A career as a signaller

Tom Quinne

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Hi guys, completely new to this so forgive my ignorance. I’m really interested in getting into a career on the railway and currently being furloughed has only given me the time to start to investigate further. The dream role would be as a driver but after reading some of these threads I like the sound of a career in signalling. I currently work as a research specialist in the field of autonomous and connected vehicles/advanced driver assistance systems. Basically I have 2 questions:

1. Is looking at a career in signalling a wise move at the age of 25?

2. Would a role in signalling help me if I wanted to apply as trainee driver in the future?

Any high level insight into the role would be great and very much appreciated. Thanks.

I was about to give you a reply of 25 is ideal to apply for the job, but then read question 2....way to Alienate yourself (with respect).
 
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Tom Quinne

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Tom Quinn would you mind sharing maybe two weeks worth if your relief roster? Why do relief do so many night shifts?

Last week:
Sunday OFF
Mon Days RDW
Tues Days RDW
Weds Days RDW
Thurs Days Booked
Fri Days Booked
Sat Days Booked

This week:
Sun recover from days last week !
Mon Nights RDW
Tues Nights Booked
Weds Nights Booked
Thurs Nights Booked
Fri RD
Sat Nights RDW

Next Next Week:
Sun RD
Mon RD
Tues RD
Weds RD
Thurs Booked Turn it’ll be a surprise what I get.
Fri Booked Turn it’ll be a surprise what I get.
Sat Booked Turn it’ll be a surprise what I get.

In the last 8 weeks, I’ve had 7 of nights so last week was a real shock to my system.
 

Tom Quinne

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Signallers and Drivers are like cats and dogs, we love each other really but to ask on a signaller thread if it’s a stepping stone to driving is like appointing a fox to caretake chickens.
 

LOM

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Sticking with aviation, I think people would not generally view becoming an air traffic controller as a step towards becoming an airline pilot so I am not sure why anyone would suppose applying for a job as a signaller would get them any closer to becoming a train driver.

No point applying for a job you do not want when you can just apply for the job you do want!
 
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A14Ash

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Hi everyone.


New to the forum, been reading back to gain some insights. I've applied for a local grade 3 position in Workington, Cumbria.
Passed the application and assessments, got an interview on the 29th June. Any information on the box I'd be working at such as shift patterns, etc if I was successful. Also does anyone know if there is opportunity for progession to higher grades in West Cumbria?
Any help would be greatly appreciated

Regards
 

Tom Quinne

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Sticking with aviation, I think people would not generally view becoming an air traffic controller as a step towards becoming an airline pilot so I am not sure why anyone would suppose applying for a job as a signaller would get them any closer to becoming a train driver.

No point applying for a job you do not want when you can just apply for the job you do want!

Exactly, you‘d tick a lot of the competency boxes evidence wise if you went signaller fo driver obviously. But why waste years as a signaller when you can simply apply for driving in the first place?

Anyway, we all know who the real hero’s are on the railway don’t we.....;)
 

Tom Quinne

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Hi everyone.


New to the forum, been reading back to gain some insights. I've applied for a local grade 3 position in Workington, Cumbria.
Passed the application and assessments, got an interview on the 29th June. Any information on the box I'd be working at such as shift patterns, etc if I was successful. Also does anyone know if there is opportunity for progession to higher grades in West Cumbria?
Any help would be greatly appreciated

Regards

Having for lost in Cumbria once, spending 3hrs driving to find myself having made a huge circle to arrive back where I started!

I assume depending on where you are in the county you’ll have Carlisle and Preston PSB which are at least grade 6 if not 7 or 8 “locally”. You’ll also have local relief jobs which will attract a flexi premium on top of your basic, probably a high as 32% if it’s the Cumbrian Coast route of boxes.
 

Thebullet

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Definitely but for some types of people its pretty clear that they are not applying because they desperately want to be a signaller. One of my colleagues in another area had an ex FlyBe captain apply for a grade 1 post - I doubt he would stick around if the chance of another airline job came up!

I am guessing an airline captain could answer the 69 questions with ease and would be an ideal candidate for most grades.

I myself have a pilot licence, I have noted this on my cv but then I erased it not long after I applied for another post. I was worried that the hiring manager might think the same if a airline job came up in the future I would jump ship. (I have never flown for a living it's something I do for pleasure).
 
