What is the difference between Train Manager and Conductor

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Rebecca1234, 14 Feb 2020.

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  1. Rebecca1234

    Rebecca1234 Member

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    Not sure if the TOC makes a difference but GWR particularly.
    Also are the rumours that I’ve heard that conductors will soon be a thing of the past actually true? If so, why?
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2020
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  3. Tom Quinne

    Tom Quinne Established Member

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    Money, no other real difference - some TM grades have responsibilities for onboard crew management whilst ontrain.
     
  4. 43066

    43066 Member

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    Both generally (but not exclusively) are fancy titles for “guards” in the traditional rulebook sense. ie safety critical members of staff responsible for dispatch, amongst other things.

    One notable exception is SE HS1 “on board managers” who are not safety critical in the dispatch sense, but are still required to be present in order for the train to run.

    GTR “on board supervisors” are even further away from the traditional guard role, have no safety critical responsibilities, and are not required for the train to run.
     
  5. rob wright

    rob wright Member

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    As said both are guards. A tm works the IETs with catering staff on board.
    Conductors works the local services on the smaller trains. Though there are some tms that do both. Having said that some runs for conductors are long and complicated so neither is easier just different but basically the same.
     
  6. Intermodal

    Intermodal Member

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    As other staff have said the safety critical competencies are the same and they learn the same parts of the rulebook. Generally a Train Manager on board implies that other staff are also present, such as first class customer hosts or catering staff, who the Train Manager is responsible for.

    For example on LNER the Train Manager holds some sort of catering and food safety qualification to be able to oversee the provision of food on board, and will also receive additional training on crew resource management versus a Northern conductor who will receive neither.
     
  7. Ashley Hill

    Ashley Hill Member

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    It's also a leftover from the 1988 Trainmans concept which split guards into:-
    Trainman-freight/non revenue passenger trains.
    Conductor-old lower link passenger guards Provincial services.
    Senior Conductor-InterCity
    Come privatisation Great Western Trains renamed SCs Train Managers,whilst the Conductor grade subsequently carried on when Wessex was absorbed by FGW. Whist the old SC pay was only a few £ higher than a conductor,privatisation saw the SC pay increase significantly. This continues to be the case today with TMs. As mentioned above,at the end of the day they're all guards with broadly the same responsibilities. Don't forget,conductors also supervise the catering trolleys on the PMH services.
     
  8. Windymoors

    Windymoors Member

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    Nothing. It is in name only. Guard, Conductor, Train Manager- all the same thing, with varying levels of interest/boredom/responsibility....think only SWR and SE use 'guard' and Southern call it an OBS or something.....all the same thing
     
  9. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    Worth pointing out at Cross Country the Senior Conductors and TMs are on completely different T&C's and salaries - the SCs working the ex Central Trains Class 170 work and the TMs working the Longer distance Voyagers and HSTs.
     
  10. Tom Quinne

    Tom Quinne Established Member

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    Ex CT having much better terms, but poorer salary then their former VT poor terms but better salary colleagues.
     
  11. Windymoors

    Windymoors Member

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    Best salary I believe is down south. SWR 42K ish and Southern about the same, but I'm not sure. Don't know about TCs but I'm sure the shifts are dreadful- like all front line roles.
     
  12. TravellingPhil

    TravellingPhil Member

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    I'm sure the shifts are dreadful for some people, but those people really shouldn't persue a career in front line work on the railway.

    For me however, I like doing shift work, the hours suit my lifestyle and I get to be a Guard on the railway. Win win!
     
  13. Windymoors

    Windymoors Member

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    You can dress it up how you like, but shifts are bad news for anyone involved in them, nurses, firemen, etc. Nobody WANTS to do shifts- especially train drivers! Not only that, they are bad for your health and social life.
     
  14. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    Southern's OBS role is not equivalent to a TM or conductor or anyone else carrying out the role of "guard" as defined by the rule book. Many of them are former guards, but it's a different job.

    Fair point, but even within the industry there are degrees of awfulness around shifts. From what I've seen from other threads, the shift pattern at SWR really is awful even by railway standards - certainly far worse then then what I had to put up with when I was doing the job. I know it's a similar situation at Avanti West Coast where the TMs get a great salary but not much else. Where I worked in that role was earning about 9k a year less basic then at those other TOCs, but I also worked 6 hours a week less and had a lot more control and predictability over when I worked. And unlike at Avanti, I was guaranteed a PNB away from the train I was working!
     
  15. TravellingPhil

    TravellingPhil Member

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    I'm not dressing anything up, it suits me...and I know it suits a few of my colleagues too. But yeah, granted, there's a large number of people who hate them.

    Im training, I had to go back into a 9-5 routine for a couple of weeks...didn't really like it to be honest.
     
  16. Windymoors

    Windymoors Member

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    I'd say 99.99999% hate them- unless you've been in the job for 6 months...then you'll think it's great...
     
  17. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    I'm not sure I'd go that far - having spent the last 8 years building my life around shift work, I recently had to spend 4 months of Monday to Friday 9-5 whilst in training having moved from guard to driver. I absolutely hated it, I couldn't wait to go back on shift work and it's put me off future roles I'd previously been considering that would make me go on to 9-5.
     
  18. Windymoors

    Windymoors Member

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    All these jobs are identical- just different names - buttons in a different position- maybe you press them, maybe you don't; maybe you sell tickets, maybe you don't. The job is identical.
     
