A career as a signaller

High Dyke

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1 Jan 2013
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2,479
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Yellabelly Country
I have to say the NR application form is one of the worst I have ever had to use! It's terrible!
Tell us about it... Even for internal applicants it can be a pain to apply for jobs.

Up until last year those of us already qualified had to complete the same application form and assessment tests as someone applying 'off the street'. Luckily NR management saw sense and realised that too many suitably qualified signal(wo)men were being disadvantaged by the application process.

Trust me though, it still isn't easy. With these resignalling schemes in a frequent state of change people are just playing a game of musical chairs, but the chairs are getting fewer and fewer!
 
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mac

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15 Dec 2010
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429
High Dyke I applied last week internally had 69 questions to fill in, all things they already no about me. I'm in a quite box so how someone busy can apply I don't know.
 

8d3

Member
Joined
23 May 2016
Messages
35
One of the Signaller posts that looks like it's at quite a quiet signal box but there are 4 posts that they're filling, any idea why they would be filling 4 posts at once?
I don't know for sure but I've heard that the jobs are at St Fagan's in Cardiff.
 

Termy

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29 May 2013
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187
Location
London, UK
One of the Signaller posts that looks like it's at quite a quiet signal box but there are 4 posts that they're filling, any idea why they would be filling 4 posts at once?
I don't know for sure but I've heard that the jobs are at St Fagan's in Cardiff.
Correct me if I'm wrong (I have done some research into this), but wasn't the St. Fagan's box closed back towards the end of 2014 with operations moved across to the Cardiff Central Control Centre?

I'm quite happy the vacancies have opened, as I have several friends in Cardiff who would be happy to move into a place with me if I managed to get into a Signaller position there. Definitely applied already, and completed the online tests. Just awaiting the results! Pretty excited.

If I had to guess, I would hazard that staff retirement would be the most likely cause of four positions opening up at once. That, or added requirements caused by line electrification and the Class 80x's, once they start rolling through?
 

8d3

Member
Joined
23 May 2016
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35
I'm really not sure if the box closed, but someone on here said that they were based at St Fagans. I suppose I could drive up there some time and have a look.

There were two other posts that I applied for back in April which are based at the Cardiff Central Control Centre. I did the assessment, just waiting to hear if I have an interview.
 

Llanigraham

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23 Mar 2013
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St Fagans hasn't closed.
One of the Reliefs that covered it and very recently retired (a friend of mine) was asked whether he would be willing to return to cover one of the vacancies there on a short term contract.
 

K8tie

Member
Joined
2 Oct 2015
Messages
20
Had a quick shifty at the internal list today.

Quite a few Scottish jobs:

Stanley Jn (2)
Longforgan (2)
Kingussie (3)
Dunblane (4)
Motherwell (7 - secondment and normal)
West of Scotland SC (7)
Motherwell SSM (9 - secondment)

One Manchester job (a 9).

Sounds like quite a few currently at Motherwell aren't transferring to WoSSC for whatever reason.
As far as I'm aware, all of the Motherwell signallers are soon going to be training and slowly transferring to the West of Scotland so they need people to do their jobs until the box closes next December (except one panel I can't remember which one).
 

nom de guerre

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24 Nov 2015
Messages
569
High Dyke I applied last week internally had 69 questions to fill in, all things they already no about me. I'm in a quite box so how someone busy can apply I don't know.
Really? Why would Recruitment know how much experience you have of handling multiple and complex T3s? Or whether you've dealt with a fatality?
 

8d3

Member
Joined
23 May 2016
Messages
35
I just found out I didn't get an interview for one of the posts I applied for, I'm still hoping that I'll get an interview for the other post but not too positive about that right now.

Does anyone know how long you have to wait before you can retake the assessment if you're applying for other posts?

Thanks in advance!
 

contrad!ction

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Joined
25 Apr 2016
Messages
103
I just found out I didn't get an interview for one of the posts I applied for, I'm still hoping that I'll get an interview for the other post but not too positive about that right now.