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Woody27

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You guys always give out invaluable advice, if I ever make signaller, nothing would give me greater pleasure, than buying you all a drink!
 

amanda08

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Edited to ask, out of curiosity, how do most men feel about girl signallers?
question for the woman I guess?
How did you find training? Were there other woman on the course with you?
I’m pretty used to working in a male dominated environment and have always enjoyed it and to be honest, being outnumbered has never been an issue at all.
However since being offered my job, I’ve had a few people say I may not be welcomed by many. This hadn’t even crossed my mind before!

In fact someone on here even commented about my being a possible token female.
Looking for reassurance this won’t be the case?
Thanks
 
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Dan 2513

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A question for the woman I guess?
How did you find training? Were there other woman on the course with you?
I’m pretty used to working in a male dominated environment and have always enjoyed it and to be honest, being outnumbered has never been an issue at all.
However since being offered my job, I’ve had a few people say I may not be welcomed by many. This hadn’t even crossed my mind before!

In fact someone on here even commented about my being a possible token female.
Looking for reassurance this won’t be the case?
Thanks

I am on your course

believe me I don’t care your sex or anything else for that matter.
I will treat you the way you treat me.
I certainly won’t treat you any differently from anyone else on our course.
 

7Paul7

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A question for the woman I guess?
How did you find training? Were there other woman on the course with you?
I’m pretty used to working in a male dominated environment and have always enjoyed it and to be honest, being outnumbered has never been an issue at all.
However since being offered my job, I’ve had a few people say I may not be welcomed by many. This hadn’t even crossed my mind before!

In fact someone on here even commented about my being a possible token female.
Looking for reassurance this won’t be the case?
Thanks

I'm currently starting week 7 in signalling school (AB) out of a class of 11 there are 3 females. Three other courses have started since we did and I think there are around 3-4 females in that intake. As for being not welcomed from what I've seen from the tutors and delegates is everyone is encouraged to be part of the group it's up to the individual if they decide they want to be.
 

amanda08

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I am on your course

believe me I don’t care your sex or anything else for that matter.
I will treat you the way you treat me.
I certainly won’t treat you any differently from anyone else on our course.

Thank you :) And likewise lol
 

amanda08

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I'm currently starting week 7 in signalling school (AB) out of a class of 11 there are 3 females. Three other courses have started since we did and I think there are around 3-4 females in that intake. As for being not welcomed from what I've seen from the tutors and delegates is everyone is encouraged to be part of the group it's up to the individual if they decide they want to be.
Brilliant.
I've read making the most of the group is the best way of succeeding so that is reassuring. I guess the people i've spoken to are in the dark ages if there is that proportion of woman on the courses. Not that it makes a difference, but nice to know I wont stick out lol :p
 

LOM

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Edited to ask, out of curiosity, how do most men feel about girl signallers?
question for the woman I guess?
How did you find training? Were there other woman on the course with you?
I’m pretty used to working in a male dominated environment and have always enjoyed it and to be honest, being outnumbered has never been an issue at all.
However since being offered my job, I’ve had a few people say I may not be welcomed by many. This hadn’t even crossed my mind before!

In fact someone on here even commented about my being a possible token female.
Looking for reassurance this won’t be the case?
Thanks
The bits I have highlighted in bold are nonsense. There are loads of female signallers up and down the country. Gender is not an issue at all.

Everyone is equal in the grade and everyone is treated with dignity and respect. If you have *any* hassle at all at any stage tell your LOM straight away. NR is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and they really mean it when they say it. Sexist, racist or homophobic behaviour is not tolerated.

Your post has made me feel quite sad and frustrated that this is the impression new starters are given.
 
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amanda08

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The bits I have highlighted in bold are nonsense. There are loads of female signallers up and down the country. Gender is not an issue at all.

Everyone is equal in the grade and everyone is treated with dignity and respect. If you have *any* hassle at all at any stage tell your LOM straight away. NR is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and they really mean it when they say it. Sexist, racist or homophobic behaviour is not tolerated.

Your post has made me feel quite sad and frustrated that this is the impression new starters are given.
Thank you.

I’m not one of those that’s looking for issues, in fact like I said, I hadn’t even considered it as an issue. Just had a few worrying comments that got my mind going.
But I feel reassured by everyone’s response here
 

Tomnick

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Edited to ask, out of curiosity, how do most men feel about girl signallers?
question for the woman I guess?
How did you find training? Were there other woman on the course with you?
I’m pretty used to working in a male dominated environment and have always enjoyed it and to be honest, being outnumbered has never been an issue at all.
However since being offered my job, I’ve had a few people say I may not be welcomed by many. This hadn’t even crossed my mind before!

