A career as a signaller

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ArkUTD

Member
Joined
28 Sep 2020
Messages
42
Location
Hinckley
Where do you feel you went wrong?
Just feel my answers weren't as in depth as I had previously done before and a bit of stuttering. We'll see how it goes but as they said I'd done well to get so far so I'll take that as a positive.

Though I do have to say the new software to do the call over Called 'TopScore' is a little finicky, not the best user experience for a conference call which I think might have put me off too.
 

ArchangelA

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2020
Messages
209
Location
West Midlands
Just feel my answers weren't as in depth as I had previously done before and a bit of stuttering. We'll see how it goes but as they said I'd done well to get so far so I'll take that as a positive.

Though I do have to say the new software to do the call over Called 'TopScore' is a little finicky, not the best user experience for a conference call which I think might have put me off too.
I felt like that last time I interviewed for the job, and you're right to remember that you did well to get as far as you did. I'm not aware of the new software that you mention, I think I used Microsoft Teams last time and the signal kept dropping in and out too which made me keep saying "pardon?" all the while. You cannot beat face to face interviews.
 

Mark1503

Member
Joined
16 Jan 2017
Messages
36
Afternoon you wonderful people, anyone able to provide information about Cambridge PSB? Shift pattern, grades, anything would be useful? Thanks
 

ROCsteadycrew

Member
Joined
28 May 2019
Messages
30
Can anyone shed any light on which workstations the internally advertised jobs are for at the WROC? I can see 2x Grade 4, 1x Grade 5 (relief) and 1x 7.... Also, are the Grade 2 Crossing Keepers at the WROC signaller trained? Thanks.
I don't work there but this post is from Tom Quinne in 2018 (hope Tom doesn't mind me reposting this info..) Hopefully someone will clarify what has changed and what links the current vacancies are for.


From Tom Quinne 20/9/18


Newport Link Grade 6
Severn Tunnel WestCad Classic
East Usk WestCad Classic
Newport WestCad Classic
Ebbw WestCad Classic

Cardiff link Grade 7
Cardiff Mainline MCS
Cardiff Valleys MCS
Vale of Glamorgan MCS

Rhyl Link Grade 4
Rhyl WestCad Classic

Shrewsbury Link Grade 4
Shrewsbury North WestCad Classic

St Fagans Level Crossing Link Grade 2
St Fagans, St George’s, Llantrisant & Rhoose.

Future workstations
Swansea to Port Talbot probably Grade 7 (March 2019)
Tondu SB area CP6
Park Junction SB area CP6
March 2019 fringe to Carmarthen Junction SB area CP6.

No other migration into Wales ROC in CP6.
 

Visionitmeans

New Member
Joined
13 Jul 2021
Messages
3
Location
London
I was on a reserve list following an interview. I got offered a position as a pool signaller a few months later when a signalling school position became available. It was a 12 month FTC. I then applied for permanent positions whilst at school and secured one before leaving. I have since moved on to a relief role more local and absolutely love it. Good luck.
Oh that's brilliant to hear. Do you remember what your application showed as on the careers portal? and did you receive a call or email? Thanks again for your post, really appreciate it!
 

Pugman

Member
Joined
16 Mar 2020
Messages
12
Location
Carmarthenshire
I don't work there but this post is from Tom Quinne in 2018 (hope Tom doesn't mind me reposting this info..) Hopefully someone will clarify what has changed and what links the current vacancies are for.


From Tom Quinne 20/9/18


Newport Link Grade 6
Severn Tunnel WestCad Classic
East Usk WestCad Classic
Newport WestCad Classic
Ebbw WestCad Classic

Cardiff link Grade 7
Cardiff Mainline MCS
Cardiff Valleys MCS
Vale of Glamorgan MCS

Rhyl Link Grade 4
Rhyl WestCad Classic

Shrewsbury Link Grade 4
Shrewsbury North WestCad Classic

St Fagans Level Crossing Link Grade 2
St Fagans, St George’s, Llantrisant & Rhoose.

Future workstations
Swansea to Port Talbot probably Grade 7 (March 2019)
Tondu SB area CP6
Park Junction SB area CP6
March 2019 fringe to Carmarthen Junction SB area CP6.

No other migration into Wales ROC in CP6.
Thanks ROCsteadycrew.
 

