Southeastern High speed train driver, Faversham, Ashford & Ramsgate

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by DanielAg, 7 Jan 2020.

  1. DanielAg

    DanielAg Member

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    Southeastern advertising for high speed train drivers for Faversham, Ashford and ramsgate for those interested


    The Ideal Candidate
    Applications are invited from any qualified driver who has completed at least two years driving and have a three year clean safety of line record.

    Please note that applicants for this position will need to live within a 40 minute driving time from their chosen depot, unfortunately if you do not meet this requirement your application will not be considered.

    Account will also be taken of your current performance.


    https://jobs.southeasternrailway.co.uk/jobs/job/High-Speed-Train-Driver/142
     
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  3. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    How can you have a 3 years clean safety of line record if you've only been driving for 2 years?
     
  4. DanielAg

    DanielAg Member

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    Haha good point didn’t notice that! Perhaps they mean 3 years driving
     
  5. Red1980

    Red1980 Member

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    I think that's their way of saying if you've done less than 3 years don't bother.
     
  6. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Safety of the line incidents are not restricted to just mainline drivers...or drivers in general.
     
  7. 43066

    43066 Member

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    It’s interesting that when the SE HS1 services were first introduced they were staffed exclusively by existing SE mainline drivers, and seen as a step up. Yet several times in recent years they’ve had to advertise for externals.

    Prospective applicants would do well to consider why the existing pool of SE mainline drivers are evidently not interested in progressing onto the HS1 services, given they are already local, the pay uplift etc.

    I’m reliably informed that HS1 isn’t popular internally due to repetitive work, long periods in the chair (“death by high speed rounder”), intensive diagrams and DOO work (OBMs are carried but drivers are fully responsible for doors and dispatch). Yes, there’s 140mph running on HS1, but that’s only a relatively small part of the work content.

    That said, it might be a good option for someone desperate to relocate to that area of Kent. The existing mainline (non HS) SE depots at the same locations recruit internally from the SE metro depots and rarely (if ever) take externals.

    Despite the wording of the advert, surely they must be willing to entertain relocating drivers, as the vast majority of qualified drivers living within 40 mins’ drive of those “deep Kent” depots will already work for SE!
     
  8. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Thank you for such a negative spin on what I think is quite a prestigious job. I believe a lot of what is said is based on jealousy.

    My advice - ignore the nay sayers and go for it if you want the chance to do this job. I’m not a driver myself but I know people who are so message me if you want to know more.
     
  9. 43066

    43066 Member

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    Not my intention to be unduly negative, nor to cause an argument. I’m merely highlighting some relevant points which would be of interest to any qualified driver considering moving TOCs.

    I do not work for SE myself (I can assure you I harbour no jealousy towards those who do :D !!!).

    You’re entitled to your opinion of course, but I have spoken to many, many SE coastal drivers who could have moved to HS1 work, but chose not to.

    “Prestige” didn’t come into it - they simply didn’t consider a £3k uplift worth it to do intensive DOO work, over a more limited route network, with far worse diagrams. That sounds reasonable enough to me.

    In any case, the facts speak for themselves: if the HS1 work is seen as “prestigious”, why is it that SE cannot recruit from their existing driver pool?

    As we all know there are plenty of SE metro drivers champing at the bit to move to coastal depots, and long waiting lists, so they’d have absolutely no problem backfilling the positions...
     
  10. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    I know plenty of SE mainline drivers too. SE mainline work is all stoppers - every station outside of London so I’m not sure how much more intensive you can get. I’ve also heard that they have trouble recruiting from the existing pool as they aren’t deemed suitable for a variety of reasons.
     
  11. 43066

    43066 Member

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    Fair enough mate - I’m sure there are some who are unsuitable.

    I think DOO is probably the biggest factor in this. I don’t know many qualified drivers currently working guarded who would move TOC’s to switch to DOO (on the other hand, I know quite a few who have moved and taken a pay cut to get away from it).

