Train driver vs. Tram driver

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martin2345uk

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Morning guys!

Just thinking about the similarities and differences between being a train driver and being a tram driver. I'm fortunate to live somewhere where I could potentially apply for both (though would probably get neither!) but wondered what peoples opinion on the roles was...

I know they are vastly different in many ways (salary included), but there must be pros and cons to each...

What do you think?

It's the Manchester Metrolink I'm mainly talking about by the way :)
 
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Mattmatt

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Neither here, nor there, but somewhere in-between!
Tram: In house Psyc tests, so could do it again & again and again! (6 month gap in between tests) Slower speeds including line of sight driving, less mileage, Driving licence needed, Unless you were moving to other cities with trams your a bit restricted in moving companies. Appears to be easier to get into tram driving.

Train:Nationally held Psyc test results you can only fail twice! and then never again. Transferable skills most TOC's will take you on with experience over off the street peeps that need training if there's vacancies. Higher salaries.

im sure theres tonnes of others, i suppose it's what your into! Metrolink currently have vacancies until the 26th.

Not much in the way of other TOC's at the moment.
 

martin2345uk

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Aye that sums it up pretty well I guess! I'm not gonna apply for anything until the end of 2012 but would definitely consider Metrolink... Will be a big network in 4 years or so, with like 6 lines and a varied mix of street running, former heavy rail alignment and segregated sections. Not sure it's THAT much easier to get into however! :-/
 

LCC106

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I have to say I am an off the streets trainee train driver. The vacancy was advertised internally and externally and I know I beat at least 4 internals. Therefore, (suppose it depends which TOC?) I can confirm that internals are not always given preferential treatment. In such a safety critical role, the TOC seems to rely on the psychometric test results to choose the more appropriate person for the role based on skills / aptitude etc.
 

Beveridges

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Another difference is much more frequent stopping on the trams than the trains, you don't seem to get more than a minute or two between stops on most of the metrolink. Also, very fast turnaround times on the trams.
 

TDK

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Morning guys!

Just thinking about the similarities and differences between being a train driver and being a tram driver. I'm fortunate to live somewhere where I could potentially apply for both (though would probably get neither!) but wondered what peoples opinion on the roles was...

I know they are vastly different in many ways (salary included), but there must be pros and cons to each...

What do you think?

It's the Manchester Metrolink I'm mainly talking about by the way :)
Money is the main difference, a train driver will earn twice as much
 

MetroDriver

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Well speaking as a Tram Driver for the last 12 years, I can say that even I would find training to be a Train Driver a completely different world from ours... One of our drivers did just that, and found it was more demanding mentally with all the rules & regs etc on Heavy Rail. He's stuck with it though, and zips around Wales, where he now lives, on local services.

The actual driving from a cab perspective isn't that different, aside from the obvious speed increases...

Not that our training is easy - we all have to meet national standards now across all tram operators in the UK, and bosses can afford to be choosy so standards are higher than some might expect.

Salary varies around the country even between Tram Operators (don't get me started on that one...lol), and Heavy Rail do earn more, sometimes much more depending on the TOC.
 

LCC106

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Manchester Metrolink is advertising a tram driver vacancy at £18,404.66 rising to £23,005.83 after probationary period. The trainee train driver positions I've seen are all around £18,500 per annum increasing to £30,000 then £43,000 (or thereabouts depending on the TOC) on successful completion of a year or 2's post qualification driving. Hope this helps.
 

TDK

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Well speaking as a Tram Driver for the last 12 years, I can say that even I would find training to be a Train Driver a completely different world from ours... One of our drivers did just that, and found it was more demanding mentally with all the rules & regs etc on Heavy Rail. He's stuck with it though, and zips around Wales, where he now lives, on local services.

The actual driving from a cab perspective isn't that different, aside from the obvious speed increases...

Not that our training is easy - we all have to meet national standards now across all tram operators in the UK, and bosses can afford to be choosy so standards are higher than some might expect.

Salary varies around the country even between Tram Operators (don't get me started on that one...lol), and Heavy Rail do earn more, sometimes much more depending on the TOC.
You may think that but it is totally different, more tonnage, longer vehicles, more passengers and higher speeds. You cannot really compare train driving to tram driving except you are on rails and so are trains
 

MetroDriver

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TDK: I am only refering to the cab perspective ie: viewpoint and the similarity of controls in modern stock using TBC's just as Trams do. Fully aware of the weight / stopping differences!
 

LCC106

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Off topic but is it possible to get a cab ride in a tram ? Ive never seen tram cab ride views for sale.
Not so sure although the Tramway Museum Society at Crich Tramway Village do sell Ultimate Driving Experience days, including a basic understanding of the tram, how it works and safety, usually 3 trips driving the tram and possibly a turn at guarding as well, with a lunch in the middle, an end of day debrief and I think a certificate to commemorate the day. OK, so this is heritage rather than modern, but hey - you asked the question :lol:
 

BestWestern

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Off topic but is it possible to get a cab ride in a tram ? Ive never seen tram cab ride views for sale.
Prior to the unfortunate 'upgrading' of the system, Blackpool Transport offered a driving experience day, and I'm fairly sure they still do now it's back up and running. It involves one of the remaining heritage cars I think, and you get to drive a good few miles. It isn't cheap but it's on my list of things to do prior to death :D
 

ex-railwayman

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Nearly all trams in the UK are of European design which means you get an unobstructed view of the cabin features and can watch exactly what the driver does during a trip by sitting up front in the passenger compartment. I took my nephew on the Nottingham tram last year, he was thoroughly engrossed by it all and I never heard a squeak out of him for over an hour, absolute bliss......:D

Cheerz. ex-railwayman.
 
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