In fact someone on here even commented about my being a possible token female.
Looking for reassurance this won’t be the case?
Thanks
As others have said, it’s absolute nonsense. I’ve worked with women in both the signalling grade and the driving grade, and never seen a hint of them being treated any differently to anyone else (rightly, of course). Apart from training, you’ll be in the box on your own anyway!

The “token female” thing: I’ve heard murmurings about “positive discrimination” elsewhere in the industry, which is possibly where it’s come from? I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but I’m sure that it’s not a thing in the signalling grade and it just serves to undermine your (collective) achievements...
 

amanda08

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Joining RMT. Do you have to approach them once you’ve finished training or do you get info sent out automatically?
Cheers
 

amanda08

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As others have said, it’s absolute nonsense. I’ve worked with women in both the signalling grade and the driving grade, and never seen a hint of them being treated any differently to anyone else (rightly, of course). Apart from training, you’ll be in the box on your own anyway!

The “token female” thing: I’ve heard murmurings about “positive discrimination” elsewhere in the industry, which is possibly where it’s come from? I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but I’m sure that it’s not a thing in the signalling grade and it just serves to undermine your (collective) achievements...
I appreciate your comments and reassurance
Thank you
 

LOM

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Joining RMT. Do you have to approach them once you’ve finished training or do you get info sent out automatically?
Cheers

The schools used to get a rep in during the course to give you info and try to sign you up but I am not sure if that still happens. If not your local rep will probably contact you while you are training. It has to be said that fewer signallers are in the union now than used to be the case, though it is still a very valuable insurance policy.
 
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amanda08

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The schools used to get a rep in during the course to give you info and try to sign you up but I am not sure if that still happens. If not your local rep will probably contact you while you are training. It has to be said that fewer signallers are in the union now than used to be the case, though it is still a very valuable insurance policy.
Ooh, that’s interesting to hear! I’d assumed most would be in it. Maybe I need to look into it more then.
Thanks
 

LOM

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I would say if my area is anything to go by the majority still are in the RMT but it is getting slimmer every year. Most of my recent new starts have not joined, though I am sure they have their reasons for that.

I am still in the RMT from my time in the grade and I would urge any new start (or old hand!) to join.
 
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Saracen_83

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Edited to ask, out of curiosity, how do most men feel about girl signallers?
question for the woman I guess?
How did you find training? Were there other woman on the course with you?
I’m pretty used to working in a male dominated environment and have always enjoyed it and to be honest, being outnumbered has never been an issue at all.
However since being offered my job, I’ve had a few people say I may not be welcomed by many. This hadn’t even crossed my mind before!

In fact someone on here even commented about my being a possible token female.
Looking for reassurance this won’t be the case?
Thanks

as For being a token female as you say, I wouldn’t worry, there plenty of females in the grade. There are3 on my link alone, and probably about 8-10 in the my place not including new starters...

mad for not being welcomed, I’ve not seen it, everyone is treated fairly and equally. As long as you are good at your job safe and efficient, I could t care if you male or female!
 

A14Ash

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Having for lost in Cumbria once, spending 3hrs driving to find myself having made a huge circle to arrive back where I started!

I assume depending on where you are in the county you’ll have Carlisle and Preston PSB which are at least grade 6 if not 7 or 8 “locally”. You’ll also have local relief jobs which will attract a flexi premium on top of your basic, probably a high as 32% if it’s the Cumbrian Coast route of boxes.

Thanks for the help Tom.
Cumbrian A and B roads aren't the easiest to navigate, even for locals haha
Carlisle is only around 40mins drive from Workington where I live, so that would be food for thought.
Yeah the coast route runs from Barrow to Carlisle so should be plenty opportunities at a box along there, now I'm thinking about it. The 32% sounds very good aswell. Now just need to focus on this interview.
 

amanda08

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as For being a token female as you say, I wouldn’t worry, there plenty of females in the grade. There are3 on my link alone, and probably about 8-10 in the my place not including new starters...

mad for not being welcomed, I’ve not seen it, everyone is treated fairly and equally. As long as you are good at your job safe and efficient, I could t care if you male or female!
Thank you.
I’m feeling reassured with everyone’s comments.
Absolutely can’t wait to get started now! Six weeks today and I’ll be en route to York
 

LOM

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Thanks for the help Tom.
Cumbrian A and B roads aren't the easiest to navigate, even for locals haha
Carlisle is only around 40mins drive from Workington where I live, so that would be food for thought.
Yeah the coast route runs from Barrow to Carlisle so should be plenty opportunities at a box along there, now I'm thinking about it. The 32% sounds very good aswell. Now just need to focus on this interview.
Carlisle was on the internal list last week.
 

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