Mainland Train Driver or Tube Driver?

Joined
18 Mar 2016
Messages
11
Hi all,
I’d firstly like to say thank you to all of you on this great forum who have shared their knowledge & provided the benefit of their experiences. I have literally spent hours trawling through these posts over the last few years and have had my fare share of disappointments.

After 5 years of hard work, I find myself at a career crossroads and would like the opinions of experienced Train Drivers and LU Train Operators please

I am currently awaiting a start date for training as an LU Train Operator and have also recently found out that I have been successful at DMI for Greater Anglia & have the medical booked. I applied for both jobs back in 2019.

I am in my early 50’s and am currently comparing the pros and cons of each role including the pension arrangements. They are both dream jobs for me and I previously missed out on Train Op AC1 by one mark in 2018.

I know that LU will be 5 shifts a week and the TOC will be 4. If I stay within TfL, I will retain the final salary pension, for Train Op, (who knows for how long as Gov have now set up a commission to look at TfL pension) and if joining GA, I will have to spend 2 years on an average salary pension before being able to join the final salary pension from the start of year 3.

GA has new electric trains so they will be quieter, smoother and more comfortable than tubes I guess and obviously overground. 3-4 months training at LU and around 12 months training at the TOC with a graduated salary increase to the second year of driving.

I’d really appreciate the insights of both Train Drivers and Tube Drivers with their experiences of the roles as to what they think would be the best career path forwards?

Thank you.
 
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RailUK Forums

172007

Member
Joined
2 Jan 2021
Messages
282
Location
West Mids
Mainline Driver for one reason really. It doesn't matter whether your in your 50's or 20's. Property prices. If you are able / willing to move away from London then with Mainline driving licence you can move to job anywhere else in the country with relative ease ask g as you keep you nose clean. If you are lucky enough to own a house in greater London then moving to another part of the country you could afford an very nice house with a fantastic standard of living and have a very well paid Job otherwise a good house if in early 20's with a mortgage rather than renting vs a one bedroom flat with a commute to your LUL depot. Yes money isn't everything that's my thought process given the choice between LUL and Mainline.
 

Twotwo

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2018
Messages
460
Tough one. Pay wise, should be similar as GA is one of the lowest paid toc. Perhaps have a look at the rosters and see which you perfer? And remember with mainline, the training can take up to 18-24 months worst case scenario. Not sure how it is at GA but I know some tocs struggle with lack of driver instructors. For me personally I'd prob go with LUL as the training isn't long.
 

baz962

Established Member
Joined
8 Jun 2017
Messages
2,126
Although the pay is similar , you only do four days with ga and so if you were to do a five day week on rest day work , you would be on quite a bit more. I believe you can't do extra days on lul.
 

Mattyblob

Member
Joined
29 Apr 2017
Messages
36
As someone who's done both I'd choose the mainline. T&C's vary above ground but here is the comparison I made between LU and my TOC which may help with your decision:

Working week
LU - 36 hours/5 day week. There's no real pattern to your rest days and on average you'll work 3/4 Saturdays and 2/3 Sundays. Before you get a roster position you'll be in a pool which means you'll be allocated duties/rest days on a Thursday for the following week (try planning a life with that!). It's not uncommon to be in the pool for over a year. At most depots you can join a 'mafia' where you forfeit your duties to the mafia man/woman who will try to allocate work to your preferences, however this is usually done based on seniority so expect to be flexible to the mafia's requirements for quite some time. Mafia duties are usually also allocated on a Thursday for the following week.
TOC - 35 hours/4 day week. Fixed rest day pattern with a long weekend every 3 weeks. Opportunity to do a permanent shift swap with someone on your rest day pattern for permanent lates/earlies.

Overtime
LU - Not allowed
TOC - Fill your boots

Meal breaks
LU - Unpaid
TOC - Paid. This means 2.5 hours less time at work each week.

Pension
LU - Final Salary, but a smaller contribution. Reduced retirement possible at 50.
TOC - Final Salary, retirement age varies (haven't seen 50 though!).

