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Best driver depot

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traingeek97

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Just for fun (so let's avoid getting into the DOO/which TOC pays the most debate) but if you could choose to work as a driver at any depot in the UK based on routes alone which one would you go for?

Being based in Kent I liked the idea of working out of Tonbridge which seems to have a decent mix of routes and stock. Barnham and Eastbourne on the Sussex coast also seem to have nice scenic routes.

This thread may help you pick: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/different-driver-depots-route-and-traction-cards.205085/.
 
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2L70

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Leeds Northern.

If you don’t fancy doing a full shift there’s a spare Skipton/Huddersfield/Harrogate Driver to do your last bit usually.
 

387star

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Fratton GWR best depot in the south east arguably ;) all mainline limited stop work with cracking scenery and avoids London which is rare for a south east depot . Close knit depot too
 

DaveTM

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Fratton GWR best depot in the south east arguably ;) all mainline limited stop work with cracking scenery and avoids London which is rare for a south east depot . Close knit depot too
How does that compare to GWR Gloucester? I wonder if you get more varied traction, but is there a trade-off for more stops?
 

irish_rail

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Plymouth or Exeter. Vast route knowledgre, mix of intercity and local work,mix of high speed 125mph and rural stuff, scenic, variety of traction including HST IET and class 57 locos...
 

craigybagel

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I'm looking forward to the answers in this thread, but I can't help wondering if people have ever moved depots in pursuit of better work only to find the TOC responsible has decided to change things around. Traction and Route cards are never permanent.

Plymouth or Exeter. Vast route knowledgre, mix of intercity and local work,mix of high speed 125mph and rural stuff, scenic, variety of traction including HST IET and class 57 locos...

Though in the case of Exeter you have nothing but the triangle of doom for the first few years!

Which does bring up another interesting side question here - how many desirable depots are good from day one, and how many are you stuck with less desirable work and/or less variety until you with your way up the links?
 

HLE

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GA Norwich. Often overlooked but the variety of routes is quite something.

EMR Norwich looks good too, Nottingham and back across the fens.
 

Eloise

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I do wonder at depots like EMR Norwich whether drivers get bored with lack of variety? Is it really "Oooo, Nottingham and back again"?
 

jettofab

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I'm looking forward to the answers in this thread, but I can't help wondering if people have ever moved depots in pursuit of better work only to find the TOC responsible has decided to change things around. Traction and Route cards are never permanent.

This has occurred to me when considering an internal move.
 

HLE

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I do wonder at depots like EMR Norwich whether drivers get bored with lack of variety? Is it really "Oooo, Nottingham and back again"?

Dead man's shoes depot apparently so must have something going for it.
 

Horizon22

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I'll second GWR Plymouth, they seem to get some good work and variety in a nice part of the world although some of the London runs and back with a minimal break seem a bit brutal.

In the SE it's slim pickings, but Tonbridge as the OP suggests is generally highly lauded.
 

bramling

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Just for fun (so let's avoid getting into the DOO/which TOC pays the most debate) but if you could choose to work as a driver at any depot in the UK based on routes alone which one would you go for?

Being based in Kent I liked the idea of working out of Tonbridge which seems to have a decent mix of routes and stock. Barnham and Eastbourne on the Sussex coast also seem to have nice scenic routes.

This thread may help you pick: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/different-driver-depots-route-and-traction-cards.205085/.

Carmarthen must be in with a shout. Nice chilled depot with a reasonable selection of decent routes.
 
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Most nice routes (like S&C) really are very boring for most drivers. Tends not to be much action on them. I did prefer the urban routes and the stop-start action. Got the day over quicker
 

irish_rail

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I'll second GWR Plymouth, they seem to get some good work and variety in a nice part of the world although some of the London runs and back with a minimal break seem a bit brutal.

In the SE it's slim pickings, but Tonbridge as the OP suggests is generally highly lauded.
London from plymouth is much less tiring in the 802 era and there are many of us who would rather our day consist of a trip to London and back, than be messed around going here there and everywhere in a shift, however , for me I like that one day, I will do the former , and the next the latter.
 
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Stigy

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Fratton GWR best depot in the south east arguably ;) all mainline limited stop work with cracking scenery and avoids London which is rare for a south east depot . Close knit depot too
Agreed with that :D

How does that compare to GWR Gloucester? I wonder if you get more varied traction, but is there a trade-off for more stops?
It’s smaller than Gloucester I believe. As for traction, it’s only 16x with the odd 158 these days (and 150 although I can’t remember the last time I saw one of them?). New drivers will only sign 16x apparently, which I can semi-understand, however my core traction I trained on was 150/158, and I’ve driven loads of 158s during handling, but won’t be allowed to drive them once qualified. Seems silly.
 
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BTU

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I quite like the idea of Chiltern Marylebone depot but not sure if its scenic or just the work is quite easy short diagrams .
 

43066

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London from plymouth is much less tiring in the 802 era and there are many of us who would rather our day consist of a trip to London and back, than be messed around going here there and everywhere in a shift, however , for me I like that one day, I will do the former , and the next the latter.

I can see the appeal of having that variety. There can’t be many depots with both proper intercity type work and local work. EMR Derby would be another example.

A lot of Derby drivers say they find the local work a pain though!
 

MrEd

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I can see the appeal of having that variety. There can’t be many depots with both proper intercity type work and local work. EMR Derby would be another example.

A lot of Derby drivers say they find the local work a pain though!

GA Norwich has a good mixture of the two I think. Scotrail Inverness must be a good one too, with a mixture of HSTs and 170s down the HML to Perth and east to Aberdeen, and 158s on the remote rural routes to Kyle and Wick. Must be fantastic having four incredibly scenic routes which are all so different in character (all deeply rural, but the HML and Aberdeen route have a main line feel to them at the same time and allow fast running over some impressive infrastructure in great scenery), and with varied traction too. Would have been a dream for a driver in the BR blue loco-hauled era... oh for a time machine!
 

TheEdge

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I've got a warm smug feeling with multiple people picking my depot as one of the best! 8-)

That being said for route reasons I'd bite someone's hand off for Plymouth or Exeter. And for personal reasons I'd bite someone else's hand off for Shrewsbury or Machynlleth.
 

387star

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Agreed with that :D


It’s smaller than Gloucester I believe. As for traction, it’s only 16x with the odd 158 these days (and 150 although I can’t remember the last time I saw one of them?). New drivers will only sign 16x apparently, which I can semi-understand, however my core traction I trained on was 150/158, and I’ve driven loads of 158s during handling, but won’t be allowed to drive them once qualified. Seems silly.

Smallest GWR depot isn't it ? Far more sociable hours than some depots and less restrictives with a simple two track railway for most of the route.

2005 to 2015 not a single trainee was taken on.

Brighton one day Cardiff the next so although less variety than some that's a pretty cool mix
 
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43066

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Whatever depot has the least routes, traction and least frequent service over those routes to ensure that you are running over green signals most of the time therefore minimising your risk while at work.

Personally I prefer more routes and traction, as the variety means you’re less likely to zone out. Certainly agree re. running on greens and I’d also add not stopping much, and having a guard as desirable attributes!
 
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trolleyman

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Bristol TM Link 1A.

sign 150,8, 165/6 & IET.

Cardiff - Portsmouth, Gloucester - Weymouth, Taunton, The Beach & Reading via Hullavington & Box.

Nice mix of routes and traction every day, good mix of “fast IET” work and local work
 
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