Wannabe Guard

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by MrGray, 30 May 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    Hey all!

    Recently the idea of quitting my current job to look for a career on the railway has been gaining more traction (I'm so sorry, that's the first and last. Promise :oops:)

    I currently work in marketing and promotions in Crawley, but I am a Norwich boy. I use the Norwich - Liverpool Street route to come back obviously and I think I'm in love with the class 90 and especially the newly upgraded 1st Class carriages. (But that's off topic)

    Looking through this site I have had quite a few of my questions answered. However, I'm still left with a few unanswered ones. They are the following:

    1) What's the salary for a Guard/Conductor working for Abellio Greater Anglia?

    2) How long does the training take for this role?

    3) How did any current/previous/new conductors go about route learning?

    4) If you gain a job with AGA which routes would you also be expected to learn and then eventually sign?

    5) Is checking tickets etc mandatory or totally left up to the discretion of the Guard?

    These are such newbie questions, but I'm struggling to find answers and this is the best place to go!

    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

    D Gray.
     
  2. E&W Lucas

    E&W Lucas Established Member

    Messages:
    1,340
    Joined:
    21 Jan 2010
    Err yes, that's pretty much what the guard is there for these days!

    You'd be better off asking where they recruit their guards from. I've a suspicion that getting any railway job in Norwich isn't going to be easy.
     
  3. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    Hi,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I thought so. It's just that i've only been checked twice when coming back from London and the train hasn't been that busy. So was just wondering. Makes sense tho.
     
  4. scott118

    scott118 Member

    Messages:
    866
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2015
    Location:
    East Anglia
    TheEdge is the man to finger. Well for info, he is for sure. He also knows people, in high places..;)
     
  5. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    Not a bad person to get in touch with then eh!

    Thank you.:p
     
  6. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

    Messages:
    3,188
    Joined:
    1 Oct 2010
    It's so refreshing to find someone who actually wants to be a guard as most people on this forum only want to be drivers.
     
  7. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    Every time that I get on a train, I love the idea of walking down the carriages, checking the tickets, speaking to people and so on. Then comes the dispatching procedures etc. I'm back to London tomorrow so I get to go through it all again. I may collar the guard on that service if there is one about and ask some questions.
     
  8. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

    Messages:
    2,729
    Joined:
    29 Nov 2012
    Location:
    Norwich
    I will not be fingered.

    Currently it is just over £24k. Commission and overtime etc can add a good few grand. If you feel like working all Sundays and free days £30k can be easily cleared.

    Somewhere in the region of 5 to 6 months.

    You spend about 3 or 4 weeks sat on trains (but not working them) observing and learning the routes before some exams.

    Assuming you are only interested in Norwich;

    • Norwich - London
      Norwich - Cambridge
      Norwich - Sheringham
      Noriwch - Lowestoft
      Norwich - Great Yarmouth (via Acle)
      Noriwch - Great Yarmouth (via Reedham)
      Lowestoft - Ipswich
      Ipswich - Felixstowe

    Expected to do it.
     
  9. 387star

    387star Established Member

    Messages:
    4,512
    Joined:
    16 Nov 2009
    It's quite possibly the best job in the world as long as you keep your nose clean

    If you want to become a driver you have access to internal adverts you won't see externally

    The job can be very hands on and you never know what could happen on your watch... A pass comm pulled could be for a whole array of reasons for example

    Norwich is somewhere I have never been but guessing routes signed would be london,sheringham,lowestoft,great yarmouth maybe over to ely and cambridge as well it is all that used to be anglia railways that has guards as most of abellio greater anglia is DOO

    East midlands trains quite possibly have a guards depot at Norwich for their liverpool trains but something tells me you wouldn't go that far!!

    That is a very low wage for guard if just around the 24k mark but then abellio seems to pay less than other tocs including driving depending what depot but perhaps better conditions??
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    5) Is checking tickets etc mandatory or totally left up to the discretion of the Guard?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2015
  10. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich

    Hi,

    Thank you for your reply.

    All of it does make sense. Obviously Norwich - London would be the ideal route, but out of Norwich I'm sure it's the most sought after one!

    At least the salary is good!

    I think if I don't see a guard about checking tickets I will have to find him and have a word or three.
     
  11. 387star

    387star Established Member

    Messages:
    4,512
    Joined:
    16 Nov 2009
    There are far more critical duties to perform also if a guard is new tickets take a backseat whilst you concentrate on the more important parts of the job
     
  12. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    If possible, could anyone outline what training is like/structured?