ArkUTD

Member
Joined
28 Sep 2020
Messages
42
Location
Hinckley
I felt like that last time I interviewed for the job, and you're right to remember that you did well to get as far as you did. I'm not aware of the new software that you mention, I think I used Microsoft Teams last time and the signal kept dropping in and out too which made me keep saying "pardon?" all the while. You cannot beat face to face interviews.
Welp, I've heard news sooner than I thought I would, I've been put onto the Reserve list, so not the result I wanted but I'd see this as a step forward at least. Well done to anyone who has got one of the Cornwall jobs!

Does Network rail allow re-location for signallers now? I've no real family/house ties to my current area and am happy to move to different parts of the UK for a new job/career, but it says on NR signaller adverts:

"We are looking for Signaller apprentices for the specific locations named in the advert. Our fatigue management standard means we're unable to accept any applications from candidates not already living within a 60 minute commute time of the location(s) they wish to be considered against"
I tried to apply for this application (Signaller Apprentices (Hereford, Shrewsbury, Didcot, Bristol, Exeter)) and it didn't give me the option of relocating like other applications I've done. so i expect that they really are just looking for people in the local area.
 

Frothy_B

New Member
Joined
20 Aug 2021
Messages
2
Location
NN9 6QS
Hello everyone. I've applied for a couple of positions and have completed the online assessment. I haven't been selected for an interview yet but after reading through some of this thread I thought I should ask you guys currently within the job a couple of questions to see if it's worth continuing to apply in the future if I'm unsuccessful this time around.

Are there height/BMI limits in regard to the medical? I'm 6'9" and a 5/6xl in t-shirt size, although that is partially for the length requirement. My Dad is a driver and I'm aware that height limits on drivers were introduced, do they extend to other aspects of the railway also?

I pass a HGV standard medical every year, alongside getting medical clearance to travel overseas with my current employment, so despite my size I currently have no medical issues. I understand the Train Driver medical is far more stringent than a HGV medical. Is the medical for Signallers also as strict, or more in line with a HGV medical?

My last question is more to do with the Company Culture of Network Rail in regard to personal appearance. Are there strict appearance guidelines? I have long hair (I know opinion is deeply divided on men with long hair). I don't particularly wish to cut it off if I don't need to, although I've always held the stance that if management require me to then I will. I currently work within the civil service and it has not yet proved to be a problem. Given the growing number of women finding employment within the industry I would assume long hair isn't an issue from a health and safety point of view. As long as it's kept clean and tied back during duty time, would it be considered acceptable or would it likely go against me in the event I reached the interview stage?

Thank you for you time!
 
Joined
23 Jun 2016
Messages
1,063
Hello everyone. I've applied for a couple of positions and have completed the online assessment. I haven't been selected for an interview yet but after reading through some of this thread I thought I should ask you guys currently within the job a couple of questions to see if it's worth continuing to apply in the future if I'm unsuccessful this time around.

Are there height/BMI limits in regard to the medical? I'm 6'9" and a 5/6xl in t-shirt size, although that is partially for the length requirement. My Dad is a driver and I'm aware that height limits on drivers were introduced, do they extend to other aspects of the railway also?

I pass a HGV standard medical every year, alongside getting medical clearance to travel overseas with my current employment, so despite my size I currently have no medical issues. I understand the Train Driver medical is far more stringent than a HGV medical. Is the medical for Signallers also as strict, or more in line with a HGV medical?

My last question is more to do with the Company Culture of Network Rail in regard to personal appearance. Are there strict appearance guidelines? I have long hair (I know opinion is deeply divided on men with long hair). I don't particularly wish to cut it off if I don't need to, although I've always held the stance that if management require me to then I will. I currently work within the civil service and it has not yet proved to be a problem. Given the growing number of women finding employment within the industry I would assume long hair isn't an issue from a health and safety point of view. As long as it's kept clean and tied back during duty time, would it be considered acceptable or would it likely go against me in the event I reached the interview stage?

Thank you for you time!
Hello!!

No issue with height limits on an institutional level. although some smaller signal boxes are in the “duck or grouse” category.

