Previous career?

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DriverEight

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Many years ago one of the freight companies had an advert in Commercial Motor seeking to recruit trainee train drivers from the ranks of the HGV drivers. The thinking seemed to be that truck drivers had skills similar to train drivers, such as solitary working, concentration for long periods, awareness of speed, spacial awareness etc. I'm wondering what careers people had before becoming train drivers, especially ones that made the switch in later life and also how old they were when they made the switch. For the record, I'm a 51 year old HGV driver thinking about a career change
 
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Gorlash1886

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I was previously a bus driver before I became a trainee train driver so similar sort of skills.
 
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I’m a HGV driver myself and looking for a change (couple of jobs applied for at TOC’s). Previous to that I spent several years at Manchester Airport in Ops. I’m 31.

I hear of a lot of 50+ guys getting taken on as trainee drivers so I don’t think anyone ever really too okie to change into the railway. Maybe the life experience is a big plus.
 

dctraindriver

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As a 51 year old don’t worry about your age. Many 50 somethings becoming trainee drivers. Go for it.
 

sherman216

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I was a HGV driver before starting my driver course when I was 30. Go for it you won’t regret it!
 

Timpg

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I was an engineer for the best part of 12 years before I joined freightliner as ground staff for approximately 5yrs before starting as a trainee driver for my TOC. I’m now nearly 37
 

andyccfc

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Currently 14 years in the Police and 37. Should be starting in May as a trainee.
 

Moose27

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I worked in events and then radio production. As long as you can show you’ve experience of safety, working alone and dealing with customers with concrete examples you have a chance. I start my training in a couple of weeks.
 

Slipper

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I'm in the holding pool waiting for a course to start. 5 years in the Army, and 30 years Fire Service. I'm 54, so your definitely not too old, Im aware of a few who are in a similar position to myself.

Good luck
 

EvoUK

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Previously worked as a petroleum geoscientist and am now a trainee driver.

You are never too old to retrain, just need the opportunity.
 

D5581

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Used to be a P-way design engineer and just changed to a trainee tamper driver op at the age of 29
 

LSWR Cavalier

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I should like to know why people want to upgrade to train driving (apart from being unemployed of course)
Some of the 'previous jobs' mentioned seem quite good/secure, even lucrative
 

Evolution

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I should like to know why people want to upgrade to train driving (apart from being unemployed of course)
Some of the 'previous jobs' mentioned seem quite good/secure, even lucrative
Most come into it purely for the money alone, they seem to think it’s all sunlit uplands, until they get a key and realise that there’s a bit more to keeping a clean licence than first meets the eye. Quite a few lose the said key quite quickly once the incidents start stacking up.

There’s been a few recently at my TOC who’ve been removed from the grade not long after passing out due to incidents.
 
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D5581

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Most come into it purely for the money alone, they seem to think it’s all sunlit uplands, until they get a key and realise that there’s a bit more to keeping a clean licence then first meets the eye. Quite a few lose the said key quite quickly once the incidents start stacking up.

There’s been a few recently at my TOC who’ve been removed from the grade not long after passing out due to incidents.
You see it on here all the time, alot of the common questions always seem to be salary and job benefits.
 

Stigy

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Most come into it purely for the money alone, they seem to think it’s all sunlit uplands, until they get a key and realise that there’s a bit more to keeping a clean licence than first meets the eye. Quite a few lose the said key quite quickly once the incidents start stacking up.

There’s been a few recently at my TOC who’ve been removed from the grade not long after passing out due to incidents.

I think that’s a little bit unfair. Trainees see long, long before they get their key how easy it is to have an incident (more so during practical handling), and if a TOC is losing new drivers as frequently as you make out, it says as much about said TOC’s DIs/Management as it does about the newly qualified drivers.

We had it drummed in to our mindset from day one, just how easy it is to have an incident, to the extent that you’re almost scared to start driving trains. I can honestly say I know of NO trainee at my TOC who takes this job for granted. Well, maybe one or two, but you get that everywhere ;)

I should like to know why people want to upgrade to train driving (apart from being unemployed of course)
Some of the 'previous jobs' mentioned seem quite good/secure, even lucrative
The money, the work/life balance and the perks of the job play a big part.

The view from the office window can be nice too.
 

route101

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I suppose where else does a trainee job pay £50k after training? In surveying starting salary is half of that!
 

andyccfc

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Im not being funny but, salary and benefits are surely the first question one would ask of any job or career? Why else do you go to work?!
 

EvoUK

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Im not being funny but, salary and benefits are surely the first question one would ask of any job or career? Why else do you go to work?!
Yep, completely agree.

The nerve of these people considering a career change based on job security, benefits and salary.
 
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Fingers crossed I’ll be starting my training soon (awaiting medical results). I’m 51 and have spent 27 years working as a graphic designer. I think the job you’ve been in is irrelevant provided you can pass the assessments and display the appropriate transferable skills in your interviews.
As has been previously said, age is just a number.
Re. why do I want to be a driver. The reasons are numerous. Yes the package once qualified is good but that’s far from being the main reason. For me, the rail industry is a vital part of our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and far more ethical than my current career!
 

scotraildriver

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We have several people who have "downgraded" from jobs paying well over £100k to enjoy better job security, far better time off/work life balance and a job that doesn't come home with you. It's not always about money. The other perks of the job rate highly too.
 

JunnyT

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Many years ago one of the freight companies had an advert in Commercial Motor seeking to recruit trainee train drivers from the ranks of the HGV drivers. The thinking seemed to be that truck drivers had skills similar to train drivers, such as solitary working, concentration for long periods, awareness of speed, spacial awareness etc. I'm wondering what careers people had before becoming train drivers, especially ones that made the switch in later life and also how old they were when they made the switch. For the record, I'm a 51 year old HGV driver thinking about a career change
I'm a Bus Driver and i am 27, been driving for almost 2 years and I'm just awaiting a start date now with GWR
 
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