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Train Operating Companies, Depots & Contact Details...

The following is a list of Train Operating Company websites together with direct links to their Recruitment pages where they have one. For currently advertised vacancies please go to my Job Vacancies & What to do Next page.

I can’t promise that this list of depots is totally accurate and up to date, especially where freight depots are concerned, but it should be somewhere very close. A few I’m not sure about have a question mark against them (corrections welcome). Pay rates are the latest to hand, but these are always changing and some are bound to be out of date. London Weighting is not included in these figures. You can read more about company-specific conditions on the ASLEF website – go > ‘TOCs & FOCs’ > ‘Company Information’.

Around 400 people apply for every Trainee Train Driver’s vacancy. Only one – 0.25% – will succeed. Which means that it is almost impossible to get into this job with a casual approach. You need to know what you’re doing before you start. Well start here, click on the banner….

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Passenger Train Operators…

Arriva Cross-Country Trains
JobsWikipedia

Pay: £56,544 for a 35 hour, four day week, committed Sundays extra (two years after gaining core routes and traction).8964389

 

Company: A new Cross-Country franchise started in November 2007 with Arriva replacing Virgin. Most XC services are operated with Voyager trains but the new company has re-introduced HSTs on the busier North-East to South-West services. Cross-Country also absorbed the former Central Trains routes from Nottingham to Cardiff and Birmingham to Stansted Airport which are operated by class 170s.

Depots: Birmingham New Street, Bournemouth, Bristol Temple Meads, Cambridge, Derby (Drivers only), Edinburgh Waverley, Leeds, Leicester, Longsight (Manchester), Nottingham and Plymouth. Surprisingly there is no depot at the main Central Rivers maintenance base near Burton-on-Trent. Must live within one hour of your depot.

Applying: The company’s general contact number is 0870 010 0084, which may put you through to the Human Resources Department. Their e-mail address is recruitment@crosscountrytrains.co.uk

I understand this company does not expect to recruit trainee train drivers during the rest of the franchise period.


Arriva Trains Wales
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £43,869 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra. (Note: Cardiff Canton depot works a five day week with every fifth week off) 4509826

Company: This business moved from NEG to Arriva at the end of 2003 on a long let and, despite finding it a bit of a struggle early on, has now become a reliable operator. Although pay rates are a bit behind a lot of companies they can still look very good from the perspective of outside pay rates in rural areas. Staff morale has improved although some drivers drift away when better opportunities arise elsewhere. In the past this firm mostly recruited drivers internally but recent indications are that there is now an unspoken preference for recruiting trainee drivers externally so as to avoid creating vacancies for conductors by promoting them. They seem to recruit fairly regularly, so this could be a good place to look. Seem to require you live within one hour of your depot.

Depots: Cardiff, Carmarthen, Chester, Crewe, Holyhead, Llandudno Junction, Machynlleth, Pwllheli, Rhymney, Shrewsbury and Treherbert.

Applying: Recruitment Department, Arriva Trains Wales, St. Mary’s House, 47 Penarth Road, Cardiff, CF10 5DJ. Call the recruitment line (24-hour answer machine) on 02920 720 692. You can also apply online through the website.


c2c
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £45,206 for a 35 hour, four day week including Sundays.9576519

Company: A small, self-contained operator which has come on greatly since its days as the south-east’s notorious ‘misery line’. It has now re-equipped with electrostar EMUs and gone DOO, so there are no guards positions anymore. The training school is at Pitsea.

Depots: London (East Ham), Shoeburyness and Tilbury.

Applying: Download an application form from their website and send it to The Human Resources Dept, 10th Floor, 207 Old Street, London, EC1V 9NR. The company’s general contact number is 08456 014 873, which may put you through to the Human Resources Department.


Caledonian Sleeper
Jobs Wikipedia

This is a new franchise which took over the London to Scotland sleeper services in April7366753

2015. It is let to Serco. I am unclear as to whether they employ their own train crew or contract in.


Chiltern Railways
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £49,357 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra. 9921942

Company: A company (now owned by Arriva / Deutsch Bahn) with clean, punctual trains and a good reputation; this firm has excellent staff morale and is so popular to work for that hardly anyone ever leaves. The management is also unusually forward thinking and keen to develop new services, such as London to Oxford via Bicester.

