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FOC Interview GBRF

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Jaeger

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Good evening all,
At short notice I have an upcoming online interview (covid compliant) with GBRF, I currently work for a TOC from central London and have only been productive for 2.5 years. This is my first interview for a different company within the railway, has anyone recently successfully interviewed for a FOC train driver position? Is the interview anyway similar to trainee driver interviews? Any tips very much welcome! And do FOCs enjoy priv rate and FIP card access for non safeguarded drivers like myself? Thanks in advance.
 
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rail-god

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As already stated you get sweet FA free travel with any FOC.


You need to check if there still in the RPS pension aswell.

You need to check there T&Cs very carefully. Very long shifts and RDW available etc.. Dont just look at the salary.

Also look up Dad-rail on youtube good TOC vs FOC video.
 

Jaeger

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As already stated you get sweet FA free travel with any FOC.


You need to check if there still in the RPS pension aswell.

You need to check there T&Cs very carefully. Very long shifts and RDW available etc.. Dont just look at the salary.

Also look up Dad-rail on youtube good TOC vs FOC video.
I assure you it's not the salary, I'm earning.more with a TOC. Will look at pension etc though, thanks.
 

66701GBRF

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Lots of drivers leaving gbrf over last 14-18 months. Not much in the way of enticements to poach other qualified drivers so interested to hear what peaked your interest.
 

Jaeger

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Lots of drivers leaving gbrf over last 14-18 months. Not much in the way of enticements to poach other qualified drivers so interested to hear what peaked your interest.
Good question, I've been driving the same suburban routes, most of which is high intensity routes, lot's of signalling, lot's of stops, mostly in mixed length stocks of different types each day, this morning I've driven the same suburban routes 3 times in 3 different stock lengths, it's nerve wracking, the company I work for come down hard on you I you make an error. Today's job is nearly 100 stops and that's a lighter day for me. I'm starting to think it's better to be on a 12 hr shift which mostly isn't driving, with a FOC. I've got the interview coming up so will do my best and check T&C's and pension.
 

Evolution

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Good question, I've been driving the same suburban routes, most of which is high intensity routes, lot's of signalling, lot's of stops, mostly in mixed length stocks of different types each day, this morning I've driven the same suburban routes 3 times in 3 different stock lengths, it's nerve wracking, the company I work for come down hard on you I you make an error. Today's job is nearly 100 stops and that's a lighter day for me. I'm starting to think it's better to be on a 12 hr shift which mostly isn't driving, with a FOC. I've got the interview coming up so will do my best and check T&C's and pension.
Why not go to an intercity TOC? All the benefits of a TOC without all the stops you currently have now. Much better than freight in my opinion.
 

J3053B

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Simple answer for any qualified driver wanting to escape but stay in a TOC is Yeovil Junction still needs drivers.
 

Jaeger

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Lots of drivers leaving gbrf over last 14-18 months. Not much in the way of enticements to poach other qualified drivers so interested to hear what peaked your interest.
What's the current pension scheme for new joiners? Is it RPS?
 

Dieseldriver

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With all respect to the OP, the fact you are asking whether FOC Drivers get privs etc suggests to me that you’ve not done much research. Take this as the friendly advice it’s intended as but, if you want to pursue this job just bear in mind it is worlds apart from being a Train Driver at a TOC. There are positives to being at a FOC but just be aware that there are also plenty of negatives that you need to factor in to your decision making, it really isn’t a job for everyone.
 

66701GBRF

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Good question, I've been driving the same suburban routes, most of which is high intensity routes, lot's of signalling, lot's of stops, mostly in mixed length stocks of different types each day, this morning I've driven the same suburban routes 3 times in 3 different stock lengths, it's nerve wracking, the company I work for come down hard on you I you make an error. Today's job is nearly 100 stops and that's a lighter day for me. I'm starting to think it's better to be on a 12 hr shift which mostly isn't driving, with a FOC. I've got the interview coming up so will do my best and check T&C's and pension.
I can’t speak for your TOC but GBRf do come down hard on drivers obviously depending on the issue. I have heard drivers being reprimanded for doing 12mph at the magnet. Also don’t think it’s all cushey on freight diagrams...many are 12 hours were you are driving the full amount minus pnb. Starting at 0100 then 0300 back to 0200 during the week might also get a bit annoying too.
 