Location
LU - Tied to London for the duration of your career
TOC - Opportunities across the country should your circumstances change

Quality of life
LU - A lot of this is stock/line dependent - you may see little daylight throughout your entire shift, your cab air con may not be able to keep up in summer, the tunnel screech and general noise will get on your tits and you may blow black stuff out of your nose regularly. ATO lines provide barely any mental stimulation or sense of accomplishment for the work you do. You'll only operate the same line every day (aside from H&C/Circle and Leytonstone operators who run the W&C).
TOC - You're outdoors so summer is great and the winter is less so. There's more to do/be aware of when driving and usually a more expansive route card. No black stuff so far! I also feel much more alert and focused not being in the dark constantly.

Training
LU - The training is considerably shorter so you'll hit the top money quicker.
TOC - Many operate an incremental salary increase throughout training. In my case the salary increased to an amount at which I could live comfortably after completing rules (3 months).

Politics and job security
LU - Drivers across the combine are currently geared up and in possession of a strike mandate for what may be the biggest fight they'll ever have over working conditions and T&C's. It's no secret that the funding conditions imposed by the Government have led to a thorough review of TFL's spending practices and it's only a matter of time before the crosshair falls firmly on operational staff.
TOC - There is some uncertainty around what changes GBR may bring to the role, but train drivers have been excluded from the voluntary severance scheme and there are no other immediate threats or challenges at present.

I can't really draw a comparison on salary or annual leave entitlement as it varies wildly between TOCs. LU has a fantastic annual leave entitlement (8 weeks 3 days) which is hard to beat on the mainline but the salary is better at a number of TOCs.

I know I may seem extremely biased but honestly leaving LU was the most difficult decision I've ever made. We all have different goals - I set out to achieve a better work-life balance and a more enjoyable work environment (as I may be doing it for another 30+ years) and I believe I definitely made the right choice under those circumstances. On the other end of the spectrum there's plenty of operators at LU who have enjoyed long and fulfilling careers elsewhere, and joined LU to plough as much as they can into the pension scheme for a comfortable retirement. In those circumstances it's extremely hard to beat. It's all about your preference!

Best of luck in your decision :)
 

Bluenosemase

Member
Joined
28 Jun 2020
Messages
12
Location
Birmingham
As someone who's done both I'd choose the mainline. T&C's vary above ground but here is the comparison I made between LU and my TOC which may help with your decision:

Working week
LU - 36 hours/5 day week. There's no real pattern to your rest days and on average you'll work 3/4 Saturdays and 2/3 Sundays. Before you get a roster position you'll be in a pool which means you'll be allocated duties/rest days on a Thursday for the following week (try planning a life with that!). It's not uncommon to be in the pool for over a year. At most depots you can join a 'mafia' where you forfeit your duties to the mafia man/woman who will try to allocate work to your preferences, however this is usually done based on seniority so expect to be flexible to the mafia's requirements for quite some time. Mafia duties are usually also allocated on a Thursday for the following week.
TOC - 35 hours/4 day week. Fixed rest day pattern with a long weekend every 3 weeks. Opportunity to do a permanent shift swap with someone on your rest day pattern for permanent lates/earlies.

Overtime
LU - Not allowed
TOC - Fill your boots

Meal breaks
LU - Unpaid
TOC - Paid. This means 2.5 hours less time at work each week.

Pension
LU - Final Salary, but a smaller contribution. Reduced retirement possible at 50.
TOC - Final Salary, retirement age varies (haven't seen 50 though!).

Location
LU - Tied to London for the duration of your career
TOC - Opportunities across the country should your circumstances change

Quality of life
LU - A lot of this is stock/line dependent - you may see little daylight throughout your entire shift, your cab air con may not be able to keep up in summer, the tunnel screech and general noise will get on your tits and you may blow black stuff out of your nose regularly. ATO lines provide barely any mental stimulation or sense of accomplishment for the work you do. You'll only operate the same line every day (aside from H&C/Circle and Leytonstone operators who run the W&C).
TOC - You're outdoors so summer is great and the winter is less so. There's more to do/be aware of when driving and usually a more expansive route card. No black stuff so far! I also feel much more alert and focused not being in the dark constantly.

