Freight train driver (qualified)

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guard1

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Hello everyone,

I am thinking of possibly making the jump from passenger to freight as a qualified driver (5+ years, clean record) in the North West. I was just wondering if anyone had any information of upcoming recruitment drives for qualified drivers at potentially Crewe based depots (maybe Warrington or other depots in northern England). Moreover, if successful with an application do I have to provide 6 months notice to my employer?

Thanks in advance for any assistance!
 
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steve_wills

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Birmingham
Hello everyone,

I am thinking of possibly making the jump from passenger to freight as a qualified driver (5+ years, clean record) in the North West. I was just wondering if anyone had any information of upcoming recruitment drives for qualified drivers at potentially Crewe based depots (maybe Warrington or other depots in northern England). Moreover, if successful with an application do I have to provide 6 months notice to my employer?

Thanks in advance for any assistance!
Serious question.

Are you mad !!!
 

tiptoptaff

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15 Feb 2013
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2,552
The 6month notice is something that can only be answered by your HR.

DB were recently advertising for Qualified crew at the North West hub, which is Warrington. FLHH and FLIM both frequently advertise for Crewe.
 

guard1

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Messages
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Serious question.

Are you mad !!!
Why do you say this? I already work permanent evenings so freight shifts can't be much worse. Sick of dealing with some of the animals we get travelling on our trains too. Also not too bothered about good (if there is such a thing) job security.

The 6month notice is something that can only be answered by your HR.

DB were recently advertising for Qualified crew at the North West hub, which is Warrington. FLHH and FLIM both frequently advertise for Crewe.
Thanks for the reply. I will keep their websites bookmarked.
 

steve_wills

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Why do you say this? I already work permanent evenings so freight shifts can't be much worse. Sick of dealing with some of the animals we get travelling on our trains too. Also not too bothered about good (if there is such a thing) job security.


Thanks for the reply. I will keep their websites bookmarked.
No life, no RPS and no free travel..

But you have already made up your mind.

Crack brother/sister.
 

guard1

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26 Jan 2015
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No life, no RPS and no free travel..

But you have already made up your mind.

Crack brother/sister.
Thanks for the reply and your time. I haven't fully made up my mind yet but seriously considering a move. Not really bothered about free travel (after spending 7 hours+ a shift on a train and living in the sticks) and have a suspicion down the line (I'm late twenties) our generation will get shafted on pensions anyways. Plus working two out of three weekends I don't have much of a social life anyways. Nevertheless it is good to hear the negatives so I can weigh them up with the positives. Cheers.
 

steve_wills

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Thanks for the reply and your time. I haven't fully made up my mind yet but seriously considering a move. Not really bothered about free travel (after spending 7 hours+ a shift on a train and living in the sticks) and have a suspicion down the line (I'm late twenties) our generation will get shafted on pensions anyways. Plus working two out of three weekends I don't have much of a social life anyways. Nevertheless it is good to hear the negatives so I can weigh them up with the positives. Cheers.
I wish you the best of look.

You need to research cab condition or lack of them, rostering and ballasts, manly at weekends.

One plus point NO passengers!!!

My understanding is that if you're already in it, they'll accept you into their scheme, but the payments are eye watering (nearly double) compared to some other sections.
So in real terms a pay cut. For the same pension amount. Not very attractive. lol
 

Atishyou

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1 Jan 2012
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I wish you the best of look.

You need to research cab condition or lack of them, rostering and ballasts, manly at weekends.

One plus point NO passengers!!!


So in real terms a pay cut. For the same pension amount. Not very attractive. lol
Also pay less tax. It's whatever makes people happy tbh.

No point doing a job if you hate it.

Whilst the TOC pensions are certainly better and more attractive, it's not the be all and end all.

You generally get decent flyers on many freight jobs, variety of routes and depending on the FOC, variety of traction.
 
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martin2345uk

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Also depends heavily on the FOC - I do pretty much no weekends, am in the RPS, no engineering works and have a 13 week roster.
Yeah the locos are noisy bastards, I wear ear-defenders.

Horses for courses.
 

172345

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Joined
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37
Location
Worcester
To put some of the above to rest here is my feelings on the matter. I recently moved from a TOC to a FOC. It's undoubtedly the best decision I've ever made.

The shifts are varied and so is the work. I could work a liner up the wcml at 75mph then on the return I'm crawling along on a heavy stone train at 45mph. My route card is fantastic with plenty of unusual working. Yes, getting up at 0200 ain't great but it ain't everyday so you just take the rough with the smooth.

As for the pension, my final salary pension is now frozen. But I remain with the RPS with my new FOC but it's not final salary.

There seems to be this stigma with freight amongst passenger crew that freight is rubbish and the driver's aren't as good as our passenger counterparts. I (I'm not alone) get the impression that the freight is often looked down upon. The fact is freight is hard, big route cards, troublesome trucks, yards, gradients, unsigned speed restrictions all play a huge part in every journey made.

My advice is simple...go for it..you'll absolutely love it. You'll never see me at a TOC again...
 

Hooligan

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GBRF also have depots at Crewe and Liverpool, so plenty of options, good luck.
 

John Bishop

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To put some of the above to rest here is my feelings on the matter. I recently moved from a TOC to a FOC. It's undoubtedly the best decision I've ever made.