Depots: Aylesbury, Banbury, Birmingham Moor Street, London Marylebone and Stourbridge Junction (a sub-depot of Birmingham).

Applying: You should download an application form from the website and send it to the Personnel Department, Chiltern Railways, Great Central House, Marylebone Station, Melcombe Place, London, NW1 6JJ. The Personnel Department contact number is 0207 922 9520.


Crossrail
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £45,757, rising to £55,000 in May 2016 (£26,577 when training). 35 hour week with Sundays included.4616161

Company: This concession has been won by MTR Laing (which operates the London Overground) and will take over the running of the Shenfield to Liverpool Street service in May 2015. Once the Crossrail tunnel itself opens it will run through to Reading and Heathrow by 2019.

Depots: Ilford (Maybe Old Oak and Reading later?)


online-train-driver-course

Please note: the above online course contains detailed online modules to help you pass every element of the selection process – including sample application forms and responses, all interview questions and 100s of assessment questions. Get instant online access for only £27. Thereafter the course is just £4.99 + vat per month with no minimum term.  You can cancel at any time by simply contacting info@how2become.com and provide us with your order ID number. This online course can be accessed on Windows, Mac and Mobile Devices including iOS and Android. Get your unlimited access to this comprehensive online train driver course now.


East Midlands Trains
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £44,805 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra. 7568415

Company: This new franchise started in November 2007, Stagecoach replacing National Express. It is formed out of the East Midlands elements of the defunct Central Trains and the St. Pancras to Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield routes of Midland Mainline. Pay rates are competitive and conditions of service are seen as better than at many operators. Given the closeness of the pay and conditions of the two constituent parts of the new company I expect that it will be easy to harmonise these. Whether there will be any cross-over of work content is much more doubtful. Many drivers are promoted internally from conductors or station staff, but there is usually a seasoning of external recruits. Training takes place at a purpose built academy at Derby.

Depots: Boston, Lincoln, Norwich, Nottingham (all former CT) and Derby, London St. Pancras and Sheffield (all former MML).

Applying: All interested applicants should apply via their online system at www.careers.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk

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Eurostar
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £63,570 for a 35 hour, four day week including Sundays. 792616

Company: Working for this company is regarded as the pinnacle of British train driving and it is hard to get into. Definitely not a job for new entrants, you will need at least five years experience of driving high-speed trains to be considered. Eurostar drivers have to learn French as well as continental operating rules for working trains through to Paris and Brussels. Some lodging in Paris and Brussels is involved. Eurostar has the highest pay rate in the country, although this is somewhat undermined by the fact that drivers are required to live within an hour of St. Pancras where housing is almost unaffordable!

Depots:The only depot is at London St. Pancras.

Applying: Fill in an online application form at their website. You can also e-mail the recruitment team at recruitment.questions@eurostar.co.uk.


Eurotunnel
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £34,200 for a 37 hour week, Sunday working inclusive. 5415544

Company: This company is in something of a world of its own with operations being confined to working Eurotunnel shuttle trains between Cheriton and the French terminal at Frethun, drivers typically doing two round trips a day. Being so specialised, its drivers cannot readily transfer to work for other British train operators. There is a requirement to live within 30 minutes of the depot for call-out purposes but, surprisingly enough, being able to speak French is said to be desirable rather than mandatory. A driving licence is also necessary. It is probably only worth thinking about working for this company if you are local.

Depots: The only depot is at Cheriton Terminal near Folkestone.

Applying: I know nothing of this company’s recruitment arrangements. Their address is PO Box 2000, Folkestone, Kent, CT18 8X4 and their general contact number is 08705 35 35 35, which may put you through to the Human Resources Department.
Their initial e-mail contact is CommunicationInternet@eurotunnel.com.


