Shunt, wash and prep trains. Also act as yard shunter, pulling points and controlling train movements using handsignals and lamps. Must like shift work (especially nights), be organised, have good communication and not mind standing around outside in the peeing rain/howling gale/saharan heat/up to your armpits in snow.
Can be a route into mainline driving but probably only through transferring to another location. I am given to believe that, depending on which link you are in the roster, even mainline drivers have to spend days in the depot at Ilford.
It's a good job. You drive within a depot at 5mph max, pulling your own points, and listening to the hand held radio for conflicting moves, which there can be many at some of the larger depots at night. Train prep is also done for units going into service. Prep Takes about 20 minutes per unit,maybe less if your fast. You check or test most of the safety equipment and brakes. The job depending on location can also include fuelling, CET, Toilet tanking, oil and water. Can also include moving defective units/vehicles a lot so fault finding is paramount. The job will also include dealing with depot arrivals and departures. It is normally a very busy job on night shift, and quiet in the day, but most shifts will be nights. Depending on location, normally very long shifts (12 hours) but loads of days off.