    Surprising in a way they don’t just offer the HS1 vacancies to metro drivers wanting to move down to the coast, who are already working (far more intensive) DOO services.

    Or alternatively offer the chance to do both “classic” and HS work to the coastal depots - a few I’ve spoken to said that might have made it more attractive to them for the variety.

    It also sounds like the HS1 work has become a lot more intensive over the last few years, since the rounder services were introduced and intensified.

    Perhaps you can shed some light on the above?
     
  12. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Its not about offering the job. You have to apply for it. No matter what others say it is a promotion and you have to prove yourself worthy. An internal move from metro to mainline doesn’t require an interview etc.

    As far as I know noone does full rounders as part of their work. It seems to be split up into sections.

    I’ve been told Depot drivers aren’t allowed to touch 395s until they’ve done 2 years and only high speed drivers are allowed to be in the cab on HS1.
     
  13. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    Isn't southeastern one of the worst companies to drive for ?
    Below average pay Sundays in week and lots of anti social behaviour at unmanned stations
     
  14. 43066

    43066 Member

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    I’m not so sure about it being a promotion.

    I think most qualified drivers would agree that driving a train is driving a train. SE may try to market it as somehow more “prestigious” etc. but that’s just corporate spin.

    Yes there’s HS1 and 140mph (briefly), and a different signalling system to learn, but then you’ll spend just as much time driving DOO on the north Kent line, crawling through the Medway towns at 30mph etc. And for £10k less than the GTR drivers on the same route.

    I can see why that wouldn’t be attractive to someone already driving fully guarded SE services at one of the above depots.

    Nor would it be attractive to drivers already working DOO services for most other TOCs - even with the uplift - the pay is well below par for that type of work.

    Understood. I’ve been told that the diagrams don’t compare particularly favourably to the equivalent classic diagrams.

    In fairness only drivers (and certain other authorised persons) are allowed into the cab at all TOCs throughout the country. That does not make it special.

    SE HS is not remotely prestigious - to say it is, is parroting the usual from SE. Most people who work there know it - hence why they have to recruit for externals for their “prestigious” HS jobs. Their own local drivers won’t even do it, even when they’re offered more money than the standard (poor) SE salary - yet still have to go begging for externals! They’d have to be pretty desperate!

    Personally, as a qualified driver in the south east of England, with a decent safety record, if money was my only priority I’d go with GTR or ARL.

    If I wanted to drive DOO trains through the seedier parts of Kent: Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Gravesend etc. I’d far rather do it for GTR and take the money.

    Otherwise, I’d probably plump for proper intercity work - and still for a lot more money than SE HS drivers earn!

    I’d trade 15mph less ultimate top speed (but far more of the overall route over 100mph) for far fewer stops (8- 20 max per shift), a proper guard giving me ding ding and away, and an army of people on the train, sometimes two guards, customer hosts etc.

    Horses for courses!
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2020
  15. 43066

    43066 Member

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    In a word: yes!
     
  16. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    It is not a promotion.
     
  17. dctraindriver

    dctraindriver Member

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    I’m a driver and I know a couple who went over and don’t like it, are they being negative? Or are they just reflecting on how they feel about it? Nothing wrong with people giving an insight both good and bad on this forum.

    I’d consider this if I wanted E* in the long run, but tbh I don’t think I’d enjoy the repetition. I like the variety where I am...
     
  18. 43066

    43066 Member

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    And I’d hazard a guess the reasons they don’t like it are along the lines of the points I made above? I know how it’s generally viewed internally at SE (and that’s saying something for that place), and it isn’t good!

    Let’s be clear: this is a croc of sh*e for qualified drivers.

    If this was a way for new trainees to get a key, of course I’d encourage people to apply. But we need to remember this is an advert for qualified drivers, with decent safety records, who will have many better options open to them.

    To any qualified drivers reading this thread. Here are some “words from the wise”.

