City RailCorp Trainee Guards Sept 09

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BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
Most people already know about the NSW RailCorp website.

Here is another batch of Trainee Train Guards.

http://www.railcorp.info/careers/positions_available

Best of Luck!!

It is very competitive.
 
oren Junior Train Controller

Location: OSCAR set H1
Whats the minimum age to be a guard?

I'm 17 right now... Can I apply now or do I have to wait till I'm 18 or 21?
 
BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
You must be a min. age of 18;

Check the RailCorp Career ad.
Trainee Train Guard
(bottom of the page)
 
c23gooey Beginner

i really want to be a train driver

is it a good idea to go for the train guard position and then go for train driver?

or should i wait till they advertise for train driver positions?


how long do you need to be a train guard for before you can apply to be a driver?


thanks in advance
 
red7489 Junior Train Controller

You have to be a guard to driver you need a minimum of 8 months.    This is directly from their website of  the position that that have available now for guard to driver school.


*  you must have at least 8 months post training experience before an offer can be made.
* Current Guards who have between 8 to 16 months experience are required to demonstrate their competence at Certificate III Level in Rail Transport and Distribution (Rail Operations) through a workplace assessment process.

Being a driver is very demanding in the sense that you have to be alert all the time, watching customers of Cityrail doing silly things in front of you like the potential to hit someone is a reality etc,  reading signals etc and fixing some faults on the train unlike the guard who can switch off between station as such if it is a long run in between station.  The shifts are not very good if you want to plan anything when you are on the relief lines as you only know what you are doing for that fortnight only and when the next roster comes out you maybe covering a line for a while and then you will go back. Irregular hours as well. You have no say in it and if you do not like the shifts or they clash you will have to find someone to swap with. This is the reality when you come out of training and you do not have much of a say in training either.  This could be the situation for years to come.
 
c23gooey Beginner

thanks for the info red

the roster / shift work thing is the biggest roadblock (red signal?) to applying for this role. especially since i have a young family (my son is 12 weeks old).

are there any CR Guards reading this? can you give me a hint of what the job is like? has it affected your family / personal life?
 
BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
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.

Good Luck.!! Smile

PS:
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. Rolling Eyes
(or tranfer Idea  to the rail stations or admin jobs at RailCorp-CityRail)
 
red7489 Junior Train Controller

Being a driver and I have talked to other guards and from what I have been told it is very similar when you first start out.  As a guard you can be working up to a 10 hour shift while at the moment a drivers maximum shift is 8 hour and 30 minutes.  There is talk around that might be getting extended to the same hours as the guards. If you get a reasonable roster clerk then they might help you out but I know that the one that you get in training does not care at all.  I have heard him say care factor zero as he sometimes did the trainee drivers rosters when I was there.  For me the factor of not being able to know what you are doing more than two weeks at a time is affecting my family life.  I could handle the shifts if I did because I would know what days I have off so I could make appointments without any worries of being able to make it.  They can turn you around to start another shift within 11 hours from your home depot which is generally Central unless they have vacancies elsewhere. The situation of not know more than a fortnight at a time could last up to three year or less or more even if you got to go to another depot other than Central.   I hope that this helps.
 
seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
Have you ever worked as a shift worker on a 24/7 roster before? It is a big jump from the 'normal' working life of people, and not everyone is cut out for it.
I will be blunt, shift work plays havoc with you outside life no matter how well you swap shifts. Fatigue management is another big thing to consider as well. Im not saying people with young families cant do shift work, I know heaps who do. What I suggest is try and speak to someone directly who is a shift worker and see whether you would be able to adjust to the lifestyle.

Best of luck if you do decide to applyy Smile
 
red7489 Junior Train Controller

I have done shift work that 24/7 before and this is the worst that I have ever done in my life because the shift are not regular shift hours so keep that in mind too.  I can give you a sample of a typical fortnights roster as a driver if you want to have a look and I will do a few to show you.
 
turbom Junior Train Controller

I used to be a Guard, now I am a Driver. The Guard job is a great job I would recomend it to anyone. The shift work is very hard on relationships, my partner does shiftwork also so it doesn't bother us, in fact I think it is great to have free time to myself. Having children would be hard I am always being asked to swap my mornings with people for there Children. Doesn't bother my I like Arvo's.
The Pay is very good for the work you do, just don't listen to the constant whingers in TCAC they will make your day longer that it needs to be.
If you take the Guard job first and later go Diver i think is far better, the school is shorter and if you do fail you go back to Guard whereas the externals get shafted.
Hope this helps if you have any specific Questions Please ask.
 
42209 Chief Commissioner

Location: Always running.
PS:
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.
- A user


I personally think I have one of the best jobs around, and this isnt derived from my interest in trains, its the fact that I've worked in other industries and come over to find the conditions are fantastic and pay is quite generous and worth it! I've made myself comfortable in the job quite quickly. One thing that really gets on my nerve's though with some of the folk on the job is those that I constantly hear whinging about how bad they've got it when they really don't realise how good they have it!
Takes a bit of getting used to the shiftwork but you soon find out what works out better for you, in my case. Mornings! Yes I'm very much so a morning person.
At first it did put a little strain on my relationship but we've found a way to make it work around my roster.
The good thing about the dreaded swingers roster is the variety IMO, you can find yourself all over the network in a fortnight. The OT and foreign depot working is also great!
I think if you can handle the shiftwork and rosters then its a very attractive job. To those thinking of applying, give it a go! seriously, you can always quit if you dont like it.
 
arokh72 Beginner

I'm partway through my CSA training and am going for Trainee Guard myself.  I know CSA's generally have it better than guards as far as rosters are concerned, but I've been told that train crews can get parking at some stations due to the early hours.  We have an ex driver/guard in our group and she says it's great.  Both my wife and I have worked shift work before (without the "fatigue management" even) so we are used to it.  I've been told guard and driver jobs are good for those who like to work alone, which works for me.

