Train Signaller - Application/School

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SignalBox

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Joined
24 Jun 2012
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34
Hello everyone,

Firstly, I've just joined this forum today so... Hello to everyone! Everyone seems friendly and some very useful information on here. I'm happy to help answer questions for anyone although i'm sure i'll be asking more information than i'll be giving!

Secondly, I have applied for a Signaller vacancy at Grade 2 and I have just passed my Assessment Centre at Level 3 (21st June 2012). Currently waiting for what I believe is an interview next.

Few questions..
Is the interview stage next for me? (Status on application is: "Application under consideration 2"
Am I right in thinking it will be structured?
What type of questions am I looking to be answering?
Also, any idea where this will be held?

How long is Signalling School? I've heard 8, 9 and 12 weeks?
Where is the school located? Leeds or Watford?
I assume it's Mon-Fri 9am-5pm roughly for learning hours?
Do you have the option to travel home Friday nights and travel back Sunday evening? If so, is this paid for?
Can you travel by car or do you have to get the train?

Many thanks in advance.
 
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Mix107

Member
Joined
23 Jun 2012
Messages
79
Hello everyone,

Firstly, I've just joined this forum today so... Hello to everyone! Everyone seems friendly and some very useful information on here. I'm happy to help answer questions for anyone although i'm sure i'll be asking more information than i'll be giving!

Secondly, I have applied for a Signaller vacancy at Grade 2 and I have just passed my Assessment Centre at Level 3 (21st June 2012). Currently waiting for what I believe is an interview next.

Few questions..
Is the interview stage next for me? (Status on application is: "Application under consideration 2"
Am I right in thinking it will be structured?
What type of questions am I looking to be answering?
Also, any idea where this will be held?

How long is Signalling School? I've heard 8, 9 and 12 weeks?
Where is the school located? Leeds or Watford?
I assume it's Mon-Fri 9am-5pm roughly for learning hours?
Do you have the option to travel home Friday nights and travel back Sunday evening? If so, is this paid for?
Can you travel by car or do you have to get the train?

Many thanks in advance.

Hi Signalbox

From my experience of the assessment and training in 2007 before I started at a grade 8 box the answers as follows:

Next stage should be box interview with the Local Operations Manager unless they've changed the process as it's all e-recruitment now. Unless they do a structured interview before if you hadn't done that at your assessment like I did.

Signalling school is 9 weeks residential Mon to Fri only (9-4) with all meals paid, train travel to/from preferable and paid, mileage at the discretion of your LOM. I did my course at Watford, although I think only Leeds is open now.

You have an assessment after 2weeks than every week, except your week out at your box half way. You must pass every assessment to continue, otherwise back to your LOM who may say no second chance. I did Absolute Block for 8 weeks and Track Circuit Block conversion for 1 week. Think the course still follows the same pattern, no matter what type of signalling your box/line has. AB pretty pointless for a big powerbox like I was in, but it is great grounding to give you the basics.

Hope that helps. Anything else, just ask!

Regards

Mix
 

warrior33

Member
Joined
31 Dec 2011
Messages
50
Hello everyone,

Firstly, I've just joined this forum today so... Hello to everyone! Everyone seems friendly and some very useful information on here. I'm happy to help answer questions for anyone although i'm sure i'll be asking more information than i'll be giving!

Secondly, I have applied for a Signaller vacancy at Grade 2 and I have just passed my Assessment Centre at Level 3 (21st June 2012). Currently waiting for what I believe is an interview next.

Few questions..
Is the interview stage next for me? (Status on application is: "Application under consideration 2"
Am I right in thinking it will be structured?
What type of questions am I looking to be answering?
Also, any idea where this will be held?

How long is Signalling School? I've heard 8, 9 and 12 weeks?
Where is the school located? Leeds or Watford?
I assume it's Mon-Fri 9am-5pm roughly for learning hours?
Do you have the option to travel home Friday nights and travel back Sunday evening? If so, is this paid for?
Can you travel by car or do you have to get the train?

Many thanks in advance.

Hello Mate,

Congrats on your pass.

The next stage for you will be to have an interview, swiftly followed by a medical.

I'm currently on the course, I can confirm that the course is 12 weeks long. The old 9 week course has now been done away with. There used to be 2x 1 week breaks during the course but that's now no longer. Just a full on 12 weeks.

The only training centre is in Leeds, the other one in Watford has been closed down. If you live far away enough you are put up in a hotel Sunday till Friday. Travel back Fridays and go up Sunday's.

