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VOLUNTEER TRAINING

Discussion in 'Railway Operations M.I.C' started by lynbarn, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. lynbarn

    lynbarn Active Member

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    Hi all

    Just to open up this subject what type of training is given to volunteers on the railway you work on.

    I mean like how do you quailfy as a guard on your railway, or as a signalmen or any other position for that matter?

    Regards

    Colin Rainsbury
     
  2. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

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    It varies according to what you are doing, but the in general, on the Severn Valley, there will be a training course covering both the rules, the theory and the practical side of what ever you are doing, followed by rules, theory and practical exams.
    Some departments insist you do these in a particular order, others are not so concerned with that as long as you cover them all.
    Drivers have to prove they are competant with different types for brake in use on the railway, diesel drivers pass out for the different types of diesel seperatly, signal men have to do a practical exam for each box that they work, and guards pass out seperatly for Passenger, goods, Multiple units and Air Brake.
     
  3. boldford

    boldford Member

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    Away from the operating side at least one member of the paid staff at Bridgnorth has offered to train up anyone interested in operating machine tools. Tony was a raw tyro at machining but he's now machineing the stems for the table lamps for LMS RFO 7511. Although Gordon had no experience when he joined us in the pattern shop he's now producing perfectly acceptable work. http://www.gw-svr-a.org.uk/bridgnorth_p ... _2008.html .

    There are very few barriers on the SVR to those interested and wanting to get involved in the engineering side of things.
     
  4. glastonrail

    glastonrail New Member

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    Theres also an oral/written exam (not very long) covering (in no particular order) (a) general refresh on the rules, (b) individual rules of the 'box, and (c) a scenario's part where the examiner gives you a list of scenarios (loco from shed to yard 5 mins before a train departure, etc) to test your common sense and knowledge of the frame. At least there is at the SDR.

    Most, if not all, railways train steam enginemen through the ranks of cleaner, then fireman, then driver, to ensure sound knowledge of the workings of a steam engine and competence that the driver can supervise his fireman.

    A similar method is employed when learning SDR 'boxes - first to be conquered is Buckfastleigh (smaller and simpler), then Bishops Bridge.

    Cheers,

    Dom Greenop
    DMR
     
  5. olly5764

    olly5764 Well-Known Member

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    Cleaner, Lighting up cleaner, Passed cleaner, Fireman, Passed Fireman, Driver in our case. Although the grade of passed cleaner sometimes gets by passed depending on demand higher up the food chain.
     
    Jack Enright likes this.
  6. glastonrail

    glastonrail New Member

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    I don't do any standard gauge enginemanship, so that might be case at SDR as well!! :p

    Thanks for correcting me, though. :)

    Cheers,

    Dom Greenop
    DMR
     
  7. John Elliot Jnr

    John Elliot Jnr Active Member

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    Do any railways offer their frontline volunteers customer service training such as 'Welcome Host' and 'Welcome All'? Both are commonly used throughout the tourism sector.
     
  8. stallis

    stallis New Member

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    Yes - The BRC has had Welcome Host training in the past. I am also sure that on eof the other societies mags I get has mentioned it as well. At the BRC it was mainly for "public facing" volunteers - ticket sales, shop, restaurant, station master etc.
     
  9. stallis

    stallis New Member

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    On a similar but slightly wider theme to the Welcome Host training - I would guess in todays environment some railways must be arranging for training for work at height regs, manual handling regs especially for paid staff in workshops, pway etc. I know several societies where cafe / restaurant / bar car staff have been put through Food Hygiene training. There are some places where the basic Food Hygiene training is offered to charities / volunteer organizations at a reasonable cost (my wife used to train WRVS food handlers at a discount) - but some of the other safety related training I would guess is not done extensively at many railways due to its cost. Any thoughts / experiences on training that traditionally is not associated directly with the runnng of railways, but may be required in todays environment?
     
  10. watcher

    watcher New Member

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    May I ask a related question? Who approves your safety-critical staff?and against what criteria are they assessed?
    This then begs the question who approves the approvers?
    A further question...what should be the minimum age for a cleaner to start training as an operational fireman on public service trains?
    I can find no guidance from the HRA,so I thought this was a good place to ask.
     