Training
LU - The training is considerably shorter so you'll hit the top money quicker.
TOC - Many operate an incremental salary increase throughout training. In my case the salary increased to an amount at which I could live comfortably after completing rules (3 months).

Politics and job security
LU - Drivers across the combine are currently geared up and in possession of a strike mandate for what may be the biggest fight they'll ever have over working conditions and T&C's. It's no secret that the funding conditions imposed by the Government have led to a thorough review of TFL's spending practices and it's only a matter of time before the crosshair falls firmly on operational staff.
TOC - There is some uncertainty around what changes GBR may bring to the role, but train drivers have been excluded from the voluntary severance scheme and there are no other immediate threats or challenges at present.

I can't really draw a comparison on salary or annual leave entitlement as it varies wildly between TOCs. LU has a fantastic annual leave entitlement (8 weeks 3 days) which is hard to beat on the mainline but the salary is better at a number of TOCs.

I know I may seem extremely biased but honestly leaving LU was the most difficult decision I've ever made. We all have different goals - I set out to achieve a better work-life balance and a more enjoyable work environment (as I may be doing it for another 30+ years) and I believe I definitely made the right choice under those circumstances. On the other end of the spectrum there's plenty of operators at LU who have enjoyed long and fulfilling careers elsewhere, and joined LU to plough as much as they can into the pension scheme for a comfortable retirement. In those circumstances it's extremely hard to beat. It's all about your preference!

Best of luck in your decision :)
Even though this doesn’t effect me I just want to say how great this explanation is. Great work mate.
 

iphone76

Member
Joined
6 Nov 2010
Messages
781
Location
South Essex
I'd also go mainline. Also which part of GA are will you be based?

If it's the former Great Eastern side, you'll work an average 4 day week over the roster, however, you'll work 8 weeks then get 2 weeks off, plus 9/10 days to pick when you like.

I work for a company which used to be part of GA and has the same roster pattern and I like it.
 

Aivilo

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2014
Messages
629
Location
Surrey
As someone who's done both I'd choose the mainline. T&C's vary above ground but here is the comparison I made between LU and my TOC which may help with your decision:

Working week
LU - 36 hours/5 day week. There's no real pattern to your rest days and on average you'll work 3/4 Saturdays and 2/3 Sundays. Before you get a roster position you'll be in a pool which means you'll be allocated duties/rest days on a Thursday for the following week (try planning a life with that!). It's not uncommon to be in the pool for over a year. At most depots you can join a 'mafia' where you forfeit your duties to the mafia man/woman who will try to allocate work to your preferences, however this is usually done based on seniority so expect to be flexible to the mafia's requirements for quite some time. Mafia duties are usually also allocated on a Thursday for the following week.
TOC - 35 hours/4 day week. Fixed rest day pattern with a long weekend every 3 weeks. Opportunity to do a permanent shift swap with someone on your rest day pattern for permanent lates/earlies.

Overtime
LU - Not allowed
TOC - Fill your boots

Meal breaks
LU - Unpaid
TOC - Paid. This means 2.5 hours less time at work each week.

Pension
LU - Final Salary, but a smaller contribution. Reduced retirement possible at 50.
TOC - Final Salary, retirement age varies (haven't seen 50 though!).

Location
LU - Tied to London for the duration of your career
TOC - Opportunities across the country should your circumstances change

Quality of life
LU - A lot of this is stock/line dependent - you may see little daylight throughout your entire shift, your cab air con may not be able to keep up in summer, the tunnel screech and general noise will get on your tits and you may blow black stuff out of your nose regularly. ATO lines provide barely any mental stimulation or sense of accomplishment for the work you do. You'll only operate the same line every day (aside from H&C/Circle and Leytonstone operators who run the W&C).
TOC - You're outdoors so summer is great and the winter is less so. There's more to do/be aware of when driving and usually a more expansive route card. No black stuff so far! I also feel much more alert and focused not being in the dark constantly.

