Career With Northern

jayafc

Member
Joined
10 Nov 2019
Messages
6
Location
Liverpool
Hey guys

First time poster and hoping someone could help.

I have wanted to pursue a career as a train driver for a few years now and think now be the time. The only thing stopping me is my financial commitments. I have a mortgage and a kid and I understand you have to have a drop in salary while in training so I just have to work out my finances to see if is possible

Northern would be my local TOC and I was just wondering what the salary was like. Going back through some old posts it seems like the salary gradually goes up each year but the new job description did not mention that. I was just wondering if anyone knows if that is still the case or if it goes straight to the full salary once you qualify. the old posts were back in 2017 so it may have changed.

Thanks guys!
 
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RailUK Forums

C J Snarzell

Member
Joined
11 Apr 2019
Messages
642
Hi mate

Welcome to the forum.

Regarding salaries, they do differ between each respective TOC (train operating company). Virgin Trains and Cross Country drivers are paid handsomely than the drivers of local services like Northern and Merseyrail.

As a rough guess the Northern drivers start on around £21k to begin with, they progress to over £30k in the second year and over £40k in the third year onwards. There may be a shift allowance on top of that and of course drivers can earn overtime. Like I said, the salaries I've given may not be accurate so I'm sure other forum members will put me right.

As a further point I shall forewarn you that getting on in the rail industry is not easy. The trainee drivers jobs are like hot cakes and the respective HRs can get hundreds of applications just for one driving vacancy. If its a career you are serious about you need to dig your heels in and be prepared to give a minimum of 110% to sell yourself. It's probably likely you'll get a few knock backs along the way and it will take months of patience to make any progress. You are just as good as anyone else applying so theres absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be successful eventually.

Like yourself, I live where Northern are the main rail operator. Their vacancy board usually has a handful of new roles added each week so I would constantly keep checking online. I don't know whereabouts you live in the North but I'd certainly consider looking at what's available with TransPennine Express, Cross Country, Grand Central and the new TOC replacing Virgin next month (I don't know if their name has yet been confirmed!).

The best of luck anyway.

C J
 

jayafc

Member
Joined
10 Nov 2019
Messages
6
Location
Liverpool
Thanks CJ. I appreciate your advice. So to your knowledge, there is a gradual increase in salary. as opposed to going from 21k to 50K on completion of training like the advert suggest.

I am based in Liverpool so Liverpool would be my obvious depot but manchester and Wigan may be possible to. Correct me if im wrong but first and virgin barely recruit. Looks like they just may take the qualified ones from Northern!

Is there a certain time if the year they tend to recruit?
 

Aivilo

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2014
Messages
595
Location
Surrey
Current starting salary is £21732 but a 3% rise is due which will bring it to £22383 (current 4weekly pay is £1358 after deductions) when you qualify or at 12 months you will go to £41187 (Inc 3%) then 12 months later £46ish then full rate 12 months later.

You won't qualify within the 12 months so plan for a year. Once you get an instructor you are eligible to work rest days providing the duty has at least 50% relevance to your learning.
 

C J Snarzell

Member
Joined
11 Apr 2019
Messages
642
Good to hear back from you.

I've been job hunting on the railways since last Easter and upon doing my homework Northern are clearly the only TOC that advertise regularly for trainee drivers.

Virgin and Cross Country do advertise regularly for experienced drivers and the trend is that qualified drivers from the likes of Northern move across as the driving roles for driving intercity with long distance TOCs will pay in excess of £60k.

If you live in Liverpool I would still check all the TOC careers pages I referred to in my last thread. You've also got Merseyrail on your doorstep but from what I've seen they hardly advertise anything at all let alone driving. I think as Merseyrail is one of the UKs smallest TOCs their vacancies are quite rare. I've been checking the Abellio pages but they only advertise the odd role every now and again. Northern is your best bet mate.

There is no indication of when trainee driving roles come up - you will just have to check the careers board every week. As a tip, Northern add new vacancies usually on a Thursday and driving roles have been known to have been taken down in less than 24 hours because the volume of applicants is so high in the first few hours. Therefore you need to be on starters orders with any application.

C J
 

Louby

Member
Joined
16 Feb 2012
Messages
649
Thanks CJ. I appreciate your advice. So to your knowledge, there is a gradual increase in salary. as opposed to going from 21k to 50K on completion of training like the advert suggest.

I am based in Liverpool so Liverpool would be my obvious depot but manchester and Wigan may be possible to. Correct me if im wrong but first and virgin barely recruit. Looks like they just may take the qualified ones from Northern!

Is there a certain time if the year they tend to recruit?
Thanks CJ. I appreciate your advice. So to your knowledge, there is a gradual increase in salary. as opposed to going from 21k to 50K on completion of training like the advert suggest.

I am based in Liverpool so Liverpool would be my obvious depot but manchester and Wigan may be possible to. Correct me if im wrong but first and virgin barely recruit. Looks like they just may take the qualified ones from Northern!

Is there a certain time if the year they tend to recruit?
if you want it that badly i'd be checking everyday on their website, so long as your 45 mins from depot you can apply to all you mentioned,
 

jayafc

Member
Joined
10 Nov 2019
Messages
6
Location
Liverpool
Thanks guys your advice is really appreciated. I think that gives me enough comfort to go for it 100%. It will be tough financially but this is something I have wanted to do for years.

Aivilo can you just clarify what you mean when you say you won't qualify within 12 months. Does it take longer?

And also what you mean by when you have an instructor. How long does that take roughly.

Thanks again everyone


Current starting salary is £21732 but a 3% rise is due which will bring it to £22383 (current 4weekly pay is £1358 after deductions) when you qualify or at 12 months you will go to £41187 (Inc 3%) then 12 months later £46ish then full rate 12 months later.

You won't qualify within the 12 months so plan for a year. Once you get an instructor you are eligible to work rest days providing the duty has at least 50% relevance to your learning.
Thaj
Current starting salary is £21732 but a 3% rise is due which will bring it to £22383 (current 4weekly pay is £1358 after deductions) when you qualify or at 12 months you will go to £41187 (Inc 3%) then 12 months later £46ish then full rate 12 months later.

You won't qualify within the 12 months so plan for a year. Once you get an instructor you are eligible to work rest days providing the duty has at least 50% relevance to your learning.
 

LCC106

Member
Joined
16 Nov 2011
Messages
700
Training from classroom to pass out SHOULD be approximately 9 months. Several factors can affect this though such as availability of minder drivers, instructors and then driver managers to do the final pass out.
 

Stigy

Established Member
Joined
6 Nov 2009
Messages
3,531
The ASLEF site (linked below) lists all UK qualified salaries (May list some trainee ones too?). It’s relatively up to date I believe and always worth a check!

ASLEF
 

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