Signallers medical is fairly stringent but most people don’t have too many issues, not sure as to how it compares to drivers to be honest

Long hair is no issue whatsoever, plenty of longer haired folk of all genders in the grades (myself included) and it doesn’t present any issues, tied or untied. (We have a policy of diversity and inclusion at NR that is taken seriously, this includes hairstyles amongst other things)

There are few if any strict appearance guidelines (nothing violating the D&I policy and red and green are restricted in a few boxes in case a driver should see it and take it as an instruction) , some of the more, quite frankly, backwards managers insist on uniform but that depends on location and is rapidly disappearing (and the NR uniform is a fairly broad church anyway). Some locations require PPE which is separate from uniform but, naturally, the company will provide that. No issues in sizing with those either (I’m of similar clothing size, though an inch or two shorter)

Hope we get to welcome you to the fold soon!!
 
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Alex95

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Joined
5 Oct 2019
Messages
5
Location
LEICESTERSHIRE
Hi all, bit of an odd question but what are the welfare facilities like at signal boxes? I'm thinking about the old fashioned victorian style boxes.

I work outdoors at the moment without any facilities so just wondering if signal boxes contain; toilets, running water, is there any kitchen facilities at all or is bringing packed lunch the standard? Thanks very much!
 

ArchangelA

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2020
Messages
209
Location
West Midlands
Hi all, bit of an odd question but what are the welfare facilities like at signal boxes? I'm thinking about the old fashioned victorian style boxes.

I work outdoors at the moment without any facilities so just wondering if signal boxes contain; toilets, running water, is there any kitchen facilities at all or is bringing packed lunch the standard? Thanks very much!
You will normally get a toilet (inside or outside), sink, and sometimes some form of cooker or microwave. Most boxes have a comfy sofa or seat too
 

Six Bells

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Joined
20 Jul 2021
Messages
22
Location
Away
Hi all, bit of an odd question but what are the welfare facilities like at signal boxes? I'm thinking about the old fashioned victorian style boxes.

I work outdoors at the moment without any facilities so just wondering if signal boxes contain; toilets, running water, is there any kitchen facilities at all or is bringing packed lunch the standard? Thanks very much!
My box dates back to the 1880s, we have an outdoor toilet at the back of the box down at lineside level (Previously there was a portaloo style toilet in its place) In the box we have a sink, kettle, microwave, hotplate, a comfortable arm chair and an office chair at the desk where we fill in the Train Register / paperwork. We used to have a toaster but the lad who brought it in took it with him when he moved to another box and nobody has bothered to replace it! There is also an electric heater mounted to the wall.

Not the Ritz, but more than enough for comfort / heating a meal / basic cooking.
 
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Highlandspring

Established Member
Joined
14 Oct 2017
Messages
2,779
No armchairs or sofas in Scotland (banned by the comfort police years ago), but all the Scottish mechanical boxes were refurbished around 2001 with generously sized kitchens and inside toilets. Some places have fancy coffee machines, toasters etc.. bought by the signallers themselves. Usually plenty of wall mounted snd freestanding heaters too.
 

HamSandwich

Member
Joined
19 May 2020
Messages
50
Location
Earth
My box is a portacabin, with an indoor toilet, little kitchen including a small fridge, little oven and two rings, microwave, kettle, two knackered computer style chairs and a desk with a computer, printer etc. Some of the more traditional boxes on my line still have outside loos, some are luckier and have them indoors. Not seen a box around here with a sofa or armchair in it, that sounds very comfortable! There's also a plumbed in water cooler too, which is a godsend when it's boiling hot, you think you might melt, and the fan is just blowing hot air around :oops:
 

Qball

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Joined
5 Sep 2018
Messages
92
My box is a portacabin, with an indoor toilet, little kitchen including a small fridge, little oven and two rings, microwave, kettle, two knackered computer style chairs and a desk with a computer, printer etc. Some of the more traditional boxes on my line still have outside loos, some are luckier and have them indoors. Not seen a box around here with a sofa or armchair in it, that sounds very comfortable! There's also a plumbed in water cooler too, which is a godsend when it's boiling hot, you think you might melt, and the fan is just blowing hot air around :oops:
Ask for a mobile AC unit we have them on our line.
 

Kraken

Member
Joined
22 Mar 2020
Messages
185
Location
Lincolnshire
Hi all, bit of an odd question but what are the welfare facilities like at signal boxes? I'm thinking about the old fashioned victorian style boxes.

