Seeking information for fictional story where main character is station staff

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pbeech

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Hi everyone,

I'm writing a fictional story in which the main character is a staff member at a railway station. From my limited understanding of the roles, I think he could be something like Grade B, with some duties on the gateline and also on the platforms. He might even have some Duty Manager aspects to his role. The story is set at a mid-sized station like Stafford.

I was wondering if anybody knew of any resources that could provide me with a typical shift in the life of these roles. It would also be useful to get hold of a hierarchy of roles at a typical station, as well as how many other people might be working, who my character might be in charge of, and who he might report to. As you can tell, I'm a bit hazy on the details of things. The story takes place over a single shift, likely to be 4pm-12pm on a Friday night, so the more information I can glean about what goes on during a shift like that, the better.

Thanks for reading my message – and for any help you might be able to give.

Best,
Peter.
 
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Dr Hoo

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Welcome to the Forums.

Can I ask what period the story would be set in? Obviously things like train despatch and ticketing have changed markedly over the years.
 

Dr Hoo

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Thanks. Having been retired for several years (and having left my station managership days behind decades ago) I think that I had better leave others to describe how things are today.
 

RSimons

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The best way might be to go to a suitable station and shadow someone or chat in the lunch room (if either is permitted) or to treat a staff member to a lunch or two. That way you are more likely to absorb the general attitudes than you would get from asking for a written account.
 

ta-toget

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The best way might be to go to a suitable station and shadow someone or chat in the lunch room (if either is permitted) or to treat a staff member to a lunch or two. That way you are more likely to absorb the general attitudes than you would get from asking for a written account.
Though that is likely not possible/welcome at the moment. I dare say that stories don't tend to be urgent, so it shouldn't be too much of a problem to wait.
 

pbeech

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Thanks for your replies, both. Yes, I suspect that's probably the best way, COVID pending. Luckily as you say ta-toget it's going to take a while to write so there's plenty of time!

If any other sources should occur to anyone else reading, I'd still be grateful to hear about them.

Many thanks,
Pete.
 
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