The hotel I'm at does have a car park but it is not free. You have breakfast, lunch at the centre and 2 course dinner paid for and all your travel by train paid for.

Good luck for your interview!

Hole that helps.

Regards,

Warrior33
 

142094

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Which hotel do they put you in at Leeds? I know the place quite well and there are some decent and not-so-decent hotels.
 

Tomnick

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Joined
10 Jun 2005
Messages
5,486
I'm currently on the course, I can confirm that the course is 12 weeks long. The old 9 week course has now been done away with. There used to be 2x 1 week breaks during the course but that's now no longer. Just a full on 12 weeks.
That's interesting - I think I'm right to say that you still have the initial week in the box before going to the course, but you don't go back to the box until the end of the course now?
 

SignalBox

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2012
Messages
34
Hello Mate,

Congrats on your pass.

The next stage for you will be to have an interview, swiftly followed by a medical.

I'm currently on the course, I can confirm that the course is 12 weeks long. The old 9 week course has now been done away with. There used to be 2x 1 week breaks during the course but that's now no longer. Just a full on 12 weeks.

The only training centre is in Leeds, the other one in Watford has been closed down. If you live far away enough you are put up in a hotel Sunday till Friday. Travel back Fridays and go up Sunday's.

The hotel I'm at does have a car park but it is not free. You have breakfast, lunch at the centre and 2 course dinner paid for and all your travel by train paid for.

Good luck for your interview!

Hole that helps.

Regards,

Warrior33

Thank you for the in depth reply. Do you have to travel back Fri-Sun as they don't put you in a hotel?

Hope everything is going smooth for you at Signalling School! How you finding it?
 

Toots

Member
Joined
24 Oct 2009
Messages
274
Please keep in mind that depending on your aptitude it can be quite difficult,especially if you have given up a job to take up the post of Signalman because this obviously ramps up the pressure.There are periodic tests and if you do not achieve the required pass mark you will be dismissed,it was 70% but you do get a second go at the test (this may have changed),I know of two crossing keepers who came off the signalling course recently,so even with the advantage of familiarity they came unstuck,so my advice to anyone considering this as a career is to give it a lot of thought and know what you are getting into.
All that said,if you can cope with the blame culture that pervades the whole industry,Signalling is a great job,but be aware that the small boxes,which is an entirely different way of life to those of our PSB/IECC counterparts,are disappearing very quickly.
Finally if you do get an interview ,remember they are obsessed with communications,so learn and boast that you know the phonetic alphabet and the value of repeating things back.....
Good luck.
 

warrior33

Member
Joined
31 Dec 2011
Messages
50
Which hotel do they put you in at Leeds? I know the place quite well and there are some decent and not-so-decent hotels.

They put you up in the Novotel, obviously this could change but my intake and the last, are both in Novotel.

Tomnick - That is correct, I did two weeks but I've been in Network Rail for 4 years. Should have been a lot longer but I had a holiday booked! But for externals its 1 week at a min.

Instead of having the weeks at your designated box, there is a week where you spend a Monday and Friday with your LOM and another week where you spend a Monday with your LOM, that's about it for the course. The reason they stopped the weeks back was due to people coming back and learn slang and it being detremental to the learning.

Signalbox - You travel back on a Friday afternoon and then travel back up on the Sunday.

I'm finding it ok, the pace is real good. Everything is explained and all resources are used to ensure you understand. The classes are now a maximum of 6, so that means there's a lot more trainer to student time.

The pass mark of 70% is out of the window now, so there's some pressure taken off, however there are a lot of practical assessments, the paper based assessments are in-depth and not multiple choice. You are continually assessed throughout the course from Day 1.

I'm going to a NX panel box in Central London and even from the 2 weeks there I learnt a lot, forget everything you learn. It took me some time getting my head around what you learn at Leeds, as it is something you may never use if you go to an IECC centre.

Hope this helps, anything else don't be afraid to ask.

Regards,

Warrior
 

Tomnick

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Thanks - I suppose I can see how slang terms and assorted bad habits might complicate things back in the classroom, but then there's no point pretending it's an ideal world out there! Presumably the simulators compensate for it though.

Looking forward to it anyway :) .
 

Slinky

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14 Jun 2012
Messages
15
I went to Leeds school in 2008 and stayed at the jury's inn. You have to pass the exam each week to get onto the next week.
 

