Yeah generally the boards with multiple safeworking systems involved, or higher amount of rail traffic/track gangs are graded higher than those with lesser workload. Which makes sense of course. With Brisbane, I know the Controllers running the city suburban trains are TC5 I believe. Whereas those who control say, the south west corridor are TC2 or TC3. Something like that. Don't quote me but I think I'm right in saying that. And you may be qualified as a TC2 but that doesn't restrict you to working TC2 boards only. You may become board competent in any board, provided you feel comfortable and management feel comfortable putting you there.Hey thereThanks very much for the reply and appreciate the info.
I was a TC4 controller at QR as recently as May before I took up a job over in Perth as a train controller. Generally it's six months of training - so learning all the rules and procedures. There are several exams over the course and the pass mark for each exam is 90 percent. Sounds scary but is in fact easy. Each safeworking exam (RCS, DTC, Staff and Ticket) has a practical component as well. Once you've completed your six months of training they put you on the board (normally the west board if you're in Townsville). Not sure what they do in Brisbane. You'll have a mentor for about 6 to 10 weeks before being assessed and then you can work on your own. That's when you'll gain your TC2 and you'll get your Cert IV (this is based on my time in Townsville Control). While you're on the board being mentored you'll be paid as a TC1 I think. But once you're on the board itself and doing it alone you'll get paid at the rate of the board. The West is a TC4 board for example, so you'll get paid TC4 rate. The only time you get paid TC2 is if you're on training and not working in a link which is TC4 or above. But as a starter you won't be doing any TC5 boards anyway. Suburban and North boards in Townsville are also TC4. Suburban is pretty easy now, especially since there is no Nickel running any more and the Zinc is done by trucks. So it's a piece of piss. North board is busy during the day with all the track gangs but the easist board in the control room of a night time. South boards are for the experienced controllers so you won't have to worry about them for at least 5 years. Once again, this is based on Townsville, not Brisbane. If you need any more information I'd love to be of assistance.
Am I right in understanding that a "board" relates to a certain section of the rail corridor that you are responsible for? The more complicated the board then determines whether its a TC2, TC3 etc?
I'm guessing that based on your experience determines what boards you can operate and that once you're solo you having TC2 boards.
The positions are in Brisbane, so I'm not sure how different things are there, but the information is very helpful in understanding how the pay grades work. The money isn't the issue as I'd be taking a pay cut for any new job that I have to learn from scratch.
How's a typical roster constructed - a few earlies, afternoons and nights?
The exams and pass rate are all good - I'm from an environment that has very similar expectations - so I'm used to having to hit the books for initial, bi-annual and annual re-certifications. Still break into a sweat at the thought of exams and skills assessments but at least it keeps you fresh.
You get paid the rate at which the board pays. The TC2 classification just means that when you're not working the board you will be getting a TC2 rate. For example, when you're on training or aren't rostered on the board. Generally, when you start out too, not being assigned to a board allows for the person rostering to put you any where they please to fill the gaps in the roster. So it can be pretty rough to begin with in terms of knowing when you're working. Generally those with a higher level than you will have first bite at the weekend work. So if there's a weekend available on a TC4 board and there's a TC4 and a TC2 available, the TC4 will pick up the weekend. However, I think if it's a TC2 board the TC2 will have first crack at it because it's their classification level and they get preference. That's how it worked in Townsville anyway.
Shifts are 8.5 hours. Starting at 4 hour intervals around the clock. So midnight, 4am, 8am, midday, 4pm, 8pm. You get half an hour break and half an hour handover time at the end of your shift. But normally the handover is completed in 5 or 10 minutes so you're getting 20 minutes for free. Once again though, I can't say with absolute certainty Brisbane follow the same roster set up as we had in Townsville. I got a friend that works in Brisbane I can ask if you want.
Have you actually secured the job yet?