Shunter

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kleb15

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Hi there, just curious to see if anybody on here works as a shunter and if you do could you possibly give me an insight to what your day to day routine involves please
 
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GB

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I work as a shunter on the freight side. Basically tonight I will turn up to accept the train, lay the road for the correct line and then in co-operation with the driver, berth and secure the train and detach the loco.

The terminal will unload and then reload the train it is then my job to walk around the train making sure the load and wagons are in good order go back to the office and produce a train list for the driver. The loco gets reattached to the other end of the train and a brake test is carried out. The train departs I go home to bed :)

Basically as a shunter for either freight or passenger you will pull points, detach/attach vehicles and prepare units/trains for service etc etc.
 

kleb15

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I work as a shunter on the freight side. Basically tonight I will turn up to accept the train, lay the road for the correct line and then in co-operation with the driver, berth and secure the train and detach the loco.

The terminal will unload and then reload the train it is then my job to walk around the train making sure the load and wagons are in good order go back to the office and produce a train list for the driver. The loco gets reattached to the other end of the train and a brake test is carried out. The train departs I go home to bed :)

Basically as a shunter for either freight or passenger you will pull points, detach/attach vehicles and prepare units/trains for service etc etc.
Ok, thanks a lot mate for the help, i applied for a job doing it with FCC the other day, it gives a fairly detailed description anyway, but just wanted to know how it works on a day to day basis. Also when you applied was it for the position as a trainee shunter or was it just as a shunter, cos it doesn't say anything on there about needing any previous training/experience in that job, it just says you must have these qualities, then lists customer service, health and safety conscious etc. So that's why I applied. Anyway is it possible then to get that job without having any previous job in the rail industry? cos like i say, it just seems open to anyone on the website
 

GB

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The required training will be given to you. And yes, you can most definitely get the job without having previous rail experience.
 

465fan

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Cricklewood? I applied for the same thing, looks reasonably exciting. The long and short of this position is that Cricklewood is a berthing place for East Midlands Trains and First Capital Connect services both overnight and in between peaks, I believe the most likely thing to say is that you will be letting a "proper" driver bring them in, set him the road, get him to secure it, and then leave it. When the train goes back out, you make sure the road is set again, and get it away. With First Capital Connect units, I believe you will also be responsible for driving the units within the Depot complex, bolting one unit onto another, unbolting them and seperating them, etc etc.
 

kleb15

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Cricklewood? I applied for the same thing, looks reasonably exciting. The long and short of this position is that Cricklewood is a berthing place for East Midlands Trains and First Capital Connect services both overnight and in between peaks, I believe the most likely thing to say is that you will be letting a "proper" driver bring them in, set him the road, get him to secure it, and then leave it. When the train goes back out, you make sure the road is set again, and get it away. With First Capital Connect units, I believe you will also be responsible for driving the units within the Depot complex, bolting one unit onto another, unbolting them and seperating them, etc etc.
No mate, its in Welwyn GC the one that i applied for, it says a lot of the duties include logging down the trains, when they leave etc, cleaning them inside and out, directing them, stuff like that. I don't think there's any driving involved in the one i've applied for, i could be wrong though.
 

A-driver

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At WGC the shunters don't drive. Hornsey depot has shunt drivers who are allowed to drive over the metals in the depot only. Places like WGC, Letchworth, Cambridge, the nene etc have shunters who set the roads, obtain permission from the signaller for moves to take place etc, accept traffic in from the mainline etc. You will have mainline drivers booked to shunt at various times of the day so if a unit needs to be split or joined or moved into another road etc then you instruct the driver as to what need doing and set the route then control the movement with handsignals.

Shunters get lots of night shifts but many seem to enjoy the job-get a BBQ going in the summer etc!
 

spurs4life

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I used to work at wgc and as other posts say you will see the train in making sure you have got the correct units then the same procure to all arrivals are in then if its at night you will have a driver come and prep the units. Then its just a matter of seeing them out.its a good place to work with good people but the only thing is you must like your own company because it can get boring for periods when your on your own.
 

kleb15

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I used to work at wgc and as other posts say you will see the train in making sure you have got the correct units then the same procure to all arrivals are in then if its at night you will have a driver come and prep the units. Then its just a matter of seeing them out.its a good place to work with good people but the only thing is you must like your own company because it can get boring for periods when your on your own.
Thanks for the insight, well i'm just looking to get into the business anyway possible, and to be honest that job sounds fine to me, i have no issues with working nights, and i suppose the working on your own could be used in future when i'm applying for trainee positions. So are you a mainline driver now then spurs4life?
 

