TOC ranks

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by GodAtum, 29 Apr 2015.

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  1. GodAtum

    GodAtum Established Member

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    Is there a ranking systems like airlines. In the UK, BA is the most prestigious to work for. I guess London TOCs are more prestigious then elsewhere in the UK?

    Always how about train types. Most TOCs start drivers on the slow trains with more longer serving drivers getting the fast ones. But someone like Virgin only have fast trains so do they let new drivrs on them first?
     
  2. SaveECRewards

    SaveECRewards Member

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    Is there any prestige left with BA? With Mixed Fleet, service enhancements that take short haul to new lows I can imagine that potential crews no longer see BA as aspirational.

    As for trains probably East Coast in all its forms would be the most prestigious. In the VTEC era David Horne seems a decent boss to work for. (VT)EC also has a consistency that others don't have. In this I mean every service in first class is staffed and a buffet on every train. Working for a company that doesn't cut staff to the bone must give their employees extra pride.

    VT must be up there too. Although they pioneered the crap in a box weekend first service they're highly regarded and most people would be proud to work for them.

    I think London commuter franchises must be near the bottom particularly the ones affected by the London Bridge works. You'd probably not want to say you worked at Southeastern if you were a talking to a random member of the public in case they turned out to be a disgruntled commuter.
     
  3. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I doubt that a preference for working for a particular company has anything to do with prestige. I would guess that it's more about location and remuneration.
     
  4. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Metro work is interesting and punishing at the same time. Driving through ongoing works is a unique experience as a Driver and requires a high skill demand relative to your day in day out driving.

    Personally I don't see any driving as "prestige" especially on a TOC vs TOC basis. However; how your TOC tends to treat services and different Drivers can be eye opening. I'm sure that on my TOC the "heirachy" seems to be Highspeed/Mainline/Metro.

    In terms of skill and awesomeness and which does the most hard work... Metro/Mainline/Highspeed.. <D

    I would say it is more a matter of individual perspective.
     
  5. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Certainly regarding drivers very few think about prestige. Some join East Coast or Virgin as they have ambitions to drive intercity trains and view the work as easier and 'better'. But most look at the location, money and terms and conditions.

    A friend who drives for East Coast was trying to talk me into applying for one of the kings cross vacancies but as far as I'm concerned I loose my flexibility with overtime and Sunday's, triple the length of my commute to and from work, can't rely on the TOC getting me a taxi when engineering works mean no trains and risk being stranded in Newcastle when the wires come down. They arnt going to just get me a taxi home like my TOC would.

    I'm not botherd about who I work for, what colour short I wear or how big and fast the trains I drive are, personally I look at the money and work/life balance and for where o live I won't get anything better than where I work at the moment.
     
  6. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for explaining it far better than I could, A-driver!
     
  7. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    It may be a good brand, but constant catering staff shortages on WC did wear a bit thin before long. It's impossible to uphold the advertised service level where there's only one person instead of the three or four booked.

    I work for a London area commuter TOC now. Although not as highly regarded as Virgin in the public eye, I'm very happy. T&Cs are decent and morale where I am is pretty high.
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  8. GodAtum

    GodAtum Established Member

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    Is the stock important to? I would hate to drive a Pacer and in my experience the class 377s are the easiet to drive in Train Sim :P
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  9. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I'm not sure you can judge the better trains to drive by a simulator...

    The main concern of most drivers regarding better/worst traction is comfort of the seat and cab (377wouldnt be particularly high on that list for several reasons) and quality f air con/heating.
     
  10. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    :lol:
     
  11. tlionhart

    tlionhart Member

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    Spot on.
     
  12. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    If you are lucky enough to get an 'old school' crew on BA you notice the difference compared to the bright new staff employed on the poorer contracts.

    As for trains, never had any aspiration to work for a so called 'prestige' TOC.
     