Training
LU - The training is considerably shorter so you'll hit the top money quicker.
TOC - Many operate an incremental salary increase throughout training. In my case the salary increased to an amount at which I could live comfortably after completing rules (3 months).

Politics and job security
LU - Drivers across the combine are currently geared up and in possession of a strike mandate for what may be the biggest fight they'll ever have over working conditions and T&C's. It's no secret that the funding conditions imposed by the Government have led to a thorough review of TFL's spending practices and it's only a matter of time before the crosshair falls firmly on operational staff.
TOC - There is some uncertainty around what changes GBR may bring to the role, but train drivers have been excluded from the voluntary severance scheme and there are no other immediate threats or challenges at present.

I can't really draw a comparison on salary or annual leave entitlement as it varies wildly between TOCs. LU has a fantastic annual leave entitlement (8 weeks 3 days) which is hard to beat on the mainline but the salary is better at a number of TOCs.

I know I may seem extremely biased but honestly leaving LU was the most difficult decision I've ever made. We all have different goals - I set out to achieve a better work-life balance and a more enjoyable work environment (as I may be doing it for another 30+ years) and I believe I definitely made the right choice under those circumstances. On the other end of the spectrum there's plenty of operators at LU who have enjoyed long and fulfilling careers elsewhere, and joined LU to plough as much as they can into the pension scheme for a comfortable retirement. In those circumstances it's extremely hard to beat. It's all about your preference!

Best of luck in your decision :)
I mean how do you compete against that. Matty has knocked it out the park and I cannot agree more. You'll have to way up the pros and cons for your own personal circumstances. I enjoyed the tube and I enjoy the mainline and I would generally steer people towards the mainline. Congratulations on your achievements, I wish you well in what ever you choose
 

Sphun20

Member
Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
23
Location
London
As someone who's done both I'd choose the mainline. T&C's vary above ground but here is the comparison I made between LU and my TOC which may help with your decision:

Working week
LU - 36 hours/5 day week. There's no real pattern to your rest days and on average you'll work 3/4 Saturdays and 2/3 Sundays. Before you get a roster position you'll be in a pool which means you'll be allocated duties/rest days on a Thursday for the following week (try planning a life with that!). It's not uncommon to be in the pool for over a year. At most depots you can join a 'mafia' where you forfeit your duties to the mafia man/woman who will try to allocate work to your preferences, however this is usually done based on seniority so expect to be flexible to the mafia's requirements for quite some time. Mafia duties are usually also allocated on a Thursday for the following week.
TOC - 35 hours/4 day week. Fixed rest day pattern with a long weekend every 3 weeks. Opportunity to do a permanent shift swap with someone on your rest day pattern for permanent lates/earlies.

Overtime
LU - Not allowed
TOC - Fill your boots

Meal breaks
LU - Unpaid
TOC - Paid. This means 2.5 hours less time at work each week.

Pension
LU - Final Salary, but a smaller contribution. Reduced retirement possible at 50.
TOC - Final Salary, retirement age varies (haven't seen 50 though!).

Location
LU - Tied to London for the duration of your career
TOC - Opportunities across the country should your circumstances change

Quality of life
LU - A lot of this is stock/line dependent - you may see little daylight throughout your entire shift, your cab air con may not be able to keep up in summer, the tunnel screech and general noise will get on your tits and you may blow black stuff out of your nose regularly. ATO lines provide barely any mental stimulation or sense of accomplishment for the work you do. You'll only operate the same line every day (aside from H&C/Circle and Leytonstone operators who run the W&C).
TOC - You're outdoors so summer is great and the winter is less so. There's more to do/be aware of when driving and usually a more expansive route card. No black stuff so far! I also feel much more alert and focused not being in the dark constantly.

Training
LU - The training is considerably shorter so you'll hit the top money quicker.
TOC - Many operate an incremental salary increase throughout training. In my case the salary increased to an amount at which I could live comfortably after completing rules (3 months).

