Ex Cops who have go on to be Drivers

Dan61

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Joined
30 Jan 2018
Messages
60
I've past all the stages for WMT apart from my medical.

Are there any ex police here who can give me an insight into if you regret your choice of leaving the force and how it relates to life in the force now your on the rail.

Cheers
 
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Speedbird100

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Joined
9 Mar 2019
Messages
12
I’m 18yrs in the police and wanting to leave to do train driving. Will be interested to see the responses to this.
 

2857

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Joined
12 Dec 2020
Messages
13
Location
Staffordshire
I did nearly 13 years and joined as a Train Manager nearly a year and a half ago. Best decision I ever made, I've got my driving course set for August this year with no regrets!
 

the sniper

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Joined
4 Sep 2007
Messages
2,558
I've past all the stages for WMT apart from my medical.

Are there any ex police here who can give me an insight into if you regret your choice of leaving the force and how it relates to life in the force now your on the rail.

Cheers

I've never encountered any who regretted it at all and there are plenty who've made the switch.
 

DB0161

Member
Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
50
Location
Manchester
I did 16 years and started as a trainee driver just over a year ago. No regrets, the hardest bit was making the decision. Once I did it was like a weight off my shoulders. Anyone in a similar position feel free to drop me a private message if you want to discuss it further
 

andyccfc

Member
Joined
12 Sep 2018
Messages
98
Starting with WMT in May as a trainee, 13 years in the police. Going to be very strange that’s for sure and no idea at this point if it’s the right thing. But gotta be in it to win it!
 

akasutts

Member
Joined
4 Apr 2019
Messages
33
Starting with WMT in May as a trainee, 13 years in the police. Going to be very strange that’s for sure and no idea at this point if it’s the right thing. But gotta be in it to win it!

I started with WMT last March having done just over 10 years in the police. My training has been delayed due to Covid, so I’m not a driver but I have just recently finished the initial parts of training that are based at the academy.

To this point I can safely say that joining the railway is the best career decision that I have made. Just turn up to training with a fresh mindset, be willing to put the work in, take onboard and learn from the advice given by trainers/colleagues and I see no reason why it won’t be the best decision for you also. I know of a few that left the police and are now drivers and non of them have returned which says it all really..haha

Any questions, just drop me a DM.

All the best....
 
Last edited:

TeaTrain

Member
Joined
13 Aug 2014
Messages
438
I am currently on a training course of 10 and 3 or 4 of them are ex police. I think there must be a reason so many police move away from it to be a driver. I know TPE has quite a few. From what I can tell the ex police drivers I have spoken to they all say it’s the best decision they ever made for their career and lifestyle.

Of course I do not know what it is like to be a police officer but my friend is an officer in the Met and he has recently been stabbed. I am guessing this isn’t common occurrence but this kind of incidents I would of thought would fuel some movement.

Being a Train Driver comes with its own set of responsibilities and pressure. But I think members who are/were police can handle this very well as your used to being in pressure situations that can go south quickly.

The railway is an unusual family but one that generally looks after each other from my experience.
 

Owen2323

Member
Joined
18 May 2019
Messages
69
@akasutts 'none of them have returned' [to the police]
Is it possible or normal to leave the police, then rejoin? Same force or another force?
It's not impossible and probably varies from force to force. I think a lot depends on what specialist skills you have and whether they need those skills at the time of reapplying. I did 12 years bog standard uniformed policing and left to do something else and my old force aren't entertaining having me back.......
Leaving to become a driver is probably one of the few better paid jobs cops can go to and I'm sure very few if any regret making the move. I have to say I do regret it though (but then again I'm not a driver haha)
 

Moterman31

Member
Joined
15 May 2019
Messages
13
I left the police after 12 years working on numerous departments but just getting fed up of the cancelled rest days, never getting leave, late off duty, 30 minutes for the Queen, pension robbery and not to mention the growing email requests, lack of staff and constant paperwork. Thankfully I left prior to covid but believe its even more stretched now! I joined the police as a career but my final few years the work / life balance was just not right. Unfortunately the police pay is not to bad for an unqualified person so to find a similar paid job is limited, hence I looked at Train Driving. Plus, who doesn't want to drive trains!

Anyway two years on and I can say it is a breath of fresh air. Obviously, like the police you get a few of the oldies who think you should work your way up to become driver but I can honestly say the majority of staff are friendly and a great bunch of people. You get what you put in.. be friendly, chatty and appreciate their experience you should be fine, go in thinking you know it all then you will get burnt!

At my toc I work a 35hr, 4 day week, earn close to insp. salary, driving around the countryside getting some of the best views out of my office window. I have a guard that deals with most of the passenger's allowing me to concentrate on getting from a to b. Although repetitive, I drive several different traction and different routes so does add variety.

