A career as a signaller

Rigchick

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5 May 2019
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41
Basically, give the roster clerk as much notice as possible in that calendar year. If it means booking leave then don't wait until a few weeks before otherwise you may be disappointed, especially if you have already paid for an event. Most roster clerks will try and accommodate a leave request where possible. If it's short notice leave you require then that needs to be sanctioned by your line manager; it may be that the quota for your area has been reached.

You are able to carry over up to 5 days, but you must have applied for them in the year accrued and had them declined to do this. The days must be taken by March of the following year, or they will be lost. (* See below)

Compensatory Leave (accrued for Bank Holidays, if you choose the lower pay option). They have a 12 month date on them, after which you get paid them.

* Days accrued in 2020 need to be applied for by December 31st 2020, and declined by your roster clerk/manager. Those days must then be taken by the end of March 2021.
Thanks High Dyke for the comprehensive answer. Much appreciated.
 
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amanda08

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19 Oct 2019
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blackpool
So, just about 7 months after my first application, I just passed out at IST yesterday, having managed to get through my final observation :D I just wanted to once more say thank you to all the people on here who have been so generous with advice and willing to answer so many questions I had. This whole thread is worth it's weight in gold!
Just TCB conversion to do now, then it's off to train in my first box :D
 

_Odo_

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14 Jan 2020
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That's great Amanda, congrats.

On the subject of IST, I've read many times on this thread about the importance of spending time on the simulator at signalling school, but can anyone here elaborate on what exactly this simulator is? Is it simply a computer program, or is it more like a physical set up? Does it simulate actual scenarios, and conversations you might have with drivers, for example? And is the set up the same whichever school you go to or is each one different? Just trying to get a feel for what my training is going to be like. Thanks in advance.
 

MrsP2010

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31 Mar 2020
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Ellesmere
That's great Amanda, congrats.

On the subject of IST, I've read many times on this thread about the importance of spending time on the simulator at signalling school, but can anyone here elaborate on what exactly this simulator is? Is it simply a computer program, or is it more like a physical set up? Does it simulate actual scenarios, and conversations you might have with drivers, for example? And is the set up the same whichever school you go to or is each one different? Just trying to get a feel for what my training is going to be like. Thanks in advance.
This is the Sim aka Hornby Junction!!
 

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MrsP2010

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Oh my, way more than just a computer program, then! Thank you for that. What is it like to use?
Well to me it's like a real signal box, but having never worked one I've got nothing to compare it to! It's controlled by a computer which "sends" you trains and different scenarios to deal with. When you're "on the sim" you and your fellow trainees take it in turn to operate the sim and the back desk. Both give you good practice.
 

Gallius

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10 Nov 2019
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Uk
That's great Amanda, congrats.

On the subject of IST, I've read many times on this thread about the importance of spending time on the simulator at signalling school, but can anyone here elaborate on what exactly this simulator is? Is it simply a computer program, or is it more like a physical set up? Does it simulate actual scenarios, and conversations you might have with drivers, for example? And is the set up the same whichever school you go to or is each one different? Just trying to get a feel for what my training is going to be like. Thanks in advance.
I'm currently at signalling school on a TCB course with a VDU (Westcad) simulator. It is a computer simulation program with keyboard/tracker ball setup. There are two desks, one is for the trainee and the other is for the assessor. The assessor desk can be used to set up different scenarios for the trainee to practice. Typically in our practice sessions one trainee will practice on the Sim and another trainee will operate the assessor desk. We simulate phone conversations using wireless telephones which can record your conversations so that they can be listened back to for training purposes.
 

ffesti

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29 May 2020
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10
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Sheffield
That's great Amanda, congrats.

On the subject of IST, I've read many times on this thread about the importance of spending time on the simulator at signalling school, but can anyone here elaborate on what exactly this simulator is? Is it simply a computer program, or is it more like a physical set up? Does it simulate actual scenarios, and conversations you might have with drivers, for example? And is the set up the same whichever school you go to or is each one different? Just trying to get a feel for what my training is going to be like. Thanks in advance.
There’s a fairly comprehensive video of the Perth School simulator here: https://vimeo.com/243578577
 

_Odo_

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14 Jan 2020
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Thanks ffesti, that's a great video. It's slightly scary watching that because I didn't entirely understand (read, I had absolutely no idea) what was happening, but I guess I'll learn soon enough!

I got the impression that the instructor was rather enjoying waiting for the exact moment for the trainee to sit down before getting him out of his seat again!!
 

High Dyke

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Yellabelly Country
So, just about 7 months after my first application, I just passed out at IST yesterday, having managed to get through my final observation :D I just wanted to once more say thank you to all the people on here who have been so generous with advice and willing to answer so many questions I had. This whole thread is worth it's weight in gold!
Just TCB conversion to do now, then it's off to train in my first box :D
Well done.

Oh my, way more than just a computer program, then! Thank you for that. What is it like to use?
The only thing it won't do is simulate the weight of a wire pull semaphore signal, I believe.
 