  13. Shaggy

    Shaggy Member

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    I don't want to get into a fight over which BA crew are better etc, but for the sake of balance, I have had Mixed Fleet crew on a number of flights and now prefer them to the more long-serving BA long-haul crew.

    Just my preference. I find them very keen, upbeat and happy to be of service. Makes a big difference from some flights I've had with BA.

    TOC wise though, do people really get up in the morning and feel that different because they work for VTEC rather than say FTPE? I mean other than pay etc.
     
    Last edited: 30 Apr 2015
  14. W230

    W230 Established Member

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    Doubt it! It's just a job wherever you work. Mainly people go for the money, possibly variety, but not often.

    Every depot has pros and cons based on the individual and I would think this is the most important thing to look at when deciding who to work for (it certainly is for me!)
     
  15. l0c0m0t1ve

    l0c0m0t1ve Member

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    LOL! :D Wonder what the new Class 700s will be like. :roll:
     
  16. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    I work for my time off, when I am at work I do what needs to be done and just get on with it, as long as the train gets me to where everyone needs to be I don't really care what I am driving.

    Given the choice though I prefer to drive 143s (on decent track ;)) because they have a nice big cab with lots of room and an excellent view out.
     
  17. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    I would say Eurostar is the most prestigious TOC followed by Virgin East and West Coast and then HSS from Paddington and St Pancras (to the north).
     
  18. EssexGonzo

    EssexGonzo Member

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    I'd certainly agree with this. Whilst the MF crews are newer and less experienced, they're more engaging, natural and friendly. I find the other crews slightly more aloof and disconnected - somehow making me really feel like the "SLF" moniker they're alleged to use away from passenger ears.

    I don't buy into the regularly touted "more experience = more safety" mantra. After all, how many of any crews have actually had to evacuate a plane on water or after an emergency landing? A minuscule percentage. I've been evacuated by a young crew from a low cost airline plane after a rough emergency landing and it was perfect. None of the cabin crew were older than 25.

    In this world of easyJet, Ryanair and a plethora of other low cost airlines, there aren't many passengers who haven't experienced the newer, lower-paid crews on one airline or another so maybe we're getting more used to them, whatever airline they work for.
     
  19. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    I know drivers who would rather commute for an hour to work for an intercity TOC with nice trains than travel 10 minutes to their local depot to do 'metro work' on shabbier trains.
     
  20. RJ

    RJ Established Member

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    It's horses for courses. I know people who have left intercity TOCs to join suburban operators where it's closer to home and the T&Cs are better.
     
  21. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    Apparently Virgin have a very low turnover of drivers.
     
  22. whoosh

    whoosh Member

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    Indeed. And sometimes for better pay if it's an Intercity operator lower down the pay scale.
     
  23. W230

    W230 Established Member

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    Agreed! Hence my comment about the pros and cons of each depot... ;)
     
  24. bystander

    bystander Member

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    That's what I do, like most at my depot. It also tends to make for a more positive gang of drivers, since people have largely chosen to be there for the work or traction and as others have said rarely leave. Based on my previous experience, theres also a lot of negativity at metro depots because the numerous people who've applied for intercity work at other TOC's and haven't got it become negative about it and work where they are "just for the T&C's it's just a job" etc.

    Personally I like the work I do (I didn't particularly dislike suburban work but intercity is way more challenging and enjoyable), I get paid more, I drive cleaner, faster trains, I have a load of crew on board who deal with the passengers and doors, and I work with men who are in the main proud of what they do certainly compared to lots of the local drivers that I see at the booking on point.

    Some would call me naive but I do get more out of working somewhere like that than somewhere like on the buses which was how my previous depot felt. Oh and in response to an earlier point from A-Driver, I've had taxis home from way up north (to south Essex) in times of disruption and always been looked after.
     
    Last edited: 8 May 2015
  25. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    Personally in order of preference:-

    1. Location
    2. Terms and conditions
    3. Variety
    4. Money

    Anything else for me is irrelevant as I don't care for traction type or so called prestige.
     
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