Does anyone know how long you have to wait before you can retake the assessment if you're applying for other posts?
Did you pass the assessment (i.e - not fail it?)
If so then your scores didn't rank high enough for an interview and will be kept on file for 3 (?) years, so you don't need to do the tests again.

If you failed the assessment I think it's 6 months but only a maximum of 2 or 3 attempts are allowed (I'm not 100% sure which...)
 

8d3

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Joined
23 May 2016
Messages
35
I passed the assessment, I know there was one particular but that I definitely didn't score too well on though so was hoping I would be able to do the assessment again at some point, 3 years is a long time...

Do you know if at this stage whether I got an interview or not would've been purely based on the assessment or would there have been other factors taken into account as well?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Whether you pass or fail the assessment is just based on your score I'm guessing? You need to get a certain percentage right?
 

mac

Member
Joined
15 Dec 2010
Messages
429
Really? Why would Recruitment know how much experience you have of handling multiple and complex T3s? Or whether you've dealt with a fatality?
Because the box I have applied for is only 3 boxes from where I'm working now same line same LOM same trains everything the same. Only reason I want to move is because I pass it 20 minutes before I get to mine.
 

contrad!ction

Member
Joined
25 Apr 2016
Messages
103
Because the box I have applied for is only 3 boxes from where I'm working now same line same LOM same trains everything the same. Only reason I want to move is because I pass it 20 minutes before I get to mine.
It's a HR hoop you have to jump through (equality etc etc...) as recruitment is handled (mostly) by them not your LOM.

Do you know if at this stage whether I got an interview or not would've been purely based on the assessment or would there have been other factors taken into account as well?

Whether you pass or fail the assessment is just based on your score I'm guessing? You need to get a certain percentage right?
I've no idea if you could do it again if you've passed, the risk is then that you fail and are locked out for life! Best to have a chat with HR probably.

I've never got a straight answer, AFAIK it's based solely on your assessment scores but I'm not 100% sure whether the LOM has any choice with shortlisting.

Yes, the pass levels are set by the people that design the tests (and aren't public).
 
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TomBoyd

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2 Sep 2013
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438
It's a bit daft but it's a HR hoop you have to jump through (equality etc etc...) as recruitment is handled (mostly) by them not your LOM.
I think this is a pretty essential measure to prevent the rampant nepotism the railway used to be engulfed by!


I've no idea if you could do it again if you've passed, the risk is then that you fail and are locked out for life! Best to have a chat with HR probably.

I've never got a straight answer, AFAIK it's based solely on your assessment scores but I'm not 100% sure whether the LOM has any choice with shortlisting.

Yes, the pass levels are set by the people that design the tests (and aren't public).
It's based purely on assessment scores. The LOM just gets a list of those who passed, and can shortlist from that if he wants.

The assessment is pass/fail, but if more than a threshold pass, only the highest passers will continue.

The assessment, if failed, can be retaken in 6 months.
 
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
190
Just wondered to those who are working as signallers (as far as is possible with any job!) do you enjoy it and do you look forward to going into work? What do you think are the good and bad points of the job? Any particular day to day stresses or regular stressful situations?
It's a great job. Shift work however, not so much. Unless I've been denied leave and my friends are having fun somewhere, I generally look forward to work. Sometimes its routine and monotonous but bigger boxes generally have some interest most days.

Shift work however is a major drawback depending on your age and lifestyle. Nights disrupt your sleep pattern (ignore anyone who says its fine, all the evidence points to a greater risk of all sorts of nasty conditions ranging from depression to early death) and lates disrupt your social life. Earlies aren't too bad IF you live close to work.

However there are few other jobs that pay this well, are a genuine 35 hour week (unless you do overtime) and which you have do not take any work home with you. I earn twice as much as my friend who is degree educated and has worked in the NHS for 8 years.

That said, signalling is a bit of a money trap. There are opportunities to go into management, or projects, but these generally require taking a pay cut, at least for the first few years. The reality when you have a family and a mortgage is that it becomes more difficult to take that leap.
 
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Jack Hay

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Joined
18 Aug 2016
Messages
59
Does anyone know much about Monks Siding box?

Gradient, I take it you didn't apply in the end?