    Don’t do it unless you’re desperate to move to that area of Kent. Even then, you’ll earn a poor salary, you’ll do some truly horrible, very intensive DOO work, you’ll crawl through the disgustingness of the Medway towns. Mark my words you WILL have some scummer sparking up a spliff behind your cab when you leave gravesend, whatever class of train your drive, for a poor salary.

    Whether you’re driving an all shacks 465 or a (still pretty much all shacks) 395, that you have to dispatch yourself, and which does 140mph for about 5 minutes on HS1. you’re DOO either way! And for £10k less than you should be earning for that type of work.

    If someone egresses or pulls a Passcom, you’ll be the one walking back. On your own. And for ****e money!

    Please, go and join a proper, grown up railway instead. SE HS is merely a glorified DOO commuter service. No more than that.

    I’d far rather work for GTR than SE. What does that tell you ?

    Run. Run, like the wind.

    I don’t work for either TOC, I hasten to add. I’m just a voice of reason ;).
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2020
  19. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    Yeah the medway towns enough said
     
  20. cossie4i

    cossie4i Member

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    When it first started you had to have 5 years driving experience for the job.
    It was great when it started, a really friendly family environment
    I done it for 5 years and then got out as it was like Groundhog Day, doing the same thing over and over again.
    I personally felt my concentration levels had slipped due to the repetitiveness of the work.
     
  21. Astro_Orbiter

    Astro_Orbiter Member

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    Blimey, I've never been to any of those towns but I certainly won't now! Sounds awful down there!
     
  22. saracen

    saracen Member

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    This is spot on
     
  23. saracen

    saracen Member

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    Advice to drivers from notadriver.

    I’m afraid some of your posts are ill informed.

    Keep jealousy out of it.
     
  24. toot toot

    toot toot Member

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    What is the the salary for a HS driver at SE?
     
  25. SlimJim1694

    SlimJim1694 Member

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    This is a very interesting thread. I work for SE and would not touch high speed with yours. I know people who went there and loved it but it didnt take them long to get completely fed up with it. I know one fellow at Ashford who left metro to move to high speed and, I kid you not, within six months he was telling people he preferred going to Hayes.

    The work on there is utter brain damage and the vast bulk of it is not high speed. The in-cab signalling is a huge distraction from the conventional signalling they mostly drive to and have to switch focus between.

    Since they started the massive rounders it has got much worse. Its amusing that SE think they can cherry pick qualified drivers for this awful work when a high proportion of high speed drivers seem to go about SPADing and setting of grids on a regular basis. You might go there with a clean record but it won't stay clean for very long doing that kind of work.

    I completely agree with the above posters regarding high speed. Its not prestigious, its crap. Any qualified driver would avoid it like the plague. If you want to work at a kent depot go on the normal trains is my advice.
     
  26. wolfman

    wolfman Member

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    everywhere and nowhere baby
    Otherwise known as Chernobyl
     
  27. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Which are of my posts are ill informed?
     
  28. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    No you don't

    No it isn't

    Depot Drivers are not mainline qualified. You can't go from Depot Driver to HS1 even if you did 100yrs

    Anyone with a valid cab pass can access a cab.
     
  29. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    The advert is for a job you have to apply for so you have to apply for it unlike an internal move which is guaranteed once your at the front of the queue.

    Depot drivers I’m told can’t touch 395s even doing depot moves until they’ve done 2 years.

    Only HS cab pass holders may travel on the HS part of the route in the cab.

    I know because I asked at the open day.
     
  30. saracen

    saracen Member

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    1. You’re a bus driver trying to give advice to qualified train drivers and you have been ill informed, make assumptions or quite frankly make stuff up.

    2. Going by your previous message history throughout all threads, there’s a trend of ‘I heard that’ or ‘someone I know said’
     
  31. toot toot

    toot toot Member

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    Speaks volumes
     

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