material and hopefully I’ll have an interview come through.

Was there a long wait between the time you passed the 3 tests past the benchmark and when you received an invitation to interview?
 

Llanigraham

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Powys
Ah haha well in that case I'll take your word for it :D

Probably just a pipe dream to be honest! Currently in a mechanical box and want to avoid moving onto computers etc for as long as possible, but at the same time I'm a bit bored of my location now (very very quiet and repetitive). I assumed that I'd have to make the leap at some point then read about the box and it sounds an absolute dream.

Thanks for your reply either way!

Just out of interest do you mind letting me know if it's 8's or 12's? And am I right in saying that it's worked by 2 signallers simultaneously?
I'm sure MrsP will confirm 12's.
(I probably knew her husband!)
 

Tom Quinne

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When we did proper paper based assessment centres, recruitment actively encouraged applicants to submit as many applications as they wished with the sole purpose of gaining an assessment centre place, and more importantly a Level 3 pass.

There where three levels of assessment centre pass:

Level 1: Applicant able to skip to interview stage for Grade 1 to 2 jobs.

Level 2: Applicant able to skip to interview stage for Grade 3 to 5 jobs.

Level 3: Applicant able to skip to interview stage for Grade 6+ jobs.

Upto about 2010 your assessment was valid for 10 years, but this was dropped to 3 years a short time later before the paper based assessment centre was dropped all together.

There was a time when a qualified signaller would have to attend the centre for a promotion and “demotion” / self drop a grade ! Thankfully that was seen as a total waste of time and dropped.

To be honest I’m not really up on how the assessment work these days, but I would apply for every job you can realistically travel to, or move closer to.

Once your in the grade you’ll have access to the dozens of jobs on the internal list.
A number of locations are unofficially stepping stone jobs, due to their location next to or in very expensive areas of the country.
 

Tom Quinne

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I’d also say the time between the different stages can vary hugely location to location, and applicant to applicant.

Just because Joe got his interview three weeks after his assessment, means zero in the real world.

Josie could have to wait months for her interview, but then get a place in school weeks later, where as Joe waits months.

The number one rule to railway recruitment is its VERY VERY VERY slow, it’ll give you zero indications of your on app asking how long others took.

As a signaller you’ll often get very little information, and have to wait a long time for it - so get used to being treated like a mushroom at this stage.
 

LOM

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26 Dec 2019
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Railway
As a signaller you’ll often get very little information, and have to wait a long time for it - so get used to being treated like a mushroom at this stage.
Very good advice. Working for NR, particularly in Operations, you need to learn to be patient. Not just for recruitment but for everything. You will find everything happens in 'railway time' - some matters can move very quickly but most things drag on for weeks or months. Explanations and updates can be sporadic and lacking, even for people above you in the tree. If you cannot handle that then a railway career is not for you.
 

Kraken

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22 Mar 2020
Messages
52
Location
Lincolnshire
When we did proper paper based assessment centres, recruitment actively encouraged applicants to submit as many applications as they wished with the sole purpose of gaining an assessment centre place, and more importantly a Level 3 pass.

There where three levels of assessment centre pass:

Level 1: Applicant able to skip to interview stage for Grade 1 to 2 jobs.

Level 2: Applicant able to skip to interview stage for Grade 3 to 5 jobs.

Level 3: Applicant able to skip to interview stage for Grade 6+ jobs.

Upto about 2010 your assessment was valid for 10 years, but this was dropped to 3 years a short time later before the paper based assessment centre was dropped all together.

There was a time when a qualified signaller would have to attend the centre for a promotion and “demotion” / self drop a grade ! Thankfully that was seen as a total waste of time and dropped.

To be honest I’m not really up on how the assessment work these days, but I would apply for every job you can realistically travel to, or move closer to.

Once your in the grade you’ll have access to the dozens of jobs on the internal list.
A number of locations are unofficially stepping stone jobs, due to their location next to or in very expensive areas of the country.
So if you got a good pass you were guaranteed an interview for any on you applied for? Or was it just a shortcut to the LOM’s sift? Sounds good either way!
I guess the difference now is that you do the online tests and if you balls them up then you’re stuck with it for 6 months.
 

83G/84D

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Hi everyone, how far is an acceptable commute? I am considering applying for the Paignton box, according to maps, it’s a 53 minute drive, I’ve seen on here that 45 minutes is about the max!

I am living in the South west and am on a 12 hour roster. Up until fairly recently (last year) I was regularly doing 1 hour commutes to and from work. After a while it was hard going and affected me adversely both at work and at home. The traffic on the roads from May to September was intolerable even taking short cuts and alternative routes, the rest of the year was only marginally better. I am now a 15-20 minute journey from work and find it much better.

Think carefully about how it will affect you as I thought I would manage okay but it wore me down after a while. So glad not to be doing that any more. Going home off 1800 - 0600 after a long night shift was worse than days. I was tired and ended up regularly getting caught up with people heading off to work, as well as lots of lorries on single carriageway roads, absolute hell at times.
 
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Tom Quinne

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So if you got a good pass you were guaranteed an interview for any on you applied for? Or was it just a shortcut to the LOM’s sift? Sounds good either way!
I guess the difference now is that you do the online tests and if you balls them up then you’re stuck with it for 6 months.
If you had a level 3 (top level) pass you would bypass the various stages and go to the LOMs desk for asseasmenr for interview for all grades upto 10 yes.

It paid to get a good pass at the assessment centre.
 

Woody27

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10 Apr 2020
Messages
31
Location
Plymouth
53 minutes with clear traffic, what is the time on a high summer day ?
i don’t think theres a maximum distance or time at the moment, remember its commute plus a 12hr turn - take it from one whos done the 12hr turn + 140 ood day
I am living in the South west and am on a 12 hour roster. Up until fairly recently (last year) I was regularly doing 1 hour commutes to and from work. After a while it was hard going and affected me adversely both at work and at home. The traffic on the roads from May to September was intolerable even taking short cuts and alternative routes, the rest of the year was only marginally better. I am now a 15-20 minute journey from work and find it much better.

Think carefully about how it will affect you as I thought I would manage okay but it wore me down after a while. So glad not to be doing that any more. Going home off 1800 - 0600 after a long night shift was worse than days. I was tired and ended up regularly getting caught up with people heading off to work, as well as lots of lorries on single carriageway roads, absolute hell at times.
thanks for that, I do understand how tough it can be doing a long commute after a tough day at work! But with signaller opportunities in the south West being as rare as rocking horse ****, I feel it’s something that I may have to deal with, to be able to get a foot hold in the signaller sector.
 

Tom Quinne

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thanks for that, I do understand how tough it can be doing a long commute after a tough day at work! But with signaller opportunities in the south West being as rare as rocking horse ****, I feel it’s something that I may have to deal with, to be able to get a foot hold in the signaller sector.
I had to “move” read lodge for 14 months when I first got my golden duster, it might be worth looking into that option.
 

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