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.
Thanks very much for the reply and appreciate the info.
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.