Politics and job security
LU - Drivers across the combine are currently geared up and in possession of a strike mandate for what may be the biggest fight they'll ever have over working conditions and T&C's. It's no secret that the funding conditions imposed by the Government have led to a thorough review of TFL's spending practices and it's only a matter of time before the crosshair falls firmly on operational staff.
TOC - There is some uncertainty around what changes GBR may bring to the role, but train drivers have been excluded from the voluntary severance scheme and there are no other immediate threats or challenges at present.

I can't really draw a comparison on salary or annual leave entitlement as it varies wildly between TOCs. LU has a fantastic annual leave entitlement (8 weeks 3 days) which is hard to beat on the mainline but the salary is better at a number of TOCs.

I know I may seem extremely biased but honestly leaving LU was the most difficult decision I've ever made. We all have different goals - I set out to achieve a better work-life balance and a more enjoyable work environment (as I may be doing it for another 30+ years) and I believe I definitely made the right choice under those circumstances. On the other end of the spectrum there's plenty of operators at LU who have enjoyed long and fulfilling careers elsewhere, and joined LU to plough as much as they can into the pension scheme for a comfortable retirement. In those circumstances it's extremely hard to beat. It's all about your preference!

Best of luck in your decision :)
Couldn't have put it any better. Just joined the mainline myself from the tube. It comes down to personal reasons.
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,645
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
Mainline.

On top of all the good points made so far, TfL and LU has a rather toxic ER culture which pervades the entire organisation to varying extents.

The only real reason to go with LU is if you happen to be London based, and likely to stay that way, and your local mainline depots are all intense suburban work - LU is slightly less draining as there’s a little less chance of making an operating error (especially on the ATO lines). Even that is only marginal.

Aside from that, LU might be of value if one doesn’t want to work for a transient or bus company, but ironically (qv above) LU’s ER tends to be worse! LU does offer other opportunities besides driver too - TOCs are more limited. Whilst TOC pay has tended to do well during privatisation, Network Rail pay hasn’t kept up so well. Worth bearing in mind if one doesn’t plan to stick with driving forever.
 
Last edited:

43066

On Moderation
Joined
24 Nov 2019
Messages
2,789
Location
London
Working week
LU - 36 hours/5 day week. There's no real pattern to your rest days and on average you'll work 3/4 Saturdays and 2/3 Sundays. Before you get a roster position you'll be in a pool which means you'll be allocated duties/rest days on a Thursday for the following week (try planning a life with that!). It's not uncommon to be in the pool for over a year. At most depots you can join a 'mafia' where you forfeit your duties to the mafia man/woman who will try to allocate work to your preferences, however this is usually done based on seniority so expect to be flexible to the mafia's requirements for quite some time. Mafia duties are usually also allocated on a Thursday for the following week.
TOC - 35 hours/4 day week. Fixed rest day pattern with a long weekend every 3 weeks. Opportunity to do a permanent shift swap with someone on your rest day pattern for permanent lates/earlies.

Absolutely excellent post.

I seem to remember there was some talk previously of LU t-ops being divided into ATO and non ATO operators, with a commensurate reduction in Ts and Cs on the ATO lines? This was some years ago - from memory an internal TfL document was leaked - and I believe might have been put “on ice” due to the potential for massive industrial unrest. I suppose that’s something to consider for the future, and even more so due to the current funding crisis.

I imagine working on the ATO lines would be soul crushingly monotonous, as there’s no actual driving involved. As I understand it the t-op is more of a de facto guard who is primarily there to operate the doors and dispatch the train, which drives itself between stations, with the t-op only taking over the driving in degraded circumstances?

On the annual leave point I suppose LU’s very generous AL entitlement is going to be more than offset by the average four day week at most (all nowadays?) TOCs, against LUs five day. With a TOC you’ll be doing longer shifts, but with 45+ fewer days at work over the course of a year assuming you don’t do overtime.

I’d also advise the OP to aim for the mainline based on all the points made above.
 
Joined
18 Mar 2016
Messages
11
Thank you so much to all that have taken the time to reply. I appreciate it. Lots of useful information to think about.
Special thanks to Mattyblob.
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,645
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
Absolutely excellent post.