It has been a good move for me and my work life balance. I go to work and enjoy what I do, and when I finish, I switch off and go home until I am next in. The initially struggle of learning a huge amount and tge training salary was tough but it was for the greater good.

Points to consider I guess would be what you want out of life, OK the excitement of driving round on blue lights, dealing with the unexpected most days has gone, and once your a driver, your quite limited with promotion (instructor, dtm, trainer) but if your happy to work 35 hrs, knowing the rest of that time is for your own, plus your earning decent money in a industry that generally looks after you really well then go for it!
 

Moterman31

Member
Joined
15 May 2019
Messages
13
The first 30 minutes after your finish time wasn’t overtime it was known as time for the queen. After 30 minutes you would then accrue overtime
Biggest bug bear of mine, specially on Xmas eve when they kept you an extra 29 minutes just because they could!! Grrrrr
 

Mintona

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2006
Messages
3,429
Location
South West
Where do you look if you’re desperate to find an ex police officer?

The driving cab of a train.
 

akasutts

Member
Joined
4 Apr 2019
Messages
33
I left the police after 12 years working on numerous departments but just getting fed up of the cancelled rest days, never getting leave, late off duty, 30 minutes for the Queen, pension robbery and not to mention the growing email requests, lack of staff and constant paperwork. Thankfully I left prior to covid but believe its even more stretched now! I joined the police as a career but my final few years the work / life balance was just not right. Unfortunately the police pay is not to bad for an unqualified person so to find a similar paid job is limited, hence I looked at Train Driving. Plus, who doesn't want to drive trains!

Anyway two years on and I can say it is a breath of fresh air. Obviously, like the police you get a few of the oldies who think you should work your way up to become driver but I can honestly say the majority of staff are friendly and a great bunch of people. You get what you put in.. be friendly, chatty and appreciate their experience you should be fine, go in thinking you know it all then you will get burnt!

At my toc I work a 35hr, 4 day week, earn close to insp. salary, driving around the countryside getting some of the best views out of my office window. I have a guard that deals with most of the passenger's allowing me to concentrate on getting from a to b. Although repetitive, I drive several different traction and different routes so does add variety.

It has been a good move for me and my work life balance. I go to work and enjoy what I do, and when I finish, I switch off and go home until I am next in. The initially struggle of learning a huge amount and tge training salary was tough but it was for the greater good.

Points to consider I guess would be what you want out of life, OK the excitement of driving round on blue lights, dealing with the unexpected most days has gone, and once your a driver, your quite limited with promotion (instructor, dtm, trainer) but if your happy to work 35 hrs, knowing the rest of that time is for your own, plus your earning decent money in a industry that generally looks after you really well then go for it!

Great post, sums it up perfectly for me...
 

patwreynolds

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Joined
4 Mar 2020
Messages
42
Location
Bedfordshire
@akasutts 'none of them have returned' [to the police]
Is it possible or normal to leave the police, then rejoin? Same force or another force?
It’s pretty easy to rejoin and they normally welcome you back with open arms (providing you haven’t burnt any bridges of course). There is also a 5 year period where they will honour the salary you left on.
I left after 15 years in the police, am currently training and thoroughly enjoying it. There are 3 other ex cops on my intake from across the country and we regularly comment on how we haven’t looked back once and regret leaving! Loved the police but was right time to leave. If you feel that way then don’t be afraid to make the jump
 

LSWR Cavalier

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23 Aug 2020
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872
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Leafy Suburbia
I understand being a police officer is quite like being a soldier, lots of discipline and commands. Is railway work, especially train driving, a bit 'easier'?

Must be a big change, cops have an awful lot to do with people, train drivers work "alone" a lot.
 

Vola_c

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Joined
7 Dec 2020
Messages
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Location
Angmering
The first 30 minutes after your finish time wasn’t overtime it was known as time for the queen. After 30 minutes you would then accrue overtime
I hated this. My skipper always used that every shift so I did it most days. I won't miss that at all
 

RGJG

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5 Apr 2021
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Location
Wales
I suppose the biggest question that hasn't really been covered here is the pension situation. Let's say, like a lot of Ex police on these threads, you have 15 to 20 years service, then in theory, you are potentially 10 years away from retirement and a large lump sum. I understand that if you leave the police you cannot take the 87 pension until 60 so in theory some of you will be working an extra 5 - 10 years (Eg as you could have been at 30 yrs service at 50 or 55).
So, is the short gain benefit of less hours, slightly more pay worth it when considering you may have to work extra years?

My question is to those who've made the jump. Many thanks.
 

DB0161

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Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
50
Location
Manchester
I suppose the biggest question that hasn't really been covered here is the pension situation. Let's say, like a lot of Ex police on these threads, you have 15 to 20 years service, then in theory, you are potentially 10 years away from retirement and a large lump sum. I understand that if you leave the police you cannot take the 87 pension until 60 so in theory some of you will be working an extra 5 - 10 years (Eg as you could have been at 30 yrs service at 50 or 55).
So, is the short gain benefit of less hours, slightly more pay worth it when considering you may have to work extra years?