Beveridges

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I am a passenger Depot Driver/Shunter (job that combines the two) and its a good job except for the night shifts. This is a huge downside to an otherwise good job. In my job duties are pulling points, seeing units on and off, prep units that are going off in the early hours (a prep involves over 200 checks or tests per unit!), carry out fuelling, engine oil and water, CET Tanking. This is in addition to driving within depot, fault diagnosis, couple and uncouple, but thats only if you do depot driving as well. Lots of communication as well via hand held radio is required. Its a mix of duties which makes it good, and not boring as it is normally busy and *relatively* varied (compared to most other rail jobs), but the downside is feeling tired a lot of the time (at work and at home) due to the extreme shifts, which can finish at 07:00 in the morning. Training for the job can be hard but its a lot better once that is out of the way.
 
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kleb15

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I am a passenger Depot Driver/Shunter (job that combines the two) and its a good job except for the night shifts. This is a huge downside to an otherwise good job. In my job duties are pulling points, seeing units on and off, prep units that are going off in the early hours (a prep involves over 200 checks or tests per unit!), carry out fuelling, engine oil and water, CET Tanking. This is in addition to driving within depot, fault diagnosis, couple and uncouple, but thats only if you do depot driving as well. Lots of communication as well via hand held radio is required. Its a mix of duties which makes it good, and not boring as it is normally busy and *relatively* varied (compared to most other rail jobs), but the downside is feeling tired a lot of the time (at work and at home) due to the extreme shifts, which can finish at 07:00 in the morning. Training for the job can be hard but its a lot better once that is out of the way.
Cheers mate, sounds difficult, but the best things are never normally easy are they. Can I ask what you check specifically in the preps? Also with regards to the training it is in depth isn't it, because the last thing I want is to end up standing there not knowing what i'm supposed to be doing
 

spurs4life

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A depot driver will make sure all safety devices work so dsd, brakes, emergency button.then checking all isolating cocks and just making sure the train is in good condition.money wise a ground shunter salary starts about 17000 thousand and depot driver about 27000 thousand
 

GB

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Just being nosey in case any shunter jobs come up in my area... Whats the money like?
Obviously gonna depend on the company and whether its passenger or freight but we are on just over £28k with non driving duties and about £29.5k including driving duties.
 

kleb15

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Good luck with Welwyn. I've applied for Cricklewood, so hoping that works out alright.
Cheers, i just checked on the FCC application page, i applied for cricklewood too once it got mentioned, but they rejected me, so to be honest i'm not holding my breath on the welwyn application, still hope it goes better for you with your cricklewood application
 

465fan

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Just been invited to the Assessment for First Capital Connect for the Cricklewood position, it's been two months but finally they've sorted the applications.
 

kleb15

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well done mate, hope it goes well for you, i got cut at the shortlist for welwyn, and i might be wrong, but i think its cos i live in Dorset, i'm trying to relocate, but i don't think some companies take your word, at least i think thats why. Anyway good luck to you mate, hope you get on now at Cricklewood
 

U51

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kleb15, I failed at shortlist stage for WGC and I live within a stones throw. I was quite
confident of getting through to interview stage at least, got through to managers interview at Hornsey earlier in the year (maintenance role), thought I had it made. Makes me think though, this position (WGC) was originally available at the end of april then withdrawn within a week, put up again 1st June and not a thing for nearly 2 months. Did it exist in the first place? was it filled internally? the way these people operate it's anyones guess. I'm done with the railway now, can't stand around waiting for them to get their act together, life goes on for us fodder.
Regards,
u51
 

kleb15

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kleb15, I failed at shortlist stage for WGC and I live within a stones throw. I was quite
confident of getting through to interview stage at least, got through to managers interview at Hornsey earlier in the year (maintenance role), thought I had it made. Makes me think though, this position (WGC) was originally available at the end of april then withdrawn within a week, put up again 1st June and not a thing for nearly 2 months. Did it exist in the first place? was it filled internally? the way these people operate it's anyones guess. I'm done with the railway now, can't stand around waiting for them to get their act together, life goes on for us fodder.
Regards,
u51
Oh right really? Well ye maybe you're right then, maybe it never existed or like you say was filled internally, i echo your sentiments about the railway too, i'm finding it frustrating, i mean i'm going to keep applying but there's other jobs in other fields that pay just as well if you look for them, and also a lot of them aren't as picky, it seems to get a job in the rail industry you either have to be the perfect human, know somebody at the company already or be extremely lucky, doesn't seem like the offer many well qualified people a chance.
 
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