Freight Secondmen

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by TheEdge, 27 Apr 2015.

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  1. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Just a thing I've been wondering while watching freights in and around Ipswich.

    Are secondmen still a thing used by freight companies? Noticed that quite a few of the freights carry two people in the cab. Is this secondmen in the proper sense or more just a social way of freight drivers getting from depots to outstations and berthing points rather than on duty passes on normal services?
     
  2. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Will he not be a shunter/ground staff?
     
  3. cf111

    cf111 Established Member

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    Could be someone route-learning/conducting?
     
  4. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Most likely on the short little moves between yard and depot but less likely I'd have thought on the trains heading through the tunnel.

    I thought so but it would seem to imply an awful lot of FOC drivers need a lot of conducting and route learning.
     
  5. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    You might need a shunter at a remote location if no one else was qualified to undertake the role i suppose.

    I am thinking, for instance, of the stone terminal at Bletchely. The stone train comes down from Peak Forest and has to be shunted on site. I would bet no one at the Cemex plant can do it and a guess DBS guy has to undertake the work.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2015
  6. Jamesb1974

    Jamesb1974 Member

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    It could be a trainee driver, accompanied by a mentor driver.
    Or a qualified driver having a manager ride with him as part of the ongoing assessment program.
    Or a qualified driver with a member of groundstaff/shunter or a fitter riding to identify a fault.
    Or a route learner or route/traction conductor.
    Or just a member of staff hitching a ride.

    There are numerous possibilities, but being a secondman is not one of them. The secondman's grade disappeared many many years ago.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  7. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    As indeed did freight guards ......(bar Nuclear flask trains for a while) - to be honest , a pretty boring job once fully fitted freights came the norm. Alone in the back cab - staring at the first wagon .....
     
  8. 33056

    33056 Established Member

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    I would hazard a guess that the DBS shunter at Bletchley drives there by road, the one for the stone terminal at Watford certainly does.
     
  9. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    it's the same with the Mountsorrel - Harlow Mill stone train..
     
  10. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    And having a........ Dirty sod!
     
  11. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    The DBS shunter for Redhill sometimes arrives by train. (I have seen such a spectacle once or twice at about 0400hrs... to be honest, I think we were both surprised to see each other...!)
     
  12. Rocket

    Rocket Member

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    Ipswich have a number of trainees going through at the moment with intermodal.

    We have had some trainees that have passed as drivers in the starters link, but some are not yet passed out to go to London/P'boro.

    Some passed drivers haven't signed all traction.

    We have some trainees that are still going through brake handling.

    And as other drivers move up into the main links, they will have to learn and sign the main routes going North

    There is quite a lot going on at the moment, that's why you will see quite a few doubling up at the front.
     
  13. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    Thanks. I'd guessed some would be trainees but I'd thought I'd seen so many that it didn't fit for all of them. That explanation covers it though!
     
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