rail-god

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With all respect to the OP, the fact you are asking whether FOC Drivers get privs etc suggests to me that you’ve not done much research. Take this as the friendly advice it’s intended as but, if you want to pursue this job just bear in mind it is worlds apart from being a Train Driver at a TOC. There are positives to being at a FOC but just be aware that there are also plenty of negatives that you need to factor in to your decision making, it really isn’t a job for everyone.
Very wise words. Well said.
 

wales79

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Defined contribution pension section of RPS so it is part of railway pensions service. 4 times salary in event of death in service. You put in 5% company pays in 7.5%. You can also pay in more as AVC.
 

rail-god

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Defined contribution pension section of RPS so it is part of railway pensions service. 4 times salary in event of death in service. You put in 5% company pays in 7.5%. You can also pay in more as AVC.
So its not a final salary pension then.
 

wales79

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No

Not final salary anymore. official 4 day week. 4 block weeks annual leave, 2 in summer, 1 in winter, 1 in spring. 8 floating days.
 
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Jaeger

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With all respect to the OP, the fact you are asking whether FOC Drivers get privs etc suggests to me that you’ve not done much research. Take this as the friendly advice it’s intended as but, if you want to pursue this job just bear in mind it is worlds apart from being a Train Driver at a TOC. There are positives to being at a FOC but just be aware that there are also plenty of negatives that you need to factor in to your decision making, it really isn’t a job for everyone.
Thanks for your opinion, done lot's of research and received lot's of mixed info particularly in relation to benefits such as pension and priv etc. I'm really looking for relevant advice from current GBRF drivers, new and old, which I've now received due to my OP, which is of course part of my research.

Very wise words. Well said.
?
 

rail-god

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Thanks for your opinion, done lot's of research and received lot's of mixed info particularly in relation to benefits such as pension and priv etc. I'm really looking for relevant advice from current GBRF drivers, new and old, which I've now received due to my OP, which is of course part of my research.


?
So why are you asking questions on an internet forum then? You already no the answers. My bad.

I wish you the best of luck. Im out.
 

Jaeger

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Bye bye then. You've actually added nothing to my research just conjecture.
So why are you asking questions on an internet forum then? You already no the answers. My bad.

I wish you the best of luck. Im ou
Defined contribution pension section of RPS so it is part of railway pensions service. 4 times salary in event of death in service. You put in 5% company pays in 7.5%. You can also pay in more as AVC.
Thanks Wales.
 
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Crazyb

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6 Dec 2014
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I left the freight sector some what 4 years ago and now work at a TOC....I spent the best part of my life has a freight driver, I think nearly 3 decades.

I mainly worked at Freightliner, but had a 2 year stint at GB when they first kicked off, but went back to Freightliner.

The london depots are at Ferme Park, I think this depot is mainly a Ballast depot. I'm not sure if they cross cover Willesden, which is the other London depot.

Willesden do the sleeper and I think they may go Ipswich with the Liners, also Brum. Like i said, I'm out of it, and things do change quite quick at a FOC.

Willesden did have the Daggy car train, but I think they lost that to DRS.

Personally I would be careful moving to a FOC...You need to look at the pension, that's a must, because something did change there. I think Freightliner put newbies on full pension from the start, but again I'm not sure, but I think this went to ballot.

You would lose your travel concessions, unless your safe guarded.

Don't expect a nice mess room, or nice PNB points, and at one stage they expected drivers to have PNB's at service stations.

First in first out, mind you some FOC's have looked after their staff where poss.

Times, well your 24hrs...I loved starting a freezing class 66 up at 3am on a winter day!!!!

Rosters with GB, some weeks would not come out until late Friday, great planning your life.

Ballast jobs.....What can i say.

When you have the interview, ask if its Ferme Park or Willesden, what work is it, and do you get rostered times in the roster, or is it Am, Pm or Nights with no times.

Willesden is the better depot, but check again if you would be learning the sleeper traffic...I think it can be a bit one sided with that work. I'm not sure if they have the regulars doing that work or it's built into the roster, but not 100% on that.

On a bright side, you cover different routes.

I know I've gone off the track on your thread, but tread carefully...Freight is not for the fainted hearted, well I don't think so.

I know inner work is crap, but look at

Chilton at Marylebone, that's a nice mixture of work....I would go there, but too much of a drop in money.

Euston if you like to earn the money, but newbies go into the Preston Link, which was link 5.