  19. TravellingPhil

    TravellingPhil Member

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    I agree to an extent, getting up at 3am or getting in a 2am can be tough, no doubt about it. And if the shifts aren't set out properly, then I agree, it can be really difficult. In my last job, the roster became progressively more and more awful and there was little recovery time from the more awkward shifts. But that was more to do with how management chose to lay out the roster rather than the shifts themselves.

    Thankfully, (and I can't speak for SWR or Avanti), I'm finding the shift pattern much better on the railway. I would never want to go back to a 9 to 5 job though.
     
  20. Windymoors

    Windymoors Member

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    They all say that to convince themselves its ok- which is understandable- I've just done a show of hands in the mess room with 34 staff from 3 different TOCs..... no votes for shiftwork..... medically, it's a disaster on your body, your love life is over and your social life is finished. Got kids? Oh well, you might see them...and most of the time- you'll be knackered and watching the clock waiting for that evening shift to start. You get money though.
     
  21. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    That statement is about as inaccurate and ill advised as your suggestion that nobody wants to work shifts.
     
  22. Windymoors

    Windymoors Member

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    Why is it ill-advised? Are you warning me about something? haha. It is probably about 98% accurate. No one in their right mind would say 'yep, I want to work from midnight to 7 this morning- I can't wait!!!' - that's not only traincrew and signallers but you go ask anyone in a bar, hotel etc- not sure what world you are living in- but go ahead- tell yourself its really good, if that helps you get through it.
     
  23. Windymoors

    Windymoors Member

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    The jobs are IDENTICAL. Much the same way as a copper in Hants does the same job as a copper in Manchester.
     
  24. FGW_DID

    FGW_DID Established Member

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    Is OBS a safety critical role? If it’s not then it’s not identical to a guard.
     
  25. JLyons

    JLyons Member

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    I don’t see why you are trying to impose your opinion on everyone, I do shifts and enjoy them, it’s a great feeling coming home whilst others are on the way to work and then having the day to yourself, then on the flip side on nights you can have a lye in and then chill in the day before going work - just seems that you’re not suited to shift work but that doesn’t put everyone in the same boat as you! There’s plenty of 9-5 office jobs about if that’s what you’d prefer!
     
  26. BloominMan

    BloominMan Member

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    Not exactly identical. That would depend on safety critical/non safety critical duties from role to role.
     
  27. 9tfrizzco

    9tfrizzco Member

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    ^ I can understand why some people might prefer shifts. Not least because 9-5 Monday-fri can feel like a long slog and shift work can mix it up a bit i.e tendency to work less days on the trot and overall feels less repetitive . Also, I think weekends off are slightly overrated and sometimes it's nice to have a day off when everywhere isn't so busy
     
  28. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    Ill advised because people like the OP come here for advice and actual information, and instead you're supplying them with arrogant rants. You can think what you like about me and "what world I'm living in" but I have to tell you in my case you're wrong - I genuinely prefer working shifts. As several others on this thread have shown out, I'm not the only one. Are we a minority? Probably. Do I enjoy all my shifts? No. But overall I much prefer it to working permanent 9-5.
     
  29. Intermodal

    Intermodal Member

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    Speak for yourself. I love working shifts and would never want to work at the same times every day. I cannot dispute that shift work is bad for health, that is a proven fact, but I can assure you I categorically want to work shifts and so do a large number of my colleagues so maybe don't make such uninformed and sweeping statements!
     
  30. 9tfrizzco

    9tfrizzco Member

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    Probably isn't that bad for your health anyway, at least not compared to other things. Even then, I imagine it's those periods of body clock adjustment and not shift work per se that take its toll. Some shift patterns are probably a lot healthier than others
     
  31. C J Snarzell

    C J Snarzell Member

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    Having worked shifts most of my working life, I can say I do prefer them to working a conventional 9-5 Monday to Friday.

    What I love the most about shifts is the flexibility to get down time for things that 9-5 people can't do. This includes taking the car in for it's MOT, booking a dental appointment, going to the doctors, doing a supermarket shop (when the place isn't packed out) or simply making sure the dog gets some vital exercise (and you do too!!!).

    I did a 9-5 job for a short time after finishing in the police and I just couldn't get used to the difference it had on my life - I found it impossible just to arrange a routine appointment to see a solicitor during office hours over deeds to my mum's house. I also found it impossible to do anything productive before or after work such as going to the gym or having a drive out somewhere.

    Many people hate working weekends - I don't mind working them as I can just take them or leave them. Working a Saturday or/& Sunday creates the bonus of being off during the week and enjoying the advantages of being able to do the things I mentioned before.

    What I will say is that I can easily do an early start and get in for 6am or do an evening shift and work through till midnight. What does kill me is nights - working through the 'witching' hour or the 'small hours' and only finishing at 7am. I struggle to sleep during the daytime and unfortunately I end up in 'autopilot' mode after a couple of nights under my belt. Earlies 'YES', afternoons 'YES', nights 'NO THANKS'.

    My current job in control is 12 hour 7-7 days or 7-7 nights. If I could work permanent days I would as the nights are really taking their toll on my body. When I first took the job I kind of forgot how bad I cope with full blown nights and sadly I've learned that I will never be fully compatible to doing them. As the current job is only on a FTC I'm already anticipating my next job won't involve nights at all.

    CJ
     
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