Toots

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274
Thanks - I suppose I can see how slang terms and assorted bad habits might complicate things back in the classroom, but then there's no point pretending it's an ideal world out there! Presumably the simulators compensate for it though.

Looking forward to it anyway :) .

So you've finally decided to join us then Tom?:shock:,I told you to that years ago!;),anyhow in answer to your post,no the simulators don't compensate for anything really,not from an AB signalling point of view anyway.The bad habits and other things you have accumilated in your time as a Hobby Bobby will easily outweigh any negatives in the form of both knowledge and especially confidence.It may be different if you are going on an NX panel,but for our stuff ,I didn't find the simulator one jot of use....
 

NorthernBloke

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17 Aug 2012
Messages
7
Hi lads I'm in a similar situation and was wondering if anyone knew the answer to the following.

Instead of staying in a hotel is their an option to have your train fair paid for each day to travel back and forth to Leeds?

I have reasons for preferring to do this (commitments etc...) so I was just wondering if anyone knew if it was an option?
 

Slinky

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14 Jun 2012
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Yes some of our class used to travel in. I think it has to be within a hour of travelling. Classes start 9.00 till 4pm.
 

NorthernBloke

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17 Aug 2012
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Yes some of our class used to travel in. I think it has to be within a hour of travelling. Classes start 9.00 till 4pm.

Cheers for the reply mate. I'm based in Newcastle, guess I'll be out of the travel radius then if it is within an hour of travel.
 

Tomnick

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I know it can be difficult to be away from home, but spending some time as a group in the evening really does help. All six in our class are staying in the hotel, so we can sit down for an hour or so after school and discuss any problems together, then eat together and perhaps have a couple of pints afterwards before going our separate ways later in the evening.
 

NorthernBloke

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17 Aug 2012
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I guess I won't have to worry about living away now. I got 76 (out of 80?) on the telephone speech test. But I got an email today from Network Rail saying my application won't be considered any further :(
 

mac

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Sorry to hear that keep trying. Did the 2 who where asking about selby and knottingley a couple of weeks ago hear anything
 
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I guess I won't have to worry about living away now. I got 76 (out of 80?) on the telephone speech test. But I got an email today from Network Rail saying my application won't be considered any further :(

dont be disheartened they work in strange ways.

i have passed the assessments to highest level standard and the comms test twice with high marks but in twelve applications never got an interview...
 

Leetommo

New Member
Joined
29 Oct 2012
Messages
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HI,
This is my first post on the forum so hello to everyone!
I have recently applied for a signaller grade 2 post. I passed the assessment questions but my application was unsucessful apparently my application was lacking buzz words in which they where looking for but HR wasnt able to give me any further feedback.

Could anyone shed any light on words to include in the application form for such buzz words?

Any help will be appriciated.

Thanks
Lee
 

WestRiding

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21 Mar 2012
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SAFETY, is the most important thing. being able to work well as part of a TEAM, both imediate and wider. Be PROUD of the railways, (in a non geaky way). RESPECT for your other potential work mates and TEAM.

PRIDE, DETERMINATION, TEAMWORK and RESPECT. These are network rails objectives and principles, link everything you say to them.

I RESPECT THE PRINCIPLE THAT EVERYONES TIME IS IMPORTANT
I WILL ALWAYS PUT SAFETY FIRST
WHAT I SAY TO BE TRUE WILL BE TRUE

You get the idea................

From a Signalman, good luck.
 

Leetommo

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Thankyou thats a great help il make sure I add these into my application in the future.

Il let you know how I get on.

Cheers.
 

rugi

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I have read on this forum and the gaurdian that the word "always" should not be used in an online applications because the software used to read the application is set to reject applications with this word. I asked someone in HR (outside the railway industry) about it and was told it is a negative word i.e. not flexible. I know the context above was fine but computers can't read sentences only individual words.
 

Slinky

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14 Jun 2012
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Sorry to say but signallers jobs are getting far and few these days. Due to the amount of boxes closing they are just moving signallers into lower grade boxes. I know there has not been a signallers course in the past couple of months and none coming up till after the new year. It may be a wait after you get accepted for a job to actually get on a course.
 

WestRiding

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if a job is advertised, there will be signalling courses. there is the internal list with enough grade 1 and 2's on it, loads in fact. so an external recruit may well join people from network rail office staff etc, going into the signalling grades.
 

Tomnick

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I can assure you that there has been a course at signalling school recently - I finished there a couple of weeks ago, and another course started not long before we finished. Not sure what's happening in the future, but there's no sign of things drying up just yet.
 
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