LNER...You would go link 1, which is Newcastle and the short jobs are Leeds....I don't mind long haul but can be boring, especially if your busting for a wee.

St Pancras I don't think is not bad, nice work there, so I'm told.

Think carefully....Also the impact with the shifts on your social/family life, but good luck in what ever you choose.
 

Jaeger

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I left the freight sector some what 4 years ago and now work at a TOC....I spent the best part of my life has a freight driver, I think nearly 3 decades.

I mainly worked at Freightliner, but had a 2 year stint at GB when they first kicked off, but went back to Freightliner.

The london depots are at Ferme Park, I think this depot is mainly a Ballast depot. I'm not sure if they cross cover Willesden, which is the other London depot.

Willesden do the sleeper and I think they may go Ipswich with the Liners, also Brum. Like i said, I'm out of it, and things do change quite quick at a FOC.

Willesden did have the Daggy car train, but I think they lost that to DRS.

Personally I would be careful moving to a FOC...You need to look at the pension, that's a must, because something did change there. I think Freightliner put newbies on full pension from the start, but again I'm not sure, but I think this went to ballot.

You would lose your travel concessions, unless your safe guarded.

Don't expect a nice mess room, or nice PNB points, and at one stage they expected drivers to have PNB's at service stations.

First in first out, mind you some FOC's have looked after their staff where poss.

Times, well your 24hrs...I loved starting a freezing class 66 up at 3am on a winter day!!!!

Rosters with GB, some weeks would not come out until late Friday, great planning your life.

Ballast jobs.....What can i say.

When you have the interview, ask if its Ferme Park or Willesden, what work is it, and do you get rostered times in the roster, or is it Am, Pm or Nights with no times.

Willesden is the better depot, but check again if you would be learning the sleeper traffic...I think it can be a bit one sided with that work. I'm not sure if they have the regulars doing that work or it's built into the roster, but not 100% on that.

On a bright side, you cover different routes.

I know I've gone off the track on your thread, but tread carefully...Freight is not for the fainted hearted, well I don't think so.

I know inner work is crap, but look at

Chilton at Marylebone, that's a nice mixture of work....I would go there, but too much of a drop in money.

Euston if you like to earn the money, but newbies go into the Preston Link, which was link 5.

LNER...You would go link 1, which is Newcastle and the short jobs are Leeds....I don't mind long haul but can be boring, especially if your busting for a wee.

St Pancras I don't think is not bad, nice work there, so I'm told.

Think carefully....Also the impact with the shifts on your social/family life, but good luck in what ever you choose.
Thank you crazy for your very informative reply, you've given me plenty of food for thought. I'll need to think carefully about this!
 

Atishyou

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It's a big toss up and purely personal preference for many for which people prefer.

The pros of freight (imo) are: routes, traction variety, less repetitive in some cases and freedom.

The cons (again imo) are: lower pay (depending on TOC/FOC), possibly not still in final salary pension, no travel concessions, more nights, less holiday and last minute notification of shift (E.g. Friday night, for the following week).

You say you find it repetitive, but I knew a few GBRf drivers who were just doing the same job day in, day out and were bored out of their minds!

I'd echo some suggestions to maybe look at an alternative TOC, but it's your choice.
 

Jaeger

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34
Location
Kent
It's a big toss up and purely personal preference for many for which people prefer.

The pros of freight (imo) are: routes, traction variety, less repetitive in some cases and freedom.

The cons (again imo) are: lower pay (depending on TOC/FOC), possibly not still in final salary pension, no travel concessions, more nights, less holiday and last minute notification of shift (E.g. Friday night, for the following week).

You say you find it repetitive, but I knew a few GBRf drivers who were just doing the same job day in, day out and were bored out of their minds!

I'd echo some suggestions to maybe look at an alternative TOC, but it's your choice.
Thanks Atishyou, I'm certainly looking at the FOC pension, doesn't look good.
 

wales79

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once you appraise you’re pension position, which only you can, ask any freight drivers who spent years with a TOC if they would ever go back and it will tell you something. I know I wouldn’t and neither would anybody I know. That should put you at ease to make a decision
 

Jaeger

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once you appraise you’re pension position, which only you can, ask any freight drivers who spent years with a TOC if they would ever go back and it will tell you something. I know I wouldn’t and neither would anybody I know. That should put you at ease to make a decision
Thanks Wales.
 
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