Trainee Driver - Starting a YouTube Channel

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Hi everyone, I hope you're all well?

I have not long started training as a Mainline Driver (still in the classroom and have recently passed the PTS module) so am very new to the Railway.

I was thinking of starting a YouTube channel in my spare time to talk about my 'journey' through training and what people can expect from the experience. Looking online, there isn't a whole lot of specific content available in this regard - everything I've watched is more anecdotal or the content isn't relevant anymore so I was thinking it would be nice to share what I am learning AS I'm learning it.

Do you think this is a good idea?

Of course, I'd also answer questions from viewers and talk about the application, tests, interviews and medical parts of it too.

I'd love your feedback on it and even a name suggestion for the channel would be great too!

Cheers,

Scott.
 
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class373

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I think it’s a good idea, thought about doing it however I wouldn’t mention your employer. If you do find out what the social media policy is.
 

DriverEight

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There was a very good channel run by a guy called Don Coffey. He recently stopped making content as TOCs complained people were using his videos for route learning. My inclination would be to avoid something like this, because the last thing you want to do is to antagonise your employer at such an early stage in your career
 

scotraildriver

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Check your company social media policy and remember you won't be able to use a phone or camera anywhere on or near the line, in the training school and certainly not in the cab, so not sure how much useful footage you could realistically get.
 
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Thanks everyone for your replies so far.

I certainly wouldn't be mentioning my employer by name. The videos would mostly be me talking to camera about what I've learned and what people can expect from the training course and process with the occasional Q & A so no footage/photos of in the cab, on or near the line etc.

It's very much just an ideas stage at the moment but wanted to put the feelers out.
 

scouseyb123

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I’d probably use your spare time to be revising about the role as there’s lots of homework, rather than producing, editing and uploading videos.
 

Jlob2804

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Sounds like a good idea and would spark the interest of a lot of people. Just really understand your social media policy, as others have said. Maybe ask a senior trainer or manager what they think. If you don't breach that, there's no problem and, in my opinion it would be a fun and very useful thing to do for people in your spare time .
 

ArchangelA

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Brilliant idea, but like the others have said get permission first. If I were you, I'd try and sell it to your management on the basis of how much positive press they could get on social media, which in turn may make them look good. If it's anywhere like where I work they'll either love it or hate it, and maybe even steal your thunder if it all goes well haha...or not. Good luck.
 

JohnChuchu

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A lot of things on the channel can be used against you. You can easily bring the company's name into disrepute without knowing as you are still learning the job

you can create wrong perceptions about the company attitude towards safety, training quality etc
 

LCC106

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Sounds great in principle but a lot of train crew are being disciplined and some have been dismissed due to contravening social media policies. So hard to get the job and so easy to lose. I agree your time may be best spent revising. Also consider changing your username on here to something less identifiable so you don’t fall foul of something innocently in future and losing your job. Sad but true.
 

Economist

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I believe some of the original people to do their own videos about a training process were the student pilots working towards their commercial pilot licences and ratings. These people tended to study at one of the "big three" integrated flying training schools, where the training was expensive and the training schools were very focused on marketing. The training schools saw "sharing the dream" as an effective marketing opportunity and the encouraged the students to create and post these videos.

The railway is a very different world and whilst the train companies do try and market the driving roles to a wide audience, they don't reslly need to. As you'll know, it's a very competitive selection process and thousands apply for a very limited number of roles.

The training gets a lot more intense after PTS and publicising your journey will only put a lot of pressure on yourself. If you don't achieve your desired results, the entire internet will see your difficulties, rather than just your colleagues and friends.
 
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Thank you everyone for your input. I've weighed it all up and have decided not to start the channel, at least for now. Maybe in time (I.e, once I'm settled in the role) I'll look into it more and maybe give it a go.
 

PudseyBearHST

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Thank you everyone for your input. I've weighed it all up and have decided not to start the channel, at least for now. Maybe in time (I.e, once I'm settled in the role) I'll look into it more and maybe give it a go.
That’s a sensible decision. I know a lot of people particular outside the industry would love to see something like this but at the end of the day, your sole focus should be on training.
 

