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Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by The Sleeper, 26 Oct 2011.
Does it still exist or is it a thing of the past -rail staff cameraderie?
I feel it does, but perhaps less so than in the past, a lot of people see it as just a job and nothing more.
True everywhere, not just railways unfortunately.
At my depot it certainly does, in fact up north it still exists in spades (imho) of course
Not as much as used to when it was "one" railway. Be doing the same job as someone but because they work for a different company they look down on you or ignore you- they can't see past the uniform. I will say hello to anyone no matter what TOC or grade. No interaction sometimes due to things like each company having their own mess room so no mingling.
It does exist, I meant that people viewing it as "just another job" seem to be growing in number.
Trouble is I'm old school so to speak, the railways used to be a family tradition of sorts to a lot of railwayman and women. Those days may be gone but we still watch each others backs so to speak
My feeling as well, not as good as it used to be in BR days but I think as we get older things seem to change more and the older you are the more resistant to change you become:cry:
All the NR Apprentices have a rather unique cameraderie, new entrants but served under old school mentors. Plus we all lived, worked, breathed together and integrated quite well on the whole with the Railway. Since finishing I've seen how new off the street entrants (especially if they've gone into office work*) don't quite gel into the environment/people as well as the apprentices.
*Not a slight on the important work they do, but grating when they attempt to make changes to things they've never even seen, let alone done, to make their admin easier. And yes, this is a painful generalisation, but I can't think of any other way to phrase it without naming roles and potentially names
Same at my depot. I'd say we are a medium sized depot occupied by 2 TOCs who all interact and get along (generally)
I will chat to any member of staff regardless of uniform or colour their train is painted. When I'm out driving I wave to all passing trains if I can regardless of operator.
Same here all round really. Being on the freight side even now there's still a surprising amount of what you'd call 'railway work', ie: shunting, running round, fuelling locos etc, we still use the old hand signals and jargon on the ground and most of the people I work with are enthusiasts of one sort or another anyway. We all do our best to keep the job running despite the problems which are usually outside of our control, and it does generate quite a 'family' feeling.
I do see many staff who believe in the "one railway" principle. Again, there are plenty who do it just because it is a job.
I do get called "mate" a lot by staff when travelling on a Priv. I'm always happy to help when travelling pass too. I've been asked to keep an eye on a toilet (fare evader) on HS1, I've volunteered to hand out water on a stranded train, I've helped man barriers during busy times (I'm not front line staff), I'll do anything to help.
I was stuck on a Virgin train once at Weedon for two hours. I manned door barriers and looked after vulnerable passengers while the onboard staff did more urgent things. Volunteers came forward from London Midland and Network Rail (who, being PTS trained, were a Godsend).
I do always chat to staff if they have the time - sharing stories etc! All rail staff face similar pressures - and unique ones at that. It's important to stick together.
There's a great deal of cooperation and banter out there. Again, there are also those who do it 9 to 5 and don't have the same passion. That's life.
I don't see Cross Country or Virgin or London Midland staff. Too me everyone is just railway staff. I do find some of the newer entrants into the industry don't feel the same sort of togetherness as a rule though. I hope thats not something thats getting trained out of them as all railway staff need help at some stage
Have you seen the "Snow (1963)" video on YouTube? A gang of men working furiously to clear a snowdrift from the track to keep the trains running. That could never happen now, the TOC would simply cancel the service until the snow melted away.
These days, it seems to be just a job, a means of earning a living. The dedication to the service and the traveling public so evident in British Railways (not so much British Rail) days is now largely absent.
It depends where you go, I find. Some folk don't really see me as staff/care (read my signature. 'nuff said) but others are dead friendly. East Coast are generally friendly, as are Northern. Virgin is really variable (I've been offered an upgrade off duty - 99.99% of the time - and I've also been ignored by them too)
West Coast Railways, it has to be said, are the nicest railway staff I've ever come across.
If it came to a Guard looking for help - I'd offer. I wouldn't be offended if they said no, the railway isn't my workplace other than a few weekends a year.
What some people (particularly new starters) seem to forget is that, ultimately, we're all on the same side, namely wanting to get people (including ourselves) from A to B.
We're quite lucky at work, in that pretty much everyone, regardless of who they work for, gets on well together, and we'll often cross "company lines" to help each other out.
On the whole i find it does. Railway is railway whether it be not having to fill a box, leaving cases with station staff or not paying 1st upgrade. Just a "thats all right mate" still exists.
Not so sure I'd agree with that.... not too many years ago while I was still with EWS at Rugby, we had about a week of heavy snowfall and the resident Shunt Driver Tom Blackburn (aged about 63 at the time) battled in to work for his 6am shift on his little moped from his home about twelve miles away, mostly via the back lanes. He came in early every morning to shovel snow from all of the walking routes around the station and yard and as the rest of us arrived we got stuck in too.
The film you mention is a rare gem though, I never tire of watching it!
As a relatively new starter, I'm very apprehensive about asking a different TOC if I can pax with my trolley back from Cardiff to Newport so I don't have to wait an extra half an hour for my ATW service. Out of two occasions now, I've chickened out on both and stood amongst the terminally confused that make up Britain's modern railway passengers.
eh? On another toc? Course you can.
Back when I was a trolley steward on RRNE I took my trolley on a Manchester tram over to Vic
Camaradarie is everything and I owe a lot to others at my depot. Proud to say I was asked not too long ago to help a mate write his appeal after he was sacked.
I had a lovely image of you busily serving teas and coffees to amazed shoppers as it went along Market St!
I salute you.
I don't do that very often.
Railway staff are railway staff as far as I am concerned. I dont care if you are a traction inspector at Eurostar or somebody who sells sandwiches off a trolley on a branch line, you are all welcome. I think most people who have been in the job longer than a year think like this, certainly train crew. Sometimes revenue protection staff (particularly barrier staff) can sometimes be guilty, for want of a better word of living in a bubble and seeing people in a different coloured uniform as foreign but I think that is largely because it is drummed into them when they start and there is a relatively high turnover of staff in the job.
I joined 2 years ago, i'm 25, and I believe in the railway as one big family!
Can I just say that those staff who do treat the volunteers (like me, or even just those who volunteer on a preserved line) like part of the "family" make our "jobs" a bit more enjoyable! Maybe sad to say this, but I do smile a bit when I get a wave or an "alright mate" off paid staff...
I work in the London area as SWT Gateline, and we work with Southern and LO in the same station (gives it away really doesn't it! ) We all get along swimmingly, we have to, otherwise the whole operation doesn't work, as SWT manage the station and man the barriers but it's not only us running services out of there so alot of communication goes into it.
I have to admit though, I probably wouldn't be able to spot any other TOC's staff other than those mentioned above as I am not used to the uniforms. As for doing favours, it depends if there's an RPI working with us, as per rules we'd have to refer the person to the RPI if they didn't have a valid pass/ticket for the area.
Like many others, in occasions when I am travelling pax on my own or any TOC, I wouldn't hesitate at all to help out if it was needed, as I do feel it's our duty to help each other out as rail staff
I actually think rail staff cameraderie has survived the privatisation process remarkably well. You come across the odd exception to the rule, but mostly it is in rude health.