I work outdoors at the moment without any facilities so just wondering if signal boxes contain; toilets, running water, is there any kitchen facilities at all or is bringing packed lunch the standard? Thanks very much!
Not to drop the level too much but the toilet situation thing has taken some getting used to after decades working in an office environment being able to go to the loo whenever I want. I’ve just managed to get myself to the point where I can do some, ahem, ‘forward planning’ so that I’m not pacing desperately up and down the box when it’s solid trains for an hour or so, but I’ve had a few uncomfortable passages of time getting to this point! The boxes with inside toilets sound like the absolute heights of luxury.
 
Joined
22 Aug 2021
Messages
6
Location
Hertfordshire
Hi all,

Recently been offered to interview for a Crossing Keeper role at Broxbourne.

Does anyone have any information about the station and the crossing itself? I have had a look and can only find very little information. I believe it is on Wharf Road?

Any information would be very much appreciated!
 

Scooby123

Member
Joined
20 Dec 2020
Messages
12
Location
Derby
Hello all,

Could anyone give me a bit of an insight into how a GPR role works within a ROC? I understand you don’t know your shifts til the Thursday before but do you follow a base roster so you know what days your working just not what times?
 

Highlandspring

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14 Oct 2017
Messages
2,779
Could anyone give me a bit of an insight into how a GPR role works within a ROC? I understand you don’t know your shifts til the Thursday before but do you follow a base roster so you know what days your working just not what times?

Yes your base roster will show your booked rest days over the roster cycle. So you’ll know that on, for example, week 3 of the cycle you’re rest day Thursday Friday and on week 11 you’re off Monday Tuesday Wednesday. The only thing that can throw a spanner in the works is if you’re rostered nightshift into a rest day (which is meant to be avoided where possible, but some roster clerks have a decidedly limited idea of what ‘possible’ means).

A GPR working at just one location typtically receives the lowest Flexibility Preumium on the scale, which is 4%. Depending on how well staffed the place is you could expect a decent number of spare turns in the non-holiday season. Anecdotally it can take a very long time to sign for all panels/workstations in your link because once you’ve signed your first couple you may end up being rostered for them all the time, again dependent on staffing.
 

Scooby123

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Joined
20 Dec 2020
Messages
12
Location
Derby
Yes your base roster will show your booked rest days over the roster cycle. So you’ll know that on, for example, week 3 of the cycle you’re rest day Thursday Friday and on week 11 you’re off Monday Tuesday Wednesday. The only thing that can throw a spanner in the works is if you’re rostered nightshift into a rest day (which is meant to be avoided where possible, but some roster clerks have a decidedly limited idea of what ‘possible’ means).

A GPR working at just one location typtically receives the lowest Flexibility Preumium on the scale, which is 4%. Depending on how well staffed the place is you could expect a decent number of spare turns in the non-holiday season. Anecdotally it can take a very long time to sign for all panels/workstations in your link because once you’ve signed your first couple you may end up being rostered for them all the time, again dependent on staffing.
That’s great, thank you for that. Do you know if you start getting paid the grade and the 4% once you’ve passed one workstation or do you have to have passed all of them? And if you are spare, do you still get paid the same? Is it spent at home or do you still attend the centre? Thank you
 

Highlandspring

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14 Oct 2017
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2,779
There seems to be a bit of regional variation about that depending on the company and the regional RMT Area Council’s interpretation of the relevant agreements. Where I am they pay the full grade only once you’ve signed for the higest graded workstation/panel/box but the full flexibility immediately on passing out. I have heard some areas pay the full grade immediately but only half the flexibility until all workstations/panels/boxes are signed. It’s worth taking advice from your local rep (and joining the union if you haven’t already).

Spare turns are also down to local agreement - with Covid virtually everywhere went over to spare at home but before that some places did expect you to come in. You’re paid for the hours shown on the roster regardless of whether or not you pick up a job or are physically present. All spare turns must have a start time and an end time shown, the naughty practice of putting ‘Spare 8hrs’ or ‘Spare 12hrs’ on the published roster is against the NRP agreement with the union and should be stamped on hard whenever it appears.

Top ‘career as a signaller‘ thread poster Tom Quinne would be your man for any and all ROC related queries but I see he hasn’t posted here since March. Hopefully he’s alright.
 

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