What does training actually involve ?

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Bucko, 9 Jun 2015.

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  1. Bucko

    Bucko Member

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    been reading on here - and hoping to join - many people who have been successful in applying to be a trainee train driver.

    But what does training actually consist of?

    The first few mths are in a classroom I was told..... how many tests do you take, whats the subject matter, is there homework, how similar to the assessment days is it? How many people "fail" and lose the job?

    Just general info reqd really if anyone can help

    Cheers
     
  2. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    the first few months are classroom based going from learning about the company to booking on duty to railway rules and regulations! the amount of exams you take there are very much dependent on the company and their training programme.

    we had lots of homework which involved writing hundreds of thousands of words i kid you not. you may have lots of simulator work as a lot of our training course did.

    completely different to the assessment days, not as intense and in your face but you are there to learn at the end of the day and there is a hell of a lot to take in so you have to be switched on.

    don't know exact numbers in terms of people failing or losing their jobs but the toc do try their hardest to help students that are struggling in certain aspects of their training and don't get rid of people on a whim! you are an investment remember!......however that is not to say they will carry any baggage you do have to hit the required standards!......everyone will have areas of training that they are stronger or weaker on......for example i took to rules quite well but traction was my weakest area.

    you get out what you put in though.
     
  3. Liddybird

    Liddybird Member

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    Are you allowed annual leave during the training or are there set terms similar to the school education system?
     
  4. Bucko

    Bucko Member

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    cheers red2005 really helpful info thanks
     
  5. greatkingrat

    greatkingrat Established Member

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    There will be annual leave weeks built into the training schedule, so everyone on the course will normally be off at the same time.
     
  6. Liddybird

    Liddybird Member

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    thank you for the heads up. That's good to know
     
  7. Pepperami

    Pepperami Member

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    Ours is Classroom based, no simulator involved at all, but the rules is quite a heavy subject, although it is intermixed with actual front end turns (Going out with a driver in the front cab) and doing his actual shift with him, which is fantastic as you start to see what you've been learning about in the classroom put into the real world of train driving, and it really is (well it was for me) a fantastic way to see the different railway signs, temporary speed restrictions and how the are set up in the way of marker boards and track equipment, and then to go back, learn some more, and again see different things it really is brilliant!!!

    Failure, I think I heard a quote from a trainer which said out of every 7 trainee drivers, two will fail, either due to them not wanting to do it any more because they cannot keep up with the work load, or the shift patterns (Why they make you do front end turns to see if your able to do varied and demanding shift work!!) or because the trainers fail them because they cannot retain the knowledge they have learnt about or they simply aren't up to the job for whatever reasons.

    Holidays well yes some TOCs I am sure build them into the training, I personally took the chance and saw my DTM (Driver Training Manager) and asked if I could sort out a trainer as I knew when my classroom based training ended, and I now know when my trainer is off so I will mirror his holiday pattern so I do not lose any training time

    For me personally (and this is personal choice) I knew full well before I started how important this was to me, and so did my family, and I made the decision not to have any holiday arrangements once I knew I had a start date, so I could have a clear run, no breaks, and do what was required of me, the job to me is extremely important, I got to the actual start of training, and I look at the people who have tried so hard and didn't make it, and think "that could have been me" so my priority is with the job, the holiday will come when it gets here :) (you have every weekend off when classroom based so that's nice lol)

    Assessments at the end of every week, covering what you have learnt that week, plus some curveball questions from previous weeks, to keep you on your toes, then a final rules exam before you then start learning about the traction (What units you will be driving) and its the same process again, every week an assessment, followed by a final traction exam, then some practical handling to put into practice what you've hopefully learnt :)

    Yes, its hard, yes there is homework, you will only get out of the training what you put in, some people I am sure think you can get by with just classroom learning.... well maybe some do, but you have to read things you've already done, previous topics, because when traction comes, then you start applying some of the rules based stuff to traction, so it all starts marrying together

    Sorry... long winded lol, but I am enthusiastic because I love doing what I am doing, and learning the stuff I am learning, for me, challenging, very challenging, I am not as young as most new recruits, the last time I took exams was when I left school in 1980 lol so its a shock, but worth every minute, and I wouldn't change it for the world :)
     
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2015
  8. tlionhart

    tlionhart Member

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    Pepperarami has pretty much summed it up. In regards to homework and assessments, what they are and how it's conducted is dependant of the trainer.
    So you may have all your exams on Monday morning, or Friday or a few scattered in the week. Homework can be to read a case study, read a module from the rule book or tips on defensive driving or lifestyle.

    Pepperami has a good attitude and I also follow the same principle. It's a tough job to get and easy to loose.
    In terms of fail rates, 1 a course won't make it...plethora of reasons. Family issues, overwhelmed by classroom routine, just not for them, the stresses of early starts and tough exams. Constant revising and non-existent social life/cancelled plans. In comparison it's like a marathon. Many finish the race, the few don't make it...
    In hindsight the physcometric tests is the easiest part...
     
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2015
  9. l0c0m0t1ve

    l0c0m0t1ve Member

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    I couldn't agree more. I think you have to have a certain level of commitment and discipline. The way I see it is, who needs a social life anyway? :D
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I think that's exactly the right attitude to have. I don't see the point of going through the whole selection process then turn up at the training centre and not put the effort in.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    They changed mine slightly so instead of going straight into rules after the PTS stuff we are doing the three weeks of front end turns then starting the rules.
     
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