I seem to remember there was some talk previously of LU t-ops being divided into ATO and non ATO operators, with a commensurate reduction in Ts and Cs on the ATO lines? This was some years ago - from memory an internal TfL document was leaked - and I believe might have been put “on ice” due to the potential for massive industrial unrest. I suppose that’s something to consider for the future, and even more so due to the current funding crisis.

I imagine working on the ATO lines would be soul crushingly monotonous, as there’s no actual driving involved. As I understand it the t-op is more of a de facto guard who is primarily there to operate the doors and dispatch the train, which drives itself between stations, with the t-op only taking over the driving in degraded circumstances?

On the annual leave point I suppose LU’s very generous AL entitlement is going to be more than offset by the average four day week at most (all nowadays?) TOCs, against LUs five day. With a TOC you’ll be doing longer shifts, but with 45+ fewer days at work over the course of a year assuming you don’t do overtime.

I’d also advise the OP to aim for the mainline based on all the points made above.

LU is starting to look at 4-day week options, but as usual it's being done in a rather "bull in china shop" fashion.

From a personal perspective, I wouldn't take extra hours as a means for getting more days off, as I'd find the tiredness caused by extra hours enough to offset any gain. I get the feeling I'm atypical in this regard though!

There are people who choose drive manually on the ATO lines; the only line where this isn't really viable is the Victoria Line. Manual driving isn't really supposed to happen, but like most things in practice this is only an issue if something happens.
 

John Bishop

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2018
Messages
317
Location
Perth
Mainline.

On top of all the good points made so far, TfL and LU has a rather toxic ER culture which pervades the entire organisation to varying extents.

The only real reason to go with LU is if you happen to be London based, and likely to stay that way, and your local mainline depots are all intense suburban work - LU is slightly less draining as there’s a little less chance of making an operating error (especially on the ATO lines). Even that is only marginal.

Aside from that, LU might be of value if one doesn’t want to work for a transient or bus company, but ironically (qv above) LU’s ER tends to be worse! LU does offer other opportunities besides driver too - TOCs are more limited. Whilst TOC pay has tended to do well during privatisation, Network Rail pay hasn’t kept up so well. Worth bearing in mind if one doesn’t plan to stick with driving forever.
Sorry, probably at the risk of looking daft, but what is ER?
 

Jimbo12345

Member
Joined
22 Jun 2015
Messages
73
OT is being discussed at the high levels of TfL and is almost certainly going to be introduced, ditto 4 day week. As someone pointed out it’s a 12 week training course but your on the 60k from day 1 (and final salary pension) as opposed to a minimum 2 year training with the TOCs on possibly a reduced/sliding salary.
 
Joined
18 Mar 2016
Messages
11
OT is being discussed at the high levels of TfL and is almost certainly going to be introduced, ditto 4 day week. As someone pointed out it’s a 12 week training course but your on the 60k from day 1 (and final salary pension) as opposed to a minimum 2 year training with the TOCs on possibly a reduced/sliding salary.
Thanks for sharing this, Jimbo.
 

theking

Member
Joined
30 Sep 2011
Messages
460
If you was younger I'd defo say mainline but early 50's even if you stayed on to 65 what's that circa 10 years in the grade.

Say 1 years training and lower wages, messing about with pension, someone said about moving out well forget it whilst your a pqd.

So that's down to 7ish years.

Where as you could go to LU hit the high money quicker and the pension contributions and retire when you want.

I'd understand if it was for lner or avanti but GA is one of the lowest paying tocs that run into a London terminal last time I looked.

Yes there are some drivers who go past 65 but why you would want to is beyond me.

Also don't forget if you're in London you will lose you free oyster and nominee.
 

whoosh

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2008
Messages
933
At LU you go up to full Train Operator rate after so many weeks (something like 39 I think) so even if there are delays in training, your money goes up.

I don't know what arrangements are at GA should there be delays in training.


At LU, all your years of service will count at the Train Operator rate (once you've reached it) when working out your pension. This is called 'Final Salary' and would be the case if you were promoted further as well - all your years of service would be based on your new promoted rate. LU's pension pays full benefits accrued at age 60 still I believe.