It looks like it's on a freight line; and operates what looks like a very quiet level crossing... I take it there would only be one person on duty at any one time in a little place like that?
I'm answering as an enthusiast rather than a rail professional, but yes, Monks Siding is on the freight line from Warrington Arpley to Ditton Junction and sees only about a dozen trains daily (varies, most trains run only 'as required'). It is a block post and has a level crossing plus one or two other crossings handled by CCTV. It's inconceivable it would be manned by more than one person. If Fidlers Ferry power station were to close (which has been announced, but the decision has been reversed or at least postponed) then there will be even fewer trains.
 

Saltire

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Joined
23 Mar 2014
Messages
120
Tried twice now to submit an application for a signallers job and both times page 4 of the application has timed out <(
This page has 20 questions half of which require a fairly lengthy answer, obviously some thought has to go into this, so how long does the website give you? Am I just being too thorough or is this part of the test? :roll:
 

john.ump

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15 Jun 2016
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I had to write them out on Word and then past them in afterwards to avoid it timing out.

Also at the end of the process I had to hit cancel on the final page for it to submit which was a little odd.
 

Saltire

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23 Mar 2014
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120
Thanks John.ump that's what I ended up doing too, still took around 3 hours to complete and I could only give a positive response to about half the questions as I'm external.
Found it strange that even the questions that appeared not to require a response had to have something written in the box (I just put N/A)
Certainly not a user friendly application- maybe that was part of the test
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I had to write them out on Word and then past them in afterwards to avoid it timing out.

Also at the end of the process I had to hit cancel on the final page for it to submit which was a little odd.
Where have you applied for? was it recent?
 

abzrunner

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25 Aug 2016
Messages
5
Hi all.

Very interesting thread here with lots of useful info.

Ive applied for the Scotland Route - All Grades 1-7 Signaller role a few weeks back (I live up near Aberdeen) and have got up to confirmation of successful completion of the situational assessment. That has been a good 2 weeks now so just waiting to hear about the next stage of the process....it does seem to take a long time!!!!!! Could the next step in the process be the assessment day?
 

TomBoyd

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Joined
2 Sep 2013
Messages
438
Hi all.

Very interesting thread here with lots of useful info.

Ive applied for the Scotland Route - All Grades 1-7 Signaller role a few weeks back (I live up near Aberdeen) and have got up to confirmation of successful completion of the situational assessment. That has been a good 2 weeks now so just waiting to hear about the next stage of the process....it does seem to take a long time!!!!!! Could the next step in the process be the assessment day?
That is the next step. Welcome to Waiting 101. Get used to it!
 

abzrunner

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25 Aug 2016
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5
That is the next step. Welcome to Waiting 101. Get used to it!
So I could be waiting weeks/months before I hear about the next stage?

So have I got this right...if I get through assessments/interviews...
do they send you to signal school ?
or do you wait to then apply for positions and if you are successful you get a post?
or do you have to get a post before they send you to signal school?

im just finding it a tad confusing as the job is for all scottish routes for current and future posts.:|
 

Wee_Eck

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12 Aug 2016
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2
Hi all.

Very interesting thread here with lots of useful info.

Ive applied for the Scotland Route - All Grades 1-7 Signaller role a few weeks back (I live up near Aberdeen) and have got up to confirmation of successful completion of the situational assessment. That has been a good 2 weeks now so just waiting to hear about the next stage of the process....it does seem to take a long time!!!!!! Could the next step in the process be the assessment day?
I've applied for the same role, (live in Kilmarnock) and spoke to someone in HR who said its common to be waiting for 6 weeks.
 

TomBoyd

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Joined
2 Sep 2013
Messages
438
So I could be waiting weeks/months before I hear about the next stage?

So have I got this right...if I get through assessments/interviews...
do they send you to signal school ?
or do you wait to then apply for positions and if you are successful you get a post?
or do you have to get a post before they send you to signal school?

im just finding it a tad confusing as the job is for all scottish routes for current and future posts.:|
I have no idea.

When I applied, it was to a particular box.

Ask HR?
 

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