ChrisRS

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17 Jan 2019
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94
There’s a fairly comprehensive video of the Perth School simulator here: https://vimeo.com/243578577
Bruce Langlands is a good instructor.

Thanks ffesti, that's a great video. It's slightly scary watching that because I didn't entirely understand (read, I had absolutely no idea) what was happening, but I guess I'll learn soon enough!

I got the impression that the instructor was rather enjoying waiting for the exact moment for the trainee to sit down before getting him out of his seat again!!
I wouldn't expect anyone off the streets to have the slightest idea what's going on in this video. Even in signal school it may take a week or 2 before it all clicks together.

Putting in the hours after school is definitely a must if you feel you aren't getting the grasp of things, hard work pays off in the end.
Well done.


The only thing it won't do is simulate the weight of a wire pull semaphore signal, I believe.
It certainly doesn't. Certainly caught me off guard some the pulls I've had.

Same can be said for the Welwyn when winding out, takes much longer in the real world.

Mechanical points that rarely get operated are always a fun one.
 

High Dyke

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It certainly doesn't. Certainly caught me off guard some the pulls I've had.

Same can be said for the Welwyn when winding out, takes much longer in the real world.

Mechanical points that rarely get operated are always a fun one.
I've never really had a go on the lever frame, only the NX simulator that are both at Doncaster. However, I didn't think it gave you the same experience of a mechanical pull and the tension in the signal wire.
 

Chumba

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Joined
13 May 2019
Messages
148
So, just about 7 months after my first application, I just passed out at IST yesterday, having managed to get through my final observation :D I just wanted to once more say thank you to all the people on here who have been so generous with advice and willing to answer so many questions I had. This whole thread is worth it's weight in gold!
Just TCB conversion to do now, then it's off to train in my first box :D
well done, a long journey but light at the end of the tunnel. (Pardon the pun):D
 

89jordanbj

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16 Dec 2019
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180
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Newport
So, just about 7 months after my first application, I just passed out at IST yesterday, having managed to get through my final observation :D I just wanted to once more say thank you to all the people on here who have been so generous with advice and willing to answer so many questions I had. This whole thread is worth it's weight in gold!
Just TCB conversion to do now, then it's off to train in my first box :D
Congratulations Amanda! I start my week 8 on Monday, crazy how quick it goes after the first couple of weeks! Good luck for your TCBC and your career in box
 

NoEyeDeer

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14 Sep 2020
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All checks passed and just waiting on a start date, is signalling school generally a straight 11 weeks? Or do you do for example 5 weeks their then at your box for a few weeks then back at school?
 

Saracen_83

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22 Oct 2017
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447
signalling school (which I think is now 10 weeks down from 12) is all consecutive weeks. No breaks

however, if signalling school is over for example christmas or Easter, then school closes down over this period, and it is therefore up to your LOM if they wish to ask you to come in over this time or give you time off...
 

MrsP2010

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31 Mar 2020
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105
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Ellesmere
signalling school (which I think is now 10 weeks down from 12) is all consecutive weeks. No breaks

however, if signalling school is over for example christmas or Easter, then school closes down over this period, and it is therefore up to your LOM if they wish to ask you to come in over this time or give you time off...
I’m at AB school now and it’s 11 weeks but the last week is just the final observation. So yes it’s 10 weeks of lessons plus 1 week
 

headshot119

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On the subject of signaling school, the AB course was 12 weeks, 11 weeks of learning, then a week put aside for your final observation.

It is now 11 weeks, 10 weeks of learning, then a week put aside for your final observation.
 

Saracen_83

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22 Oct 2017
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I’m at AB school now and it’s 11 weeks but the last week is just the final observation. So yes it’s 10 weeks of lessons plus 1 week
I didn’t count the “last week” as Your only there 1 day;)

I had my observation on the monday and was back at the box training on the Tuesday!!
 

ljmac

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13 Feb 2019
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36
Question for anyone that has moved up the grades.

I was under the impression that you get a grade lower until you pass out, as it was when you start initially.
However, I've heard a conflicting scenario where you get paid the full grade from day one (or 12 weeks after closing date, if not released) and would have to pay it back of you didnt make the grade.

Its a new one to me but thought I'd ask here for a definitive answer.

Cheers
 

nom de guerre

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24 Nov 2015
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Question for anyone that has moved up the grades.

I was under the impression that you get a grade lower until you pass out, as it was when you start initially.
However, I've heard a conflicting scenario where you get paid the full grade from day one (or 12 weeks after closing date, if not released) and would have to pay it back of you didnt make the grade.

Its a new one to me but thought I'd ask here for a definitive answer.

Cheers

Never heard of “from day one”, but yes - you’re eligible to claim Higher Grade Pay from the 12-week mark if still awaiting release (with the difference repayable if you don’t pass out at the next job).

There does seem to be some variance in how different routes’ HR bods interpret the timeline. Some reckon it’s 12 weeks from the closing date; others that it’s 12 weeks from the date of the job offer.
 

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