York Signalling School

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Flush_Fraser, 11 Oct 2017.

  1. J-P

    J-P Member

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    This is a fantastic response TRain87
    For someone starting next month this is exactly what I was hoping someone would say so thanks
     
  2. JohnGannon4

    JohnGannon4 Member

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    5 Nov 2019
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    Doncaster
    Thanks, that’s a great bit of advice. I am looking forward to a start date but I have this massive fear of failure mentality at the minute and can’t stop worrying about losing the job. I know when I get started I’ll be very passionate about it, so I’ll certainly be trying my best to succeed.
     
  3. Dave 5-5-5

    Dave 5-5-5 Member

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    Grimsby
    Hi, it's a hard course, but as Tom Quinne said, if you pay attention and do the revision, it's fairly easy.

    There is a certain degree of leniency depending on your instructor. If you make a minor slip up, they'll an extra bit of test at you. I made a minor error on assessment two but as I'd demonstrated that I knew it and had done it several times, they threw an extra bit at me to check and passed. If you pass on something heavy, they reschedule you for a second go the following morning. Unless you do something that could be catastrophic in a signal box, they'll give you up to 3 goes, then discuss things with you and your manager. The written assessments are fairly straight forward. 100 marks, you have to score 60/65/70% across the three.
    The final observation is done by someone you don't know. It takes about 2 hours and mimics a shift where normal trains run and things go a little bit wrong. Could be a lost tail light, no call back from a user worked crossing, level crossing failure etc.
    That last one is pass of fail, the fail can come in several forms including a note to your manager with further training required that can be done in your box with a qualified signaller, or you may be asked to repeat a week or two. They don't really like funding someone 12 weeks of hotels, food and training to have them not come through it and I'm finding they will bend over their own backsides to help you through.
     
  4. Dave 5-5-5

    Dave 5-5-5 Member

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    Yup, agree with that, I'm here now, not fresh off the street, I have 20 years experience of signalling on heritage lines, and my biggest issue is bringing what I was taught up to date and not slipping back into the old ways. Luckily there is no one on the course who thinks they know it all and I started with a mindset I shall keep my trap shut so as not to influence the other trainees and if I have anything to discuss with the trainer about the way things were in relation to how they are now I wait until the others are out of the room.
     
  5. MylesHSG

    MylesHSG Member

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    3 Oct 2016
    I started signalling school 3 years ago with many of the same worries. Remember, if you have passed the tests and interview you are capable at passing the course. Obviously you will need to apply yourself, but you have got this far and your manager thinks you are the best person to fill that vacancy.

    You'll build up a relationship with the others on your course. You'll find yourselves doing some after class studying and simulator work. Feel free to pop me a PM if you have any other questions. Remember to try and relax at the weekends when you are home and an hour or 2 every evening is more than enough outside of the classroom.
     
  6. JohnGannon4

    JohnGannon4 Member

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    Thank you for that. That’s great to know. By the sounds of it I’ll definitely get the support I’ll need from my manager and hopefully my tutors. I’m also finding this forum really helpful. My mind has certainly been put at ease over the last few days.
     
  7. Saracen_83

    Saracen_83 Member

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    22 Oct 2017
    exactly this...

    Our tutor was very good and actually told us to go and have a life outside of school... as mentioned an hour or two an evening is more than enough...

    we were advised to do an hour or two an evening and then go an relax, see the city and at weekends be with the family.
    Which is what I did... complete my day at school, go and do some revision then go and relax, weather be go to the gym, or go and do something in town, like a ghost tour, walk the wall, see the cathedral etc, do an escape room, anything that was the opposite of signalling.... This wasn’t every night, maybe once or twice a week, but you need to relax and need to have some down time to give your mind time to process the info that you have taken in.... otherwise you’ll go mad!!!

    at weekends I spent as much time with the family as I could and used the train rides to do some extra revision....

    Most importantly, enjoy it....
     
  8. J-P

    J-P Member

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    Can anyone tell me how long before Signalling School starts you get all the info about accommodation, tickets etc?
     
  9. Dave 5-5-5

    Dave 5-5-5 Member

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    It really does vary J-P. Some of the people on my course have been employed since July, one other who has worked for NWR for a while moved to signalling and was basically told the week for. I myself, started on Monday, informed that Wednesday I was travelling to Westwood to begin training school. Bit of a surprise.
    If you're in the process, book your medical immediately wherever you can, once it's done and if a space opens, you can find yourself on the course with very little notice.
     
  10. J-P

    J-P Member

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    I've already been told I'm on the 2nd December course in York, and start employment a few days prior to that, but just wondered when they ask you where you'll be travelling from in order for them to book your tickets and book you I to a hotel etc
     
  11. Dave 5-5-5

    Dave 5-5-5 Member

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    I literally went in on the Monday, did some paperwork, then was informed I was going to Tile Hill for training. Train Tickets same day, found out hotel on the Tuesday, on the train on Wednesday.
     
  12. J-P

    J-P Member

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    Wow okay, so much for my love of preparedness
    Thanks for the answer mate, much appreciated
     
  13. Ss88

    Ss88 New Member

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    15 Nov 2019
    Location:
    Colchester
    Hi,

    As also due to start on 2nd Dec, start employment on 25th Nov. I did have to chase up to double check my joining instructions etc as I’d not had 100% confirmation of everything.

