I was never a CityRail guard; but here is an insight. ie Shiftwork 24/7.
I used to work on the freight trains a) train crew, then b) ground crew.
(NB: I started out on the NSW State Rail on the rail stations and had better working hours)
The train crews rosters are basically 24/7.
You work to either a roster which is marked 6-8 weeks.
or a non roster (pencil roster) which can change day by day.
Basically on the train crew rosters, there is daywork (inc very early starts),
then afternoon shifts (late morn, lunch time or mid afternoon)
and then the backshifts. Night time rostered work.
( A City Rail guard on night work maybe do shed work, preparing the trains for the dayworkers or stable or place a few trains)
Even though for example you are on daywork roster,
you starting and finishing times still vary, day by day.
eg 0617--1448. next 0532--1339, 0700-1530 and so on.
(freight train crew rosters were less comfortable with a lot of only
11 hour breaks between shifts (8 hour breaks in barracks-motels)
On my first time on the freight train crew (in my 20's then)
a lot of young married (or defacto) men about the same age as me,
were having diffuclties with their spouses & partners together with their young families.
I ended up leaving the NSW Rail (freight) because of the constant variable & intenerant shift work. (my weekend social life wrecked)
Sure, its a good job, (esp if you like/love trains/railways)
but a lot of people get constantly tired/stressed out from the shift work.
(like being married to the job!)
Without being a "downer"--but more of a caution
they say shift workers are on top % of the divorcees (many industries)
but Train Crews in Aust. have a big percentage of it (both passenger & freight train crews)
I did come back the 2nd stint as Freight train ground crew,
with better rosters and same start & finishing times for the week.
(Morning and afternoon shifts & occasional night work)
Well; c23gooey (& others)
I hope it may show a bit of light on the subject.
A lot of train crews like or love the job.
They have accepted the shift work
and their family or social life have accepted it.
Some like the varied hours and different locations and trains they work.
All people are different.
It's a like a job to try out,
and leave it if does not work out.
to the rail stations or admin jobs at RailCorp-CityRail)