TPE v Northern as a guard

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Chat Moss

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Are there many advantages or disadvantages of either or are they pretty much the same? Does anyone have any 1st hand knowledge of the two?

My uncle works for Northern and he suggested they ll stop at less stops on the TPE routes and the places they stop may as he put bring with them a different clientele. I.e. perhaps somewhat more pleasant on the whole (He mentioned Liverpool stoppers & Colne as well as Blackpool south having consistent fare evaders and trouble makers).

Are the terms any better at TPE? I know they get an extra £500 a yr annual salary but that's not much difference if there is a better chance to progress into other roles at Northern for example.

Is job security something to consider? with Northern now in government hands.

Any thoughts most welcome.
 
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TPE do seem to do the more ‘express’ routes whereas Northern seem to focus more on the little stations with many stops.

You’ll always get issues with destinations like Blackpool North and South (South especially) but on a weekend I’d expect it to be across the board, Liverpool, Lancaster, Preston etc the low life’s will be travelling.

I don’t know about the differences in employment terms or progression but I know a guard for Northern who has been trying to move up to driver and can’t get a look in.

TPE have a better name than Northern but maybe that will change now but who knows. Obviously now Northern have new trains but think back to how TPE’s trains compared to Northern’s Pacers and the many delays… TPE also have better routes in my opinion. I would say in terms of job security they would be well matched with the positions being safety critical and the costly training that goes with it.
 

Chat Moss

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I had nt considered that Bletchleyite to be honest. I was thinking that Northern might be more secure because they re government run. I thought not long back that TPE were struggling as a company or maybe that was more the parent company FirstGroup.

Both have units that are as reliably as a Rover Monteago :lol:.

I wonder if anyone on here has any insight as to what typical sign on times the have what's the earliest and latest book on/off times (non cover timetables). And an example of one of their diagrams. Uncle said at Northern turnaround times are getting shorter and break too.
 

Bletchleyite

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I had nt considered that Bletchleyite to be honest. I was thinking that Northern might be more secure because they re government run. I thought not long back that TPE were struggling as a company or maybe that was more the parent company FirstGroup.

I believe that's correct, but it's inconceivable that the service would just shut down. It didn't when a global pandemic reduced passengers to near-zero, so there aren't really many other scenarios where you'd think it would now. Give or take global thermonuclear war or something! :)
 

Emilali

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One concern I'd have with Northern is that DOO/DCO may return now it's in Government hands. TPE are very unlikely indeed to go that way.
I think you’ve got that the wrong way around personally. The new Hitachi sets TPE have are all set up for DOO already. Whereas with the amount of old trains Northern have it would take an awful lot of money to convert the stock alone. Then take into account the amount of curved or unsuitable platforms on the Northern network and it becomes a big problem.
 

charley_17/7

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Worked for both as a guard many years ago. TPE had night work at my depot, but much less demanding in terms of diagrams, changing rosters, etc. Felt more valued at TPE, but constantly back watching because high standards meant you couldn't put a foot out of place. TPE had the benefit of working with catering (albeit subcontractor it felt like a team).

More TPE depots have opened up since then so there is less "on the cushions" with the early starts. Northern felt much friendlier but had a CBA attitude most of the time, you could do as you like as long as it didn't cause trouble.
 

Watershed

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You're unlikely to have the luxury of two job offers if you're trying to get in the industry, so if you're starting out apply for all vacancies, regardless of TOC, that come up within commuting distance (45-60 mins drive) of where you live.

Once you're in it's much easier to move from one company or depot to another, although you still have to go through the application process (possibly abbreviated if you're staying in the same role) and you're by no means guaranteed anything.

The book on and off times vary significantly across each depot, but generally the big depots have earlier starts and later finishes, as well as a few overnight jobs. Northern (particularly East side, i.e. former ATN) are generally a bit less favourable in terms of allowances and conditions, and you're obviously more likely to be working stopping services, as well as older stock such as 150s or 319s.
 

ANorthernGuard

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One concern I'd have with Northern is that DOO/DCO may return now it's in Government hands. TPE are very unlikely indeed to go that way.
Unlikely for Northern to go down the DCO/DOO route for a few years, the units have proved not to be of a great Spec, We do not have the infrastructure and the majority of passengers during the strike did seem to support the Guards. With new Terms & Conditions probably by the end of the year though that may change some of the Working Conditions for the Guard (but that's a case of wait and see)
 

Chat Moss

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You're unlikely to have the luxury of two job offers if you're trying to get in the industry, so if you're starting out apply for all vacancies, regardless of TOC

Thanks that's good advice and I indeed am doing so. I was asking hypothetically if given the chance for both would one appeal more than the other??
 
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