GA - The Railway Pension Scheme since 2016 is NOT Final Salary. It is now 'Career Average'. All pay is pensionable, but any increase in pay over RPI+0.25% (including promotions) is only for future service.

Full benefits are now paid at age 62.



I think what you mean with GA is that you would be placed in a 'Defined Contributions' scheme for 2 years, before being able to join the 'Defined Benefits' (Career Average) scheme from year 3 onwards?

Some TOCs allow a transfer in of another pension, some don't. I don't know if GA do, or if they do whether it would be worth doing or leave your LU alone as a 'Deferred Pension' (you can ask for a figure of how many years in the new GA scheme your old LU pension would buy, but remember that would be years of pension based on Trainee Driver rate if you transferred it straightaway).
As deferred (kept seperate) the LU one would still pay out at 60 if you wanted it to.

You can pay extra Additional Voluntary Contributions into GA's scheme (called BRASS2).
Similarly, I believe you can make Additional Voluntary Contributions to your LU scheme.

Distance to travel to work would be a factor, as would which LU depot you'd be based at with what sort of work you'd get - how much above ground daylight you'd get!

Plenty to think about!
 
Joined
18 Mar 2016
Messages
11
If you was younger I'd defo say mainline but early 50's even if you stayed on to 65 what's that circa 10 years in the grade.

Say 1 years training and lower wages, messing about with pension, someone said about moving out well forget it whilst your a pqd.

So that's down to 7ish years.

Where as you could go to LU hit the high money quicker and the pension contributions and retire when you want.

I'd understand if it was for lner or avanti but GA is one of the lowest paying tocs that run into a London terminal last time I looked.

Yes there are some drivers who go past 65 but why you would want to is beyond me.

Also don't forget if you're in London you will lose you free oyster and nominee.
Thank You

At LU you go up to full Train Operator rate after so many weeks (something like 39 I think) so even if there are delays in training, your money goes up.

I don't know what arrangements are at GA should there be delays in training.


At LU, all your years of service will count at the Train Operator rate (once you've reached it) when working out your pension. This is called 'Final Salary' and would be the case if you were promoted further as well - all your years of service would be based on your new promoted rate. LU's pension pays full benefits accrued at age 60 still I believe.


GA - The Railway Pension Scheme since 2016 is NOT Final Salary. It is now 'Career Average'. All pay is pensionable, but any increase in pay over RPI+0.25% (including promotions) is only for future service.

Full benefits are now paid at age 62.



I think what you mean with GA is that you would be placed in a 'Defined Contributions' scheme for 2 years, before being able to join the 'Defined Benefits' (Career Average) scheme from year 3 onwards?

Some TOCs allow a transfer in of another pension, some don't. I don't know if GA do, or if they do whether it would be worth doing or leave your LU alone as a 'Deferred Pension' (you can ask for a figure of how many years in the new GA scheme your old LU pension would buy, but remember that would be years of pension based on Trainee Driver rate if you transferred it straightaway).
As deferred (kept seperate) the LU one would still pay out at 60 if you wanted it to.

You can pay extra Additional Voluntary Contributions into GA's scheme (called BRASS2).
Similarly, I believe you can make Additional Voluntary Contributions to your LU scheme.

Distance to travel to work would be a factor, as would which LU depot you'd be based at with what sort of work you'd get - how much above ground daylight you'd get!

Plenty to think about!
Thanks Whoosh
 

whoosh

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2008
Messages
933
@ThunderPumpkin
No problem! I said I thought it was 39 weeks until full pay with LU, but it looks like I may have confused that with sick pay - LU is 39 weeks full sick pay.

However long training is (which is less than on the mainline) - when you are out on your own, you'd be on full Train Op rate.

I think there's a Post Qualified Driver rate (first year, maybe two) at GA before you get the full rate.

Sick pay, as I've mentioned it, is usually on main line TOCs:

First 6 months, 0.
6 months to 1 year's service - 6 weeks full, 6 weeks half.
1 year to 5 years service - 16 weeks full, 16 weeks half.
Over 5 years service - 26 weeks full, 26 weeks half.
 
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