What did you do before becoming a Train Driver?

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srich82

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Calling all Train Drivers. I'd be interested to hear some of your back stories that led to you becoming a Train Driver. What did you do for work beforehand and what led you to become a Driver?
 
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dk1

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Pot man in my parents pub from aged 11-16. Bagging cement briefly after leaving school then joined the railway. Since 1984 it's been...

...Messenger, Box Lad, Carriage cleaner, crossing keeper, Signalman (3 locations), Train announcer, Roster Clerk, Depot Shift Production Assistant, Booking Clerk, Depot Driver (until getting my drivers ticket in 2000).

Reason for applying for driver was purely based on money & job security.
 
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Layaboutlarry

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30 Jan 2013
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Previously a postman in London with no prior knowledge of the railway and moved around 150miles for the job.

No regrets.
 

scott118

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24 Feb 2015
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Left school, and spent 2 years at college, training to be a motor mechanic. Having finished and completing my course, i was caught, with having too many qualifications on paper, and also now, being too old for an apprenticeship/YTS. Unable to find regular employment, i took a job with BT, as a telephony engineer, as it was, a job for life. Ten years ago, whilst having a mid life crisis, and no wish to be stood in rat urine filled manholes, nor wanting to be climbing telegraph poles in the middle of winter, i was looking to make a career change. Whilst booking tickets online, i saw a vacancy, applied, and that is as they say, all she wrote...
 

922011

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6 May 2016
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Electrician-currently firefighter (15 years) trainee train driver as from next month and can't wait!
 

RefLeaf92

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27 Apr 2016
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I see a theme developing here. Ex emergency services and forces personnel tend to become train drivers. I was awaiting a start date from Merseyside Police and it still hasn't come along. Im also thinking that maybe being 23 is too young to be a driver seeing as I didn't get past shortlisting with Arriva Trains Wales.
 

misschoochoo

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After completing my psychology degree I ended up being cabin crew for major airlines for several years then I moved over to corporate jets, I've just passed my assessment with northern rail for trainee driver and waiting to be allocated a course
 

Economist

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23 is on the young side, though there are other people on here who have gotten in recently in their early twenties. I'm early/mid twenties and got shortlisted and passed all of the aptitude tests last year. Not so good at Driver Manager Interviews but that is a different story.

There are quite a few things you can get involved in during your spare time which can really help, Special Constable, RNLI, St John's Ambulance etc. Personally I'm involved in aviation in my spare time, not because I wanted to get into train driving but because I just love flying. It has really has helped out with the application forms etc.
 

RBSN

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14 Jul 2014
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I'm a litho printer and hoping to become one of the trainees at Leeds this year! I was interviewed by two ex-printers, randomly :D
 

Trico382

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30 Jan 2016
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I see a theme developing here. Ex emergency services and forces personnel tend to become train drivers. I was awaiting a start date from Merseyside Police and it still hasn't come along. Im also thinking that maybe being 23 is too young to be a driver seeing as I didn't get past shortlisting with Arriva Trains Wales.

I have been a bobby in Merseyside Police for 10 years and trying to make the transition into train driving. I have passed all stages (apart from the medical which haven't had yet) and awaiting a course in a talent pool
 

RPM

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Ticket office clerk, retail duty manager, station manager then driver. Reasons for going for driving job: always fancied it, change of circumstances (inherited a young family + baby on the way, so wanted a job I could leave behind when I wasn't at work), much better money. 13 years later, I still say going for driving was the best move I ever made.
 

srich82

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16 May 2016
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29
Please don't see that theme as anything near the norm.

I won't, I can just see that if I was looking for someone with the qualities of a train driver I can see why the experiences discussed in this thread would be useful.

It puts me in a bit of a quandary. Since finishing Uni, I haven't really done much other than work in Customer Services and play a lot of sports. I've been researching careers and believe I would make an excellent train driver, but it's hard to demonstrate that with my experience.

I've received a lot of useful advice on here, a lot of people have said not to worry too much about experience, but I'm wondering what else I could be doing to help improve my future applications.
 

ComUtoR

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In all honesty I'd say pretty much nothing. There some common advice running on this forum that getting some relevant experience and some railways experience before applying for a Train Driver job may be beneficial. In my experience, just apply. The whole application process is the same for whoever and whatever your background is. The only time you may have an advantage is either through internal application and at interview stage. However, in those it is more about life experience than career background.

Don't hesitate, just apply.
 

srich82

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Joined
16 May 2016
Messages
29
In all honesty I'd say pretty much nothing. There some common advice running on this forum that getting some relevant experience and some railways experience before applying for a Train Driver job may be beneficial. In my experience, just apply. The whole application process is the same for whoever and whatever your background is. The only time you may have an advantage is either through internal application and at interview stage. However, in those it is more about life experience than career background.

Don't hesitate, just apply.

Thanks for the advice. I'm certainly not hesitating to apply for jobs as they become available, I just want to make sure I'm demonstrating my skills in the best possible way.

I think of it like getting a degree to improve employment prospects. Getting a degree doesn't necessarily make you any better at a job, but employers see it as a demonstration of ability.
 

Gemz91

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1 Feb 2013
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College, Leeds United ticket office, Light Bulb Factory, Kitchen Manager, On Board Customer Host, Guard, Driver.
 

russmcp

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22 May 2011
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Retail, care work, radio & tv industry, policing, train driver.

Very much enjoying work life balance, apart from those real pesky early shifts. No one likes getting up at 2.30 AM!
 

sirles

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25 Jul 2013
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School-- traction trainee--secondman--driver !

30 years later I'm still here and very happy (that's unless I'm doing a 3am start)
 
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School - A Levels - Uni (2 months before I left, what a rip off) - Farm hand for my Dad (+Special constable) - Conductor - Who knows?
 

Bun

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19 Feb 2013
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School....Uni....Retail Manager.....Market Trader....Warehouse Manager...Forklift Driver....Incineration plant operator.....Nuclear power station worker....Trainee train driver !!!!
I was 43 when I got in and absolutely loving it after an unusual career path
 
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