Currently doing my driving hours and just wondering what different protection strategies are used in the cab to aid with concentration and tasks to reduce the risk of mistakes.
If it takes ten seconds let it take ten seconds. Never rush. With 100+ calls a day its very easy to cock up just once. I speak from experience.
This is the single best piece of advice out there. Always that extra second, because there’s no “undo button” on the driver’s desk!
To add to that, as a driver, you need to develop a “robust” personality and not allow yourself to be rushed by anyone else (be it resource centre, guard, dispatch staff etc.). Their priority might be getting your train away on time but your priority, first and foremost, should be not having an incident!
Always remember that, if you cock up because you’re allowing yourself to be rushed by someone else, it’s your license that the incident will go onto.
Hard to do on your own, but that’s when you need a respected mentor. someone you trust, and others respect, tells you “you are in charge of that train, it’s your call”Easy to say to develop a "robust" personality, but then, unless you already have it, how to get there?!
Personally I kind of arrived there after 10 years of experience, various situations where I've learned to cope with this or that. Learned to separate what's essential and what's not.
But how can you "learn" that?
Personally, I find some of the tactics told to us to be rather distracting in use, but everyone is different and you have to find whatever thing works for you. Its amazing how some drivers get into the cab kitted out with bits of paper all over the place, length reminder, station cards, tactics of rubbing your belly and patting your head or whatever for xyz stations, and then some drivers who've been going 30+ years incident free can just bowl into the cab and away they go.
You can always set the dra before you stop but normally I prefer doing it the moment I've stopped as that s what I'm used to. Obviously I therefore have to remember doing it differently before said station so I write dra and no doors on my schedule card.
Thanks for the response. It’s an interesting discussion and I spoke to an operations manager about this a few years ago and he said he wanted to make it mandatory but couldn’t in part due to the union objecting and in part because of what Astro Orbiter and theIronRoad said. Perhaps it’s changed now though.It probably is company specific to be honest, but I would imagine most TOCs/FOCs would adopt a similar approach? It certainly makes sense.
I forgot that but explains why I was so used to setting the DRA upon stopping although I drove 319s tooSadly no longer the case on 700/717. Setting DRA results in air brake application only, therefore you lose regen/rheostatic braking effect. (Why any train design engineer would think that setting a DRA should reduce the amount of braking you get was a good idea is beyond me - especially on a 'drive-by-wire' train)
So DRA on the move is now a no-no on these units (unless you're under 3mph when it's air brake only anyway).