Careers with trains

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The Flying Kipper
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Careers with trains

Postby The Flying Kipper » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:16 pm

Just a typical dream before I roll into bed after a really rough day at work but...

Are there any jobs in the rail industry that someone that works customer service / computer technician could conceivably do, or at 30 years old am I stuck in my career choice for life?
I don't fancy sitting behind the desk getting customers moaning about the price though, I practically do that already!!

Too rarely to ask (although If I see them again I will) we get these workers from network rail come into work and they all seem to be in good spirits, I watch all these programs etc with the network rail workers out on the tracks getting fresh air and seemingly content with their jobs and I fancy a bit of that!

I know this is probably all "the grass is greener" but I do think that I'd really rather be working on the railways one way or another.

The network rail site is a bit of a minefield of civil engineers etc etc, I am quite happy grafting and working my way up, but being no spring chicken in the eyes of the job market it might be too late for a change of career.
I'm from south London if that is relevant, as the north seems better for this sort of thing for some reason. (engineering heritage perhaps? )

I'm not sure if this is a little too off topic really - so feel free to remove mods if required :)
Then there was trouble...

numbnuts846
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby numbnuts846 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:23 pm

Try railchat forum. Its very good and we on the full size will always help out somebody to come amd join. Ive been on for 15 years now and im only 33. Im a guard at the moment but hoping to go driving. whats your location
After 23 year gap i am back in the hobby i love and my son of 20 months is following in my foot steps

senorsenales
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby senorsenales » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:50 am

Lots of things to consider, and to make the right choice because there is very little hopping about from place to place or company to company like there used to be with BR.

Consider your particular interests in railways and pursue those if you want to because if you enjoy going to work, it doesn't become a job anymore, its an extension of your hobby, and you are getting paid for it !

Ask about in the industry and you might be surprized by the variety of skills and backgrounds that staff have. I was continually surprized by the work experience of my colleagues over the twenty years I had on the railway.

Age is not a problem, I joined the railways at the age of forty five after retiring from another job, and achieved a lifetimes ambition to become a signaller at the age of fifty seven.

Loved every minute of it, and having been a rail fan since I was in a pram my wife said she had never seen me happier than when I was working on the railway.

Railchat is a good forum run by railwaymen and you will get honest opinions, and some good banter as well !

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TK421
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby TK421 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:53 am

I went from painter and decorator to crossing keeper to singnaller, so you don't need a masters degree in the history and engineering of the railway (although have been told it helps :wink: )

As for age that dosen't matter, it's the medical side they're more concerned about. It can be tough getting your foot in the door but once your in there's a world of oppurtunity. Be persistent it took me 4 years and countless applications before I got in.

Also the NR website is bit of a minefeild so try the RMT website which also lists current NR vacancies.
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numbnuts846
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby numbnuts846 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:43 am

So far we have a bobby and a clippy. What other railway staff do we have on here
After 23 year gap i am back in the hobby i love and my son of 20 months is following in my foot steps

b308
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby b308 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:33 pm

Clippy?!! Cheeky s*d, they are on buses not trains... Our responsibilities are way beyond what any clippy would do! :lol:

hiffano
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby hiffano » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:42 pm

Virgin platform walkers are on surprisingly good pay, or at least the on I applied for was, didn't even get an interview. Bit depressing when i see some of the unkempt uselsss slobs that already do the jobs!
mrs H's mates son just started an apprenticeship on the pway gang, he's only done it for a week and is chuffed to bits
Whoo, new job... big pay cut... but new job! yay

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hairyhandedfool
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby hairyhandedfool » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:01 pm

The Flying Kipper wrote:....Are there any jobs in the rail industry that someone that works customer service / computer technician could conceivably do, or at 30 years old am I stuck in my career choice for life?....


At thirty? Seriously, you have your whole life ahead of you (atleast that's what they tell me!....), it's never to late to be committed to....I mean, join the railway family. There is a large part of customer service stuff on the Train Company side of the railway, not so much for Network rail, though I imagine they have an equal or greater use for IT people.

The Flying Kipper wrote:....I don't fancy sitting behind the desk getting customers moaning about the price though, I practically do that already!!....


I used to work at a central London station and yes you can get some very frustrated people, but they are not all bad and having the right mindset can be a great help in those situations. That said, I'm much happier in the north now.

The Flying Kipper wrote:....Too rarely to ask (although If I see them again I will) we get these workers from network rail come into work and they all seem to be in good spirits, I watch all these programs etc with the network rail workers out on the tracks getting fresh air and seemingly content with their jobs and I fancy a bit of that!....


There are some truly wonderful characters on the railway, from drivers to guards to station and infrastructure staff, but you also get some miserable bas......erm...people too.

The Flying Kipper wrote:....I know this is probably all "the grass is greener" but I do think that I'd really rather be working on the railways one way or another....


There is always a 'grass is greener' issue, that's part of life, we all strive for something better at some point, what really matters is if we are happy with what we have.

The Flying Kipper wrote:....The network rail site is a bit of a minefield of civil engineers etc etc, I am quite happy grafting and working my way up, but being no spring chicken in the eyes of the job market it might be too late for a change of career....