LCC106

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Nothing to stop you writing a couple of paragraphs each evening as a reflection for your own reference. You may then decide to do something with it later.
 

Darandio

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There was a very good channel run by a guy called Don Coffey. He recently stopped making content as TOCs complained people were using his videos for route learning. My inclination would be to avoid something like this, because the last thing you want to do is to antagonise your employer at such an early stage in your career

Except he didn't stop and is still adding videos. There is a detailed thread here somewhere with more information about why he initially stopped and then continued.
 

StaffsPM1

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I kept a blog but if I shared anything even remotely operational or to do with the TOC they got fed up so I stopped updating it.

Most social media policies don't let you do anything, my current TOCs one is iron clad, and if you say anything that they don't like and someone can work out you work for them, they will (and have recently) sack you. Sorry to be a downer, as I enjoyed writing my blog and others enjoyed reading it, but it isn't worth losing the role you worked so hard to get!
 

Tom Quinne

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There was a blog back in the early 2000s from a chap called “ONETrainee” he worked for National Express ONE TOC as a trainee driver, time has moved on since then however. I personally think any blog or youtube channel could fall foul of the companies social media policy, or find you don’t give 100% of concentration on the course. It’s hard enough as is without the extra hassle of blogging or doing videos.

Also you’ll find there is ALWAYS people who there who will try their very best to get you into trouble not matter how in line with the rules you are, it only takes someone putting a complaint into your company to cause your line manger to ”suggest” you knock it on the head, even if theyve cleared it officially.

Just concentrate on your new career mate, all the best.
 

OldNick

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There was a guy driving in Kent who has/had a channel that answered a lot of questions with vids like "Top 10 things I love/hate about being a train driver". He had to start putting disclaimers on screen about everything he said being purely his opinion and was not a reflection of his employer's view etc etc.

Probably a can of worms!
 

JH9

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There was a guy driving in Kent who has/had a channel that answered a lot of questions with vids like "Top 10 things I love/hate about being a train driver". He had to start putting disclaimers on screen about everything he said being purely his opinion and was not a reflection of his employer's view etc etc.

Probably a can of worms!
I think he was called DadRail?
 

Dragon Breath

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Have you thought about doing a Podcast? They seem to be gaining popularity lately and are a good medium for vocalising experiences.

A Podcast might be a better option if you are not able to do any videos of driving, but just want to talk about life as a trainee and beyond.

Like everyone has said, good to have a chat with someone in the company first to see if you would be breaching social media policy.
 

FastTrax

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maybe u can keep a video diary and upload it once u r trained and qualified...this is to avoid your TOC think u r spending time teaching others when u should be learning yourself....i do believe your video diary will help a lot of guys down the line if and whenever you make it happen. thanks
 

Muse29

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I follow a handful of drivers etc.. on social media and hadn't thought about the risks involved especially as many take pictures of their sets so clearly identifying who they work for.

One guy even did a brilliant instagram story of a "day in the life" showcasing his diagrams/workbooks/kit and even some safety checks and processes on the train (obviously nothing of him actually driving) - he also posts loads of pictures of his trains sat at stations.

It's a great feed but as others have said, opens himself up to all manner of issues that other "anonymous" drivers wouldn't have. I certainly wouldn't find it worth my bother!
 

Tom Quinne

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I follow a handful of drivers etc.. on social media and hadn't thought about the risks involved especially as many take pictures of their sets so clearly identifying who they work for.

One guy even did a brilliant instagram story of a "day in the life" showcasing his diagrams/workbooks/kit and even some safety checks and processes on the train (obviously nothing of him actually driving) - he also posts loads of pictures of his trains sat at stations.

It's a great feed but as others have said, opens himself up to all manner of issues that other "anonymous" drivers wouldn't have. I certainly wouldn't find it worth my bother!

Problem is IF there is an incident RAIB, RSSB and their operator will be all over the drivers social media to see if there is anything that could be considered a contributing factor in the incident.

The run through, and collision a Bromsgrove is an example of who we all know that particular driver is separated from his partner, and he was worried about child care issues prior to the collision. The RAIB took his phone records, whether they can access your private accounts I don’t know, but company issue equipment they definitely can.
 
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