The shifts are varied and so is the work. I could work a liner up the wcml at 75mph then on the return I'm crawling along on a heavy stone train at 45mph. My route card is fantastic with plenty of unusual working. Yes, getting up at 0200 ain't great but it ain't everyday so you just take the rough with the smooth.

As for the pension, my final salary pension is now frozen. But I remain with the RPS with my new FOC but it's not final salary.

There seems to be this stigma with freight amongst passenger crew that freight is rubbish and the driver's aren't as good as our passenger counterparts. I (I'm not alone) get the impression that the freight is often looked down upon. The fact is freight is hard, big route cards, troublesome trucks, yards, gradients, unsigned speed restrictions all play a huge part in every journey made.

My advice is simple...go for it..you'll absolutely love it. You'll never see me at a TOC again...
How recent, is recent if you don’t mind me asking?
 

GB

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16 Nov 2008
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6,098
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Somewhere
To put some of the above to rest here is my feelings on the matter. I recently moved from a TOC to a FOC. It's undoubtedly the best decision I've ever made.

The shifts are varied and so is the work. I could work a liner up the wcml at 75mph then on the return I'm crawling along on a heavy stone train at 45mph. My route card is fantastic with plenty of unusual working. Yes, getting up at 0200 ain't great but it ain't everyday so you just take the rough with the smooth.

As for the pension, my final salary pension is now frozen. But I remain with the RPS with my new FOC but it's not final salary.

There seems to be this stigma with freight amongst passenger crew that freight is rubbish and the driver's aren't as good as our passenger counterparts. I (I'm not alone) get the impression that the freight is often looked down upon. The fact is freight is hard, big route cards, troublesome trucks, yards, gradients, unsigned speed restrictions all play a huge part in every journey made.

My advice is simple...go for it..you'll absolutely love it. You'll never see me at a TOC again...

Horses for courses. Glad you are currently enjoying it but I have seen many leave to go to passenger because they have finally had enough of the things you currently enjoy. Also remember, a big route card looks good and does provide some variety, but its also a good way to constantly get stitched up or leave you in rostering limbo. (ie having even less of a clue what you might be working next week). That said some FOCs are better than others in that respect.
 

sw1ller

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Been thinking about the move myself but the commute to my nearest depot (Liverpool/Warrington/Crewe) simply doesn’t appeal to me. I’m an ex HGV driver and know 100% the work would suit me more on freight. I don’t use the free travel I get with the 1 company on our list now so it won’t bother me to lose that perk. I’m very anti social and enjoy my own company, it just seems the right move for me. Just a shame I live where I do. I say go for it pal, you can always come back if you leave on good terms.
 

guard1

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26 Jan 2015
Messages
15
Been thinking about the move myself but the commute to my nearest depot (Liverpool/Warrington/Crewe) simply doesn’t appeal to me. I’m an ex HGV driver and know 100% the work would suit me more on freight. I don’t use the free travel I get with the 1 company on our list now so it won’t bother me to lose that perk. I’m very anti social and enjoy my own company, it just seems the right move for me. Just a shame I live where I do. I say go for it pal, you can always come back if you leave on good terms.
I'm a similar type personality and sometimes wonder what the hell I'm doing volunteering to run out of major cities on a weekend with some of the worst that society has to offer putting my livelihood on the line whilst there is an option like freight that I could do instead. Even if the shifts may be slightly less social I think I can take that (already work shifts up to 6pm starts and 2-3am finishes every week) over dealing with the public (who seem to be getting worse). And before anyone says that passenger dealings aren't my responsibility I don't believe that is true and I'm not ruthless enough to just leave a young inexperienced guard to deal with train/passenger issues alone.
 

4F89

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717
How many passenger jobs involve 50% of your shift with your eyes closed?
 

Crazyb

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6 Dec 2014
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I spent the best part of 30 years on the freight, from BR, RFD, then Freightliner Intermodal.

I'm at a TOC now....Though the jobs are boring, it suits me and it was a massive pay jump, with much more better conditions, I'm also looked after.

Intermodal are only around 51/52k ish, pretty poor for today's railway pay, though you did get extras for mod jobs and movement etc....if I was going to move back to the freight, it would be to Freightliner Intermodal. Though rubbish money, this is more of a stable company. DB would be a defo no....GBRF, not sure really and DRS, you didn't really see the drivers to chat too.

Personally, I miss the different routes and that every day was different, but I don't miss the long shifts, and the silly hours that I got up, or starting an engine up at 2am in the winter.

The freight is for the younger guys. I had a great laugh over the years. You will get loads of experience in SLW, T3's and TBW for some reason!!!!, you will go backwards forwards and sideways. What makes me laugh is when I go for my rules and though my driver manager is a nice guy, they have never experienced what I have done...Sometimes I go really, when was the last time you done SLW!!!!....Never.....Oh well.

If you are going to do the jump, look at contracts, If your going to go to HH, DB or GBRF. Contracts move round, and you can see this when DB lost their Mendip contract to HH.....I have also been told that Freightliner Intermodal have lost the contract with Maersk shipping line. That was a massive contract, which has gone to GBRF (Railway rumour)

Pension is another factor.....You must look into this.

All in all, freight is the best, but make sure you look into the in's and out's.....Most freight drivers are a friendly bunch and will always give you the the SP on their depot if you bump into them.

Good luck
 
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