    I ended up speaking to the Hiring Manager which was the Operations Manager for the area and once spoken to it was all sorted very quickly. I have an induction up in York on 28th and 29th and train and hotel all booked for that. I’ll get further once I’ve started on the 25th I think.
     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2019
  14. J-P

    J-P Member

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    No worries I'll give them a chase up on Monday I think.
    Onboarding have already acknowledged my start date as well as my manager, I'm just worried that they'll book the tickets from the nearest station to my current address which is due to change in a few days time as I'm moving.
     
  15. MOM67

    MOM67 Member

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    6 Mar 2019
    I have met many people who are due to start at Signalling School ( I often deputise into a LOM role) and tell each of them the same things.

    1. Signalling School is NOT a competition. You do NOT get a medal for finishing first.
    2. It IS Pass/ Fail
    3. Some people will understand a topic you are discussing, some won't. Do not be afraid/ashamed/too nervous to ask for someone else's help.
    4. If you are fortunate enough to be one of those people who 'gets it' , give up your time to help the ones who don't ; next topic, it might be YOU who needs the help.
    5. You are all in it together. Signallers should be able to talk to each other ; that is how the job has worked for many, many years. As a LOM there is nothing better than hearing a Signaller ask another " Do you think it's right if I.....?"

    Get failure out of your head. You won't fail if you all work together.
     
  16. Dave 5-5-5

    Dave 5-5-5 Member

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    very good advice, I have experience from elsewhere regarding signalling so I tend to distance myself from the other students, not because I think I know it all, I know I don't, but I don't want my past activities and knowledge impacting on them. So far I'm guilty of introducing the term "Stepping Down" to the group which is no longer taught. I tend to keep my trap shut in class now and wait until break to discuss updates with the tutor because he has an interest in how things were before he started signalling. So far the only issue I've had is rearranging Obstruction Danger. I will happily discuss and offer advice to the other students if they don't fully understand something, we were having a discussion over whatsap about line blockages the other night.

    So far, out of a group of 12, 8 failed their first assessment (normal mode of signalling), on minor things, passed on their second attempt. 2 failed second assessment (obstruction danger), passed second attempt, 12/12 passed their first written assessment with above 88% marks (pass mark is 60%).

    Failure is a possibility, but it seems to be fairly rare. No one is causing any concern on our group, 12 people, 1 has old signalling experience, 1 was a driver on an unsignalled heritage railway, one who was in Rosters and 9 off the street.
     
  17. Habitat

    Habitat Member

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    17 Nov 2016
    I'm in week 3 at York.
    It's an amazing learning facility with passionate WDS.
    I look forward to meeting each of you when you start on the 2 Dec and maybe also on the Thurs/Fri before when you come over for your Babcock induction.
    Don't worry about anything, just look forward to your exciting future.
    I found these forums a great help so keep reading them and post any questions.
     
  18. JohnGannon4

    JohnGannon4 Member

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    5 Nov 2019
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Thanks for another great piece of advice. I am starting to get slightly excited about my future now. I’m a passionate person so hope my determination can get me through and then I can gradually develop into a good signaller. I suppose it’s like any new trade, learn and develop.

    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  19. Dave 5-5-5

    Dave 5-5-5 Member

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    23 Sep 2019
    Location:
    Grimsby
    I have just done the week 6 assessment. I take it you have a fortnight home in December as well for Christmas?
     
  20. JohnGannon4

    JohnGannon4 Member

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    5 Nov 2019
    Location:
    Doncaster
    Can anyone help? I’ve just got a job in Doncaster and haven’t yet had a start date for signal school. Will I be doing a TCB course (buttons) or a full lever course? Doncaster is button only so wasn’t sure what course I’d be on.
     
  21. Stodge

    Stodge Member

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    1 Feb 2019
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Someone will probably correct me as I'm away to Block school this Monday coming. But I think you do a 12 week absolute block course and then another week for track circuit block conversion training.
     
  22. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    The question was asked in two threads, I already replied to it as below.

     
  23. JohnGannon4

    JohnGannon4 Member

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    Thank you for that.
     
  24. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    The only person who can tell you for sure which you'll be doing is your LOM, so it'd be best to ask them. With you going to a box that doesn't need AB, you could do AB+TCB (13 weeks total), or just TCB (12 weeks total)
     
  25. JohnGannon4

    JohnGannon4 Member

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    Thank you. I’ll do that next week.
     
  26. Somersaults

    Somersaults New Member

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    14 Jan 2020
    Location:
    Boston
    Hi all, just joined the forum and found this thread - due to start 3rd Feb and hoping I will be told I have got York as its definitely the easiest school to travel to from here, and having been born in Yorkshire it will be a bit like a homecoming. A bit apprehensive as I am 'getting on a bit' but based on the replies above it seems the secret is to help each other thro the course, and one of my ex work colleagues completed his training at Westwood last year and said that the friends he made in the group really helped with the studying and unwinding as well. Already know I will have to do AB+TCB as the box I am training for uses both methods - so lots to learn I reckon. A new chapter beckons :)
     
  27. Somersaults

    Somersaults New Member

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    14 Jan 2020
    Location:
    Boston
    And finally confirmed by my manager today .... its York :) See anyone there who is starting on 10/02 ...... except I have now been told i am off to Westwood instead :( 2nd week on the job and will be sent to Coventry instead - LOL
     
    Last edited: 30 Jan 2020

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