My question is to those who've made the jump. Many thanks.
I think that is very much down to the individual. Some are able to swap their police pension over after 2 years depending on how much is their pension pot. I think the max is 100k but don’t quote me on that.

I’m approaching 40 but have a baby so even if I had retired at 55 I would have had to get a second job to put them through further education etc so working until at least 60 on more money was better suited for me and my family
 

andyccfc

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Joined
12 Sep 2018
Messages
98
I joined the police in 2008, would have retired at 59 with 35 years service. If I stay as a driver until train retirement age at 62 I wouldn’t be able to get my police pension until normal retirement age which will be 67 by then. But hey ho, it’s only 13 years of police pension and I’ll hopefully be ok on 24 years of railway pension to see my through.

It’s so far away that it isn’t really worth worrying about for me.
 

Mojo

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@akasutts 'none of them have returned' [to the police]
Is it possible or normal to leave the police, then rejoin? Same force or another force?
I know of someone who left the police at the end of 2019 for a new job and was subsequently furloughed and made redundant. He applied to come back as a re-joiner with the same force last year (BTP) and was able to keep his pay point from his previous service [officers progress through the pay scale dependent on the number of years in service; eg. someone with 4 years service gets paid more than someone with 2 years service, for instance. Eventually this stops and you are at "top rate" so only get a pay rise in line with government policy or promotion].
 

DB0161

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14 Jan 2020
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50
Location
Manchester
I joined the police in 2008, would have retired at 59 with 35 years service. If I stay as a driver until train retirement age at 62 I wouldn’t be able to get my police pension until normal retirement age which will be 67 by then. But hey ho, it’s only 13 years of police pension and I’ll hopefully be ok on 24 years of railway pension to see my through.

It’s so far away that it isn’t really worth worrying about for me.
Have you looked at transferring your police pension into your railway pension?
 

Stigy

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6 Nov 2009
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4,269
It seems to be the same sort of time served for Police Officers wanting to leave their respective forces (from this thread it looks to be average time in the force is about 12years?). Maybe those with more service have more to lose in jumping ship, and newer officers joined when they knew what the Police was like in modern times and it hasn’t changed much for them?
 

Moterman31

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Joined
15 May 2019
Messages
13
I suppose the biggest question that hasn't really been covered here is the pension situation. Let's say, like a lot of Ex police on these threads, you have 15 to 20 years service, then in theory, you are potentially 10 years away from retirement and a large lump sum. I understand that if you leave the police you cannot take the 87 pension until 60 so in theory some of you will be working an extra 5 - 10 years (Eg as you could have been at 30 yrs service at 50 or 55).
So, is the short gain benefit of less hours, slightly more pay worth it when considering you may have to work extra years?

My question is to those who've made the jump. Many thanks.
So I regards to my pensions, when I left I was shafted onto the newer care scheme so overnight lost out, having to work longer, pay more in, and yet end up with less (should of been like housing benefit whereby new officers should of got put on care and us left on final but that's another whole story!!) So I start the railway at 32, 30 years final salary railway pension and to be fair, compared to the new scheme I'm no worse off, if slightly better to be honest.. there is things called Brass (do some research) which you can pay in and get your tax back, this used to be matched by the railway companies but unfortunately no longer, but its a good way to save up tax free and use this as your lumpsum and take maximum pension. With the additional pay, you don't notice the extra taken out a week (for instance 100) this may change in years to come with government trying to save money so may close but for now its win win..
 

BoroAndy

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11 Jan 2020
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46
Location
Scarborough
I joined the police in 2008, would have retired at 59 with 35 years service. If I stay as a driver until train retirement age at 62 I wouldn’t be able to get my police pension until normal retirement age which will be 67 by then. But hey ho, it’s only 13 years of police pension and I’ll hopefully be ok on 24 years of railway pension to see my through.

It’s so far away that it isn’t really worth worrying about for me.
Who says train retirement age is 62? I read that (usually, but not absolute due to the law) latest age for starting driving training was 62.
 

RGJG

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5 Apr 2021
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Wales
Thanks for the replies regarding pensions. I suppose ultimately it really does depend on personal circumstances. I have 19 years in Police and so it is a big decision. As it stands I only have 11 years left until full pension. I've been told they no longer can be transferred to trains pension. So police pension would defer to age 60 for 87 scheme (67 for CARE). However, the government can and will potentially change the pension again in the next few years.
I guess the fact I am considering a change says it all really. If I was truly happy, would I even be looking.
 

Horizon22

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When I joined a previous TOC in a non-driver role there were 15 of us on induction, 3 of whom were ex-police - 2 going onto become drivers & 1 guard. From my experience they seem to fit in very well to the teams and do well in the training.
 

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