Colas Rail UK- Apprentice Train Driver

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Gorlash1886

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Throwing myself in to contention. No mention of the 1 hour commute rule in the job spec and Wolverhampton to Derby is doable in an hour, according to a colleague at my present employer. It might be my undoing but no harm in trying. Bit of a negative reaction to this opportunity compared to opportunities at other TOC/FOCs.
That would be mainly due to the fact they rarely seem to keep any form of contact, I personally had a video interview over 2 years ago and no amount of emails could get any information.
 
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I'm actually glad that thread got bumped. The Colas Rail TD apprenticeship appears to be an annual fixture. As I searched through threads from 2018 and 2019 there are snippets of useful information but the threads descend in to negativity. That said, I do sympathize with those from previous recruitment drives who appear to have been forgotten.

As a means of getting a foot in the door of this industry there are some that will look at this as a golden opportunity, myself included. I have submitted applications with 3 TOCs as well as Colas Rail, all of which I am awaiting news about the next stage of the recruitment process. Ignoring the 3 TOCs for now, there are some questions I have about Colas Rail which I have tried to research, via this forum, with little joy.

The advertisement states that the role is for a UK Mobile train driving apprenticeship. Traveling to relieve drivers is part of the paid working day I assume. How many hours per shift, or per week, would a CR driver actually spend driving a train?

I gather that freight drivers may be provided with a company vehicle to relieve the current driver. When taken off, are you required to return the vehicle to a Colas depot or take the vehicle home?

Please excuse me if these questions seem pretty basic. I have tried to look prior to posting. There is an abundance of information and case studies on TOC drivers, but very little on FOC drivers in comparison.
It also sounds like I shouldn't look forward to hearing back from Colas any time soon but it would be nice to know these things, just in case...
 

YingYing

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I'm actually glad that thread got bumped. The Colas Rail TD apprenticeship appears to be an annual fixture. As I searched through threads from 2018 and 2019 there are snippets of useful information but the threads descend in to negativity. That said, I do sympathize with those from previous recruitment drives who appear to have been forgotten.

As a means of getting a foot in the door of this industry there are some that will look at this as a golden opportunity, myself included. I have submitted applications with 3 TOCs as well as Colas Rail, all of which I am awaiting news about the next stage of the recruitment process. Ignoring the 3 TOCs for now, there are some questions I have about Colas Rail which I have tried to research, via this forum, with little joy.

The advertisement states that the role is for a UK Mobile train driving apprenticeship. Traveling to relieve drivers is part of the paid working day I assume. How many hours per shift, or per week, would a CR driver actually spend driving a train?

I gather that freight drivers may be provided with a company vehicle to relieve the current driver. When taken off, are you required to return the vehicle to a Colas depot or take the vehicle home?

Please excuse me if these questions seem pretty basic. I have tried to look prior to posting. There is an abundance of information and case studies on TOC drivers, but very little on FOC drivers in comparison.
It also sounds like I shouldn't look forward to hearing back from Colas any time soon but it would be nice to know these things, just in case...
Hi there, I've also applied to a few other TOCs and colas too. Good luck with the application. Whilst I don't know the answer to your first question about travelling time vs drivinfg time, I do know that Colas don't have any depots, and I would suggest that depending on the shift you have, either the driver you are relieving will take the car or you will take the car home with you to go to your next start.
 
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Hi there, I've also applied to a few other TOCs and colas too. Good luck with the application. Whilst I don't know the answer to your first question about travelling time vs drivinfg time, I do know that Colas don't have any depots, and I would suggest that depending on the shift you have, either the driver you are relieving will take the car or you will take the car home with you to go to your next start.

Hi YingYing. Thanks for your help and good look with all your live applications.

I'm still miffed that the closing date is 07/10/20 yet one of the application questions asks if the candidate can start in October. Doesn't leave a lot of room for assessments, DMI, MMI & medical.
 

60074

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Does anyone know the present Colas driver locations please? Particularly interested in the North East region.. would I be right in thinking Doncaster, Seaham or Oxwellmains?
 

rail-god

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Does anyone know the present Colas driver locations please? Particularly interested in the North East region.. would I be right in thinking Doncaster, Seaham or Oxwellmains?

Your based at home and can go UK wide.
 

ExRes

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You must have some good route knowledge then!

A common misconception, there's no reason a Plymouth driver can't work in Aberdeen, if there's nobody traction trained in Aberdeen then the Plymouth driver who has that knowledge can simply work with a route conductor
 

FastTrax

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To quote them "However upon successful completion of the training period, you are required to re-locate as per the job requirement" I wonder if this is, as someone said above, where you go relieve a driver to any part of the UK or you move house n go Live in a different city every time they need u to a new location... not very clear.
 