  11. Engineer

    Engineer New Member

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    This is a verry good question I can name one railway in the south where a qualified tradesman,a joiner tried to join and was given the cold sholder, I understand that the wood working person in charge has no formal training and resents the fact that a mere volunteer should join and more than likely produce better quality work in the minimum of time and carried out to professional woodworking standards. This person was told by the staff that they were busy and come back some other time. did he No.
    Having checked with other local railways a little to the north and east this person was made to feel wanted by them this person had no illusions as to starting at the top but was prepared to work his way in gently.
    I also understand that the last time that training was carried out that the Railway concerned sent out memos requesting the training cost. This from a railway that had a large volunteer work force and now seams to have gone down hill.
    Training is essential the very least is an induction of do's & dont,s where to sign in out etc this then leads on to additional training as and when deamed appropriate
    All employers and basically a volunteer is an employee should have an induction and to sign that they have had it. things like first aid person in charge who to contact are all necessary do our volunteer railways achieve this band are the Directors aware of there responsibilities.
    As regards to assessing the degree of competancy there are courses where these qualifications can be taken it is no good saying that so and so can do it as he may be one of the boys have his own agenda be unqualified and incopetant thus being a bigger danger to everyone including himself.
    The railways should have a get togrther and produce a suitable manual with minor adjustments to suit each indivudal railway for all grades of people maybe broken down to departments what do others think?



    Over to you
     
  12. Calan

    Calan Member

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    The Kent & East Sussex railway do, they done a one day training session we also ran a Fist Aid course.
     
  13. Edward

    Edward Member

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    I can only speak for the NYMR, but we have a retired BR Traction inspector & a signalling inspector on the books. Other inspectors hold nationally approved assessor qualifications, and most have BR steam experience.

    As for training, the loco side follows the traditional cleaner - passes cleaner, etc. route. In theory, cleaners work 2 days on shed, followed by one out on the loco, but that doesn't always work out! A 4 day course is required prior to the Passed Cleaners' exam, which includes classroom work on rules & traction, plus two days on the loco. We have also run week courses on loco theory for firemen to help prepare driving, and regularly run basic diesel courses (5 days). Driving experience is gained in the course of firing turns, but with an effort now being made to roster those getting somwhere near with "minder drivers" & an extra fireman, to give them that extra push. The new challenge is finding the best way to train people for Whitby, which includes NR rules conversion, PTS & route learning.

    Minimum ages are 16 for cleaner & passed cleaner (but you're unlikely to get there in a year!), 18 for fireman & guard, 21 for driver & signalman
     
  14. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    Given that most heritage railways seem to be losing the volunteer battle in terms of numbers and, from other threads, it appears that some leave because of the way they are treated; does anyone train their people in 'authority' the basic leadership/management/motivation skills ?
     
  15. Edward

    Edward Member

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    An observation here - societies have politics & people fall out or have their own adgendas.

    I think general, railways are pretty much open house with regard to new volunteers. The attitude pretty much has to be "turn up & give it a go." This has one downside. To give an example, only a small percentage of those that turn up at Grosmont loco as cleaners will ever make it as drivers; they may not be able to make the massive commitment required, but it is not a job for everyone, and not everyone is equipped to work on the footplate, no matter how hard they try. I am sure this is the same pretty much everywhere, and I am equally sure that in some cases it causes resentment from individuals who just cannot accept that it is not a job that they are ever going to be able to do. Such resentment may be reflected in some of the posts you see on this & other forums. Not being able to do a job is nothing to be ashamed of; the psychometric tests used as part of the BR driver selection process weed out a huge % of applicants.
     
  16. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    You are absolutely right of course! But.......poor 'management skills' have to be a factor. We all work harder and learn more from people we like and respect. If you have someone in a position of authority who has poor 'people skills' then it's bound to have an effect on new starters (to a greater/lesser degree). It's the difference between helping and encouraging people to acheive or fu****g them around just to prove whose boss.
     
  17. Johnny_Cash

    Johnny_Cash New Member

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    Is there a risk that volunteer railways may be putting off potential volunteers by making the training to rigorous or too complex? Personally looking at some of the standards of what some railways want to set I don't think I would spend my time trying to get 'qualified' to work on one of them.

    Are too many railway's pretending to be reincarnations of the LMS/GWR/LNER albeit in a minature form in their application of rules, training courses, assessments (sounds too much like real life).
     
  18. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    I don't think you can get away from it in the safety critical aspects. I worked on the big railway from 1968 - 2002 (S & T + BTP). so if they were reincarnations there would be less training - lol.

    As 'customers' we all expect higher standards these days, so 'public facing' staff' - voluteers or paid' need to set the 'right' image, don't you think?
     
  19. Roobarb

    Roobarb New Member

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    I don't think its the training which puts people off, but rather the amount of time and effort which they discover is actually needed to reach the more responsible positions. We've probably all encountered the types who think that turning up a couple of times entitles them to ride on the engine etc.

    They suddenly lose interest when they get the chance to help out prepping a loco at 4:30 in the morning, in November.
     
  20. Small Prairie

    Small Prairie Part of the furniture

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    thats nothing compared to a december morning and the footplate is frozen and you fall on ya back side
    \:D/
     

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