If you were in your fifties then it might be a smidgen late to change careers, but in your thirties is as good a time as any to change career path. Jobs with train companies can be found on the relevant train company websites.

numbnuts846 wrote:So far we have a bobby and a clippy. What other railway staff do we have on here


Back in the day I might have been classed as a station master but as we don't get that sort of grand title these days so I guess 'rip off merchant' is how the general public would see me :D .....
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b308
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby b308 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:40 pm

One thing to bear in mind is that new entrants to Network Rail do not get any rail passes, nor do any of the freight companies... If you regard discounted and free travel over here and in Europe as a key part of the package you need to apply to one of the TOCs.

As to the moaning passengers, unless you work in the back office or as a signalman or driver they are part of our daily life, though there are far more nice passengers who make up for them!

beeman
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby beeman » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:57 pm

with the network rail workers out on the tracks getting fresh air and seemingly content with their jobs and I fancy a bit of that!
, That sounds fine but what when its howling and blowing,, the rain lashing down or snowing,did you see the track gangs during the floods trying to keep things running, little chance of an 8 hour day then. the job 'has to go on'. Been there as a Fork lift service engineer, often wishing then for a nice warm factory. Can't have it all all of the time. Beeman.
You wo'nt find you 'CAN' unless you 'TRY'.

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The Flying Kipper
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby The Flying Kipper » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:41 pm

Wow what a response!

I'll try to do a general cover-all post to respond to everyone...

I know that 30 isn't old per say, but all the entry level positions etc are aimed at people coming directly from uni.

I have a degree and 13 years or so customer service experience along side full home user computer ... err trouble solver I guess, not really I.T so to speak, as I don't deal with servers, corporate networks etc, but anything that a home user would use I'm all over and completely capable with, basically hardware or software broken I can fix it :D

I also have a team of people that I manage working for me, I just can't shake the feeling that I'd be happier on the railways!

YOU CAN IGNORE THE BOLD WRITING, it's just there to give you an idea of my musings before I start making conclusions :D

The trouble is I guess is that I don't really know what I want to do, but I think trains feature in there somewhere :)
I really don't fancy working in the ticket office/customer service desk as It's a large part of my current job and it wouldn't really feel much different I don't think :shock: I suppose I don't really know what I want to do which is the number one problem, but that's because I don't really know what jobs are available, I'd personally love something where you are working outside, or just feel like you are taking part in something.

One of those people off of the telly that stares at them there blinking lights on those big screens would be good too :P (lets call them train traffic control for now! )

I've worked with the public for all of my working life so I completely understand that people make or break how good your day is, so I'm not naive in that sense, I just don't want to work customer service really, hence the network rail ponderings. The idea of being in a small team, going out there and sorting a problem appeals greatly, as does being responsible for something along the lines of train maintainer or cleaning crew of course driving a train is a dream but I'd really be happy doing most of the jobs of the railway I guess.



.... MID SENTENCE LIGHT BULB MOMENT....

I want a "behind the scenes, running of the railway job", I don't care if it's shift work and long hours all over the 365 days of the year, but I DO fancy something to do with the running of the railway, whether that be behind a desk or physically out there with a hi-vis and a hard hat, but I'm clueless as to where to even start, including what these sorts of jobs are called and even if they exist! (though logic dictates that they do, I've yet to see anything similar online).


My problem is that I don't really know where to begin, all the websites that I've looked at (yes only websites so that might be the problem) all have starting jobs of circa £30,000 where you need to have been in the industry for x number of years, I need to write down a list I guess of the sort of entry jobs that exist and try to establish what the names of these jobs are, at least that would be a start!
Then there was trouble...

numbnuts846
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby numbnuts846 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:44 pm

b308 wrote:Clippy?!! Cheeky s*d, they are on buses not trains... Our responsibilities are way beyond what any clippy would do! :lol:

My old depot had a yorkshire man who called us guards clippys...
I rather like the term tailend gunner. ...
After 23 year gap i am back in the hobby i love and my son of 20 months is following in my foot steps

numbnuts846
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:15 pm
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby numbnuts846 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:56 pm

Ok lets go. I started off cleaning part time in 1997 being made full time in 1998 on the platform and became a guard in 2005, i have also in the time been to the national rail awards in london to collect a prize for the station i worked at ( the only time i have worn a dinner jacket).

I have loved every minute of my time. But we also have some muppets as well. Having been chased by a passenger trying to smash my head in with a hammer to getting death letters through my door from a passenger with mental health problems.. i say apply for everything you can always so no
After 23 year gap i am back in the hobby i love and my son of 20 months is following in my foot steps

lezjez
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby lezjez » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:44 pm

I've been in the industry 10 years, working behind the scenes on the rolling stock and enjoy it. I had the pleasure of spending a day at my local station recently during some disruption which meant I couldn't get to work. I decided to help out the station staff to get people moving onto buses and the revised train service, and really enjoyed it. If you want to do front line customer service you need to work for a train operating company at a station, or Network Rail at one of the major stations.

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amsie
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Re: Careers with trains

Postby amsie » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:12 am

Good luck with your change of career.

I used to love working on the railways, started on P-Way then got into Bridge Examiners dept before becomming a TO. left around 95 when we got made redundant. Since then i've had an IT career, my own business and im now self employed.

At the age of 40 i've been thinking about returning to the railways, I still have a lot of contacts on them including my dad who got me the job in the first place when I was 18.


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