Anyways my testing is this afternoon so I hope all goes well, I think my CSA tests count toward so I only need to stay for the info session part.  At least if I don't get into guard this time I still have CSA job and can go again later.
 
arokh72 Beginner

Prtr3r I've done the cat 3 medical for CSA and that involves the old peeing in a cup...RailCorp has zero tolerance to alcohol and drugs so if you self identify at the medical or better still clean meaning no drinks at least 12 hours before medical and no drugs 24 hrs, also make sure you declare any legal meds as well.  It also involves a hearing test, colour blindness and basic medical exam with a Dr.  The Cat 2 I believe adds further flexibility testing (gotta be able to climb in and out of trains as well as reach those door operation buttons) and a psych test (one trainer assured me it's just to make sure your not going to put your or other peoples safety at risk and can react to emergencies calmly).
 
arokh72 Beginner

bunny1 I can't speak for Cat 2 as I did the Cat 3, but I'm assured there is very little difference.  No you don't need to get naked and I don't recall anything like running involved.  Also it's done by a professional firm that specialises in company fitness tests, so you are in a public place but the tests themselves are in private rooms.  From what I understand the Cat 2 covers flexibility in climbing onto and off trains, moving about trains and around them on uneven surfaces.  But don't quote me too much on that.
 
red7489 Junior Train Controller

I have got a copy of what is required for all the categories for the medicals if people are interested.  

I have passed a Cat 1 and a Cat 3 and there was not much different between them.  The major different was that Cat 1 had a hearing check, sight check, blood test and a ECG.

There is no actual physical demonstration that you can do the job or get into those position.  Or that is what it was like with the old health check provider.  The doctor just gets you make some movement and a general check up.
 
taggy Chief Commissioner

Location: At Fassifern watching double Garratts.
So...

I'm guessing putting together what has been said already, are the tests as follows:

1 One about the network and timetabling or something like that
2 Medical
3 Fitness

Or am I way out here. I ask as I'm nervously waiting for Saturday arvo to roll around. Can I do anything in terms of study to help me pass these tests?
 
seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
So...

I'm guessing putting together what has been said already, are the tests as follows:

1 One about the network and timetabling or something like that
2 Medical
3 Fitness

Or am I way out here. I ask as I'm nervously waiting for Saturday arvo to roll around. Can I do anything in terms of study to help me pass these tests?
- taggy

There are 3 tests after your information session, which you are informed of in your letter you received from Railcorp. No, you cannot study for these tests. This is followed by a 3 part assessment centre, then your medical, fitness testing, criminal checks, previous employment and reference checking before recruitment will then recommended your application to the selection panel, who will then have the final say in approving your application...
 
anzacpunk Beginner

are all the jobs in sydney
 
seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
are all the jobs in sydney
- anzacpunk

Define what you mean by Sydney? All guard are initially appointed to Central, and then over time as opportunities arise you can transfer to depots throughout the Sydney area, and to the intercity depots as well.
 
taggy Chief Commissioner

Location: At Fassifern watching double Garratts.
Cheers mate, I hope I do well. (I have a brain and common sense so I should be right)  Laughing

How many years on the job do I need before I can transfer to Wollongong or is based on first in first served?
 
red7489 Junior Train Controller

It is based on seniority.  You could have your application in first and someone with more seniority put their application in and they will get it over you and it does not matter how long you have had your application in before theirs.  I cant say for guard what it is like to Get to Wollongong but I know for drivers Gosford has approx 15 years wait and that depends on who you talk to and to go intrastate their is another course that you have to apply to and get into as you need to learn the roads to where you are going to.  Maybe someone else can fill you in on this or I could possibly find out tomorrow when I go to work.
 
TUB-11Y Junior Train Controller

Location: Newcastle NSW
i have been checking this forum out for a while and thought i should sign up.

i am off to the info session on saturday, 12.30pm.

i was wondering if anybody could give me some more info on the criminal check please. i dont have a very good record at all and disclosed this in the original application and was suprised to get a call back.

thanks, Tubby
 
seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
i have been checking this forum out for a while and thought i should sign up.

i am off to the info session on saturday, 12.30pm.

i was wondering if anybody could give me some more info on the criminal check please. i dont have a very good record at all and disclosed this in the original application and was suprised to get a call back.

thanks, Tubby
- TUB-11Y


Depends on the offense, and how long it was. Generally they will only look over the last 5 years. Offenses that are really frowned on are violence and drug/alcohol related.
Also, once again generally the criminal record side is not really looked at until the criminal check stage, and then are the panel stage.
 
KRviator - Moderator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Thread pruned to the bare essentials.

EDIT:

Okay, perhaps I wasn't clear enough. The comment below is the type of comment that I wil be removed. It serves no purpose, clutters up the thread and irritates people who read the thread looking for genuine information and only find this kind of meaningless post.

So, let's not have anymore of them, eh?

I am attending the assessment centre today! Very HappyVery Happy
- A user
 

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