60074

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Anyone heard anything more since this closed? Only had the application acknowledgement email here so far..
 

Sammy2019

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Nope, nothing. I’ve applied for a few roles with them over the past couple of years and never heard anything.
 

tiptoptaff

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I would not pin any hopes on this at all. Anecdotal evidence suggests you will never hear a peep, let alone get a job
 

realnovice

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What do we thinks going on there. They only progress people who are getting the job and not reply to everyone else?
 

jacey

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i have been invited to the next stage of this, been asked to complete some online assessments.
 

Eebbs1912

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I've just had the same email inviting me for an SJT I've already got my psychometric.
 

jacey

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I've just had the same email inviting me for an SJT I've already got my psychometric.
yeh i have passed all the opc stuff. have you done the SJT its quite fun and challenging, had to do it on my phone which probably turned out for the best going on the challenges i think....
 

172345

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Absolutely shocked by this. You two are the only two I've ever know to get anywhere with Colas
 

D5581

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Also got the invite. Will decline since I've accepted a OTM driver position with Colas
 

Railworker101

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yeh i have passed all the opc stuff. have you done the SJT its quite fun and challenging, had to do it on my phone which probably turned out for the best going on the challenges i think....

What sort of things came up on the Skyrise app? About to do mine shortly
 

60074

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Everyone that’s been invited for the SJT.. do you all live within an hour of Derby?
 

Eebbs1912

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There's a video of the various games/tests on YouTube. Never done any test like that before. Press buttons to blow up balloons, try to judge when to stop before they burst, reading emotions of people by their facial expression but it's computer generated faces, following patterns, trying to stop a marker on the correct numbers to unlock a safe combo..... The fourth level is nigh on impossible lol.

Everyone that’s been invited for the SJT.. do you all live within an hour of Derby?
No mate, I'm from North Lanarkshire. Currently working as a trainee Otm driver operator so won't be too fussed if I don't get it.
 

jacey

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Everyone that’s been invited for the SJT.. do you all live within an hour of Derby?

i live around 150 miles away :E going on some of the above it will be interesting to see what happens after this if anything but lets hope. good luck all wish you all the best.[/QUOTE]
 
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Railworker101

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There's a video of the various games/tests on YouTube. Never done any test like that before. Press buttons to blow up balloons, try to judge when to stop before they burst, reading emotions of people by their facial expression but it's computer generated faces, following patterns, trying to stop a marker on the correct numbers to unlock a safe combo..... The fourth level is nigh on impossible lol.


No mate, I'm from North Lanarkshire. Currently working as a trainee Otm driver operator so won't be too fussed if I don't get it.

Was a very strange test. Guess it's a case of suck it and see now
 

honeybadger1

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Got to be the only two people ever


This is incorrect. There was a group of trainees taken on in early 2014. The trainee jobs were advertised in the autumn of 2013. There were 15 trainee drivers. All of them with the exception of one are still driving today.

I'll pipe up here with some info.

To be clear I am NOT speaking on behalf of the company and anything I write is my own opinion/thoughts. I am NOT involved in ANY part of the recruitment process.

To help some of you though...

The rostering is very much based on job requirements and current workload. Colas do lots of possession trains as well as SCO trippers. They also have their commercial freight flows and the yellow test trains. Generally, to begin with, you'll learn to drive with various instructors and mentors. You'll get familiar with driving many different types of trains and when you pass out you'll have a first route. You'll regularly work over that first route and work as a worksite driver in possessions whether or not you sign the route - this means regular weekends and nights (you do get a rest day pattern so you do also get time off). As you become more experienced you'll begin to learn new routes and as you get a bigger route card you'll get more work. The standard working week for drivers is 36 hours a week, 144 hours every 4 weeks although many drivers generally do more.

Drivers usually get a company van, a Ford Fiesta, and this is a pool van for work use ONLY, it's not personal issue. You will drive a van, from home, to a relieving point and the driver you relieve will take your van and you'll then pick up another van at the next relieving point from the incoming driver or collect one left at your finish point and then drive home. How far you have to drive at the beginning or end of a job is dependant on where the job is and your hours. Some jobs mean you end up staying away in hotels.

There seems to be negativity around this position. You have to remember that the main order of business for Colas is running trains. They rarely recruit trainees and so I don't think they have a massive department that deals with recruitment. I imagine they will take on trainees although it might not be within the time frame they specified. If you've not been on the railway before you need to understand there's standard time and railway time. Things on the railway happen at a different pace to normal life and lots and lots of waiting can be part of the recruitment process and once you're a driver, it most definitely becomes part of your life as a driver!

I hope this helps some of you.
 
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FastTrax

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i guess they are only contacting people who have succeeded? i applied and got application received email but nothing then.
 
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