    Such as

    Month 1: Introduction to fares
    Month 2: Rail signals

    etc, etc, etc
     
  13. 387star

    387star Established Member

    Messages:
    4,512
    Joined:
    16 Nov 2009
    Company induction then first aid/disability awareness/fire safety /customer service

    PTS

    Then four weeks of rules and traction few days on tickets understanding timetables and railway geography another four or more weeks route learning and going out wit minder a rules exam at the end of it

    Tickets includes a long exam where you have to sell all different types of tickets
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2015
  14. scott118

    scott118 Member

    Messages:
    866
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2015
    Location:
    East Anglia
    You'll need to pass your pts/rules first. Then you'll learn routes and traction. Next you'll be assigned minders, who will educate you, how..final conductor assessments, then you'll be set free, to waft your way through the carriages, as you please, expanding your experiences and educating the public..

    Fares and advantix, are done in less than a week.
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2015
  15. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    All sounds pretty good to me. Thanks all! Any other advice or such like is much welcomed.
     
  16. 387star

    387star Established Member

    Messages:
    4,512
    Joined:
    16 Nov 2009
    You will also have to pass assessments comprising ticket checking (look carefully at the date and month) and selling (basic maths not marked down for incorrect answers and percentages worked out for you) verbal comprehension (read a paragraph and answer questions based on it) a scatt test (by far the hardest which most fail on... Marking off certain letters and symbols disregarding the others which gets progressively harder ie searching for two targets at the same time) possibly a customer service role play
     
  17. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    One thing I would probably struggle most on is the mathematics aspect really since it's never been a strong point and any maths I've had to do in my current role has all been computer aided.

    Verbal reasoning and tests like that are ok for me, I usually do pretty well.

    Something that does worry me more is the route learning aspect of it all. The time it will take, how you're tested on it etc etc. Is there sort of aid material to help with this? Diagrams etc.
     
  18. scott118

    scott118 Member

    Messages:
    866
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2015
    Location:
    East Anglia
    All you need will be given to you. Routes usually consist of which stations where, starter signals, platform locations, left or right. Blah blah. All stuff you have to know to pass your assessments.

    NRW-CBG is mostly cards. NRW-SHM (Saga line) is mostly oap's with the correct cash. NRW-LST usually are season ticket holders. You'll soon pick things up, should you be successful..
     
  19. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    Thank you.

    Norwich - London isn't really a necessary because I think I would enjoy the job all the same. Class 156's and 170's are still pretty sexy!

    What's a typical day like? How many different routes etc.
     
  20. scott118

    scott118 Member

    Messages:
    866
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2015
    Location:
    East Anglia
    depends on which link you are allocated, should you get to NRW..favourites include 05.16-14.30 or indeed, 14.20-23.39. Then there's the overnight shifts..

    Mainline is easy. NRW-LST-NRW, then away. You know yourself, how many times your ticket has been checked. Higher base pay too, as your not expected to make any money through commission. Cambridge link is where the monies at, should you want to go find it. That's why/how the 'plumb' commission jobs, end up in the local links roster. That said, it's been a while since you took over 2k a day, in ticket sales ;)
     
  21. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ooooh the tricks of the trade!

    I've got to say though that the salary seems pretty decent. Especially if you're getting commission too from any tickets that you sell.
     
  22. scott118

    scott118 Member

    Messages:
    866
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2015
    Location:
    East Anglia
    perhaps that's why so many new ticket machines are now appearing on the platforms..Thankfully, this modern technology, isn't welcomed by many in Norfolk.
     
  23. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    Must be nice to have such people keeping the advancements from taking over.

    I think it's a good career move if I decide this current one isn't for me.

    What's the job availability like? Anything look like something could be opening up soon?
     
  24. scott118

    scott118 Member

    Messages:
    866
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2015
    Location:
    East Anglia
    keep an eye out on their vacancies page, then submit when applicable.

    Good luck
     
  25. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    Thank you. And thank you for all of your help too.
     
  26. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

    Messages:
    2,729
    Joined:
    29 Nov 2012
    Location:
    Norwich
    Highly unlikely for a while. An intake is currently in training and the next intake have already got their job offers. Might be looking into late this year or early next year before the next intake.
     
  27. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    That's fine. I've got a few more months until I've been at this job for a year and if things haven't Improved by either then or even by December then it's time to look for other employment.

    If GA haven't got anything. Might be an idea to give Southern a go.
     
  28. scott118

    scott118 Member

    Messages:
    866
    Joined:
    24 Feb 2015
    Location:
    East Anglia
    EMT work out of NRW too....

    To upset the applecart - ask an EMT carriage cleaner, what the hours are, and then, what their salary is?
     
  29. MrGray

    MrGray Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    30 May 2015
    Location:
    Norwich
    Wanting really to stay with GA to be honest. I suppose if things go tits up with my job here I could always enquirer about platform staff positions until a guard role comes up. That way I'm getting rail experience etc.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page