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Competency - ex Cholsey and Wallingford

Discussion in 'Locomotive M.I.C.' started by ruddingtonrsh56, Dec 9, 2021.

  1. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Are any of the Cholsey steam crew getting any turns on the S160 while it's on their patch? Or is it only crew brought in from other railways?
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Unless they've changed their policy, the ORR tend to frown on that practice as visiting crews don't have route knowledge, rules knowledge, periodical assessed competence and knowledge of operations, including custom and practice. They will also not be qualified under the railways CMS. It is expected that local crews drive with any instruction required regarding handling of loco given by the support crew.
     
  3. Kingscross

    Kingscross Member

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    Bit of a leap of traction knowledge from a 4w Sentinel to an S160 required!
     
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  4. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I understand what you are saying and have sympathy for it but that holds little sway in the eyes of the ORR. The prime consideration is competence and the host railways competence management system. I have competence on my own railway(s) but I don't expect to be able to turn up at the C&WR or the CVR and drive or fire and I would be concerned if that was to happen. If the C&WR's CMS said that competence gained on the CVR/other railways is acceptable then so be it but that is treading on dangerous ground. If there was an incident and the ORR turned up the first thing they are going to ask for is to see the individuals competence documentation and whether it complies with the CMS. Been there, done it and got the tee-shirt.
     
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  5. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    Oh I completely agree that it's not a valid reason not to have this arrangement from an ORR perspective. I'm thinking more from a perspective of the element of keeping a railway's volunteers happy. To a certain extent I think volunteers should have an attitude of 'what is the greater good for my railway'. But if I was a part of a railway that annually was getting in a 'different, interesting' loco to what we usually had (or if my railway couldn't count on having steam all through the year and this was one period where steam was guaranteed) but where home crews weren't being given the chance to run it and crews from other railways were brought in instead, especially if this was being requested by my railway's management, I would be unhappy with this lack of opportunity the railway was offering me as somebody who was giving up my time and energy to support the railway's running, and I would have queries as to why the railway was requesting other crews to come in - did it suggest they didn't think their own crews were competent enough, what did that say about their training and competency assessments? If that was the case why were they not looking to take measures to improve competency so they weren't having to rely on crews from other railways? All of that could lead me to think that my time and effort was not being appreciated as much as I felt it should be, and that things were perhaps not being ran as well as they should be, and perhaps I should look to join another railway where my services would be more valued and I would be provided with more 'opportunities'. That's an extreme perspective and it would take a lot for me personally to get to that point (it would be a case of the straw that broke the camel's back, I wouldn't leave on that alone!), but I can think of other people who volunteer who might get to that way of thinking sooner, so from a 'keeping volunteers happy' perspective I'm not sure this kind of arrangement is necessarily the best
     
  6. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    There was some disquiet a few years back at RAIB about this issue.
     
  7. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    About individual certification for diesels or lack of individual certification for steam?
     
  8. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    Lack of for steam.
     
  9. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    It does seem odd from outside that steam competency is deemed general, where steam has massive differences between classes in their behaviour, but diesels are considered on a type by type basis.
     
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  10. Gladiator 5076

    Gladiator 5076 Part of the furniture

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    I have always thought that strange as to the uninitiated two diesels were far more alike than two steam locos.
     
  11. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator

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    ‘Faults and failures’ (and obviously their remedies) on diesel locos are very different for each type and are part of the competency. Most driving controls are similar, but haulage and braking characteristics change hugely.
     
  12. Kingscross

    Kingscross Member

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    I was a passed driver on a steam line some years ago and drove or fired the same four-coupled industrial most weekends for years. One year we hired an ex-BR engine, and although I enjoyed riding its footplate and piloting the visiting crew, I didn't consider myself competent to operate the machine and was quite happy to step back.
     
  13. NeilL

    NeilL Well-Known Member

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    I can understand owners of locos wanting to be careful with their possessions. If I recall one of the S160s had a mishap whilst out on hire to another heritage railway that required a new cyclinder block. After that, if I had been the owner, I would be much happier if the crew were people I knew had considerable experience of the particular loco.
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I've just been involved in such a chicken and egg situation, which is one of the reasons for me commenting. It wouldn't be right for me to go into the detail, though.
     
  15. steam_mad

    steam_mad Member

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    The railway I'm involved with passes crews on individual types of steam (e.g. industrial 0-6-0 loco, BR std 4, D49, Caley Tank etc.) and different diesel classes, so it does happen.
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Does that not make rostering very difficult? Either way (i.e. intended loco has to be changed at short notice and the rostered crew aren't competent on the change; or vice versa?)

    Tom
     
  17. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Isn’t that also a question for railways with diesel fleets?

    The question is surely about the underlying nature of the locomotives, and their comparability.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  18. steam_mad

    steam_mad Member

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    Yes, it can be a pain. We are mainly operating Industrial 0-6-0 types at the present time, so it's not such a big issue currently, but not all our crews are passed to drive 419.

    That said, there will be some effort required to pass out drivers on 80105 next year and Morayshire whenever that returns.
     
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  19. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Yes, but the previous comment implied a very granular distinction. I could imagine it being very difficult to manage, and even more so if you do rostering some months in advance - how do you know which loco you are planning to use next March if you have to do the roster now?

    FWIW, on our railway we treat steam competence as global - but the training (and testing) reflect the diversity, i.e. you may have to multiple days on test so as to cover e.g. a large and small loco. I suspect we will have some refreshers / recertification on air brakes when we get an airbraked loco next year, having not had one for the last few years.

    Diesels are I believe separate, and type-specific.

    Tom
     
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  20. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    And it's ultimately the difference in treatment between diesel and steam that puzzles me - where I fully recognise that there are significant differences between (say) classes 20 and 50 that any driver would need to be aware of, but am surprised are so much more significant than between (say) 263 and 847 that they require fundamentally different treatments. After all, most railways will only have one representative of any individual diesel class.
     

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