First Great Western
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £48,640 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra (£44,866 former GW Link, £44,784 former Wessex). 2079361 (1)

Company: Great Western had been well run by First Group and was a popular company to work for but, since re-franchising in 2006, things have been a good deal grimmer as a result of First over-bidding the franchise. This has led to a lot of late running and overcrowding for which the front line staff have often unfairly taken the flak. Mostly recruits from within the industry but also takes on outsiders pretty frequently.

Depots: Inter-City Depots are at: Bristol Temple Meads, Exeter St. David’s, London Paddington, Penzance and Swansea. Thames Valley suburban depots are at: Paddington, Reading and Oxford. Former Wessex depots are at: Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Exeter St. David’s, Gloucester, Par, Penzance, Portsmouth (Fratton), Westbury and Weymouth. It is doubtful that there will be any merger between those depots which share locations.

Applying: CVs are not accepted. You must download an application form from the fGW website and send it to Human Resources, 3rd Floor, Milford House, 1 Milford Street, Swindon, SN1 1HL. The company’s general contact number is 08457 000 125, which may put you through to the Human Resources Department.

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First Hull Trains
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £47,354 for a 35 hour, five day week including Sundays. £30 lodge.4733248

Company: An open-access firm set up by GB Railways (itself now a subsidiary of First Group), Hull Trains is a small outfit with a family feel to it. It has established an excellent reputation with a loyal band of regular passengers and seems to be very popular with its staff. Train crew were initially provided under an arrangement with Anglia Railways, however HT has since moved over to employing its own crews at its only depot, Hull. It may expand services to Lincoln in due course. This is a tough company to get into and, as it now has a policy of normally promoting to driver from within, you may need to start as a Train Manager first.

Depots: The only train crew depot is at Hull.

Applying: Write to The Operations Manager, Hull Trains, Premier House, Ferensway, Hull, HU1 3UF or e-mail ian.dunn@hulltrains.co.uk. The company’s general contact number is 08450 710 222, which may put you through.


Become-a-Train-Driver-Book-and-Interview-DVD

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First Trans-Pennine Express
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £47,439 for a 35 hour five day week, Sundays included. 1835125

Company: A new operator for inter-urban services in the north of England which was spun out of Arriva Trains Northern and First North Western. Its longer term future may be to be amalgamated with Cross Country. From 12/07 it took over responsibility for operating services between Manchester and Glasgow, although Freightliner Heavy Haul Drivers are being contracted to handle some of this work.

Depots: Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool North, Cleethorpes, Hull, Manchester Airport (Conductors only), Manchester Piccadilly, (the former VXC Preston depot?) Scarborough, Sheffield and York.

Applying: You should download an application form from their website and post it to The First TransPennine Express Recruitment Team, 7th Floor, Bridgewater House, 60 Whitworth Street, Manchester, M1 6LT.


Grand Central
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £48,425 for 35 hours, Sundays inside the working week. The working week and rest day patter is highly variable. Sunderland-based crews lodge in London.7548088

Company: A new operator which has introduced an open-access service between Sunderland and London using HSTs, and more recently between Bradford and London using Adelantes. I doubt GC will have a safety case to train drivers internally and so it is likely only to recruit existing qualified drivers. The company was sold to Arriva DB in late 2011.

Depots: The only depots are at Sunderland and Bradford.

Applying: You can download an application form from the company website and send it to Grand Central Railway Company Ltd., Human Resources, River House, 17 Museum Street, York, YO1 7DJ. Otherwise, all contact with this firm currently seems to be through their website.


Greater Anglia
JobsWikipedia

Pay: £42,425 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra (c£43,744 former Great Eastern, Sundays extra; £41,739 former WAGN, Sundays
extra). 92326

Company: This is an amalgamation of three former franchises, Anglia, Great Eastern and the West Anglia part of WAGN. It is now part of the Abellio Group, which runs train operations in Britain, Germany, Finland and the Czech Republic. It now seems unlikely that the depots of the constituent companies will merge or that terms & conditions will be harmonised; it’s all just too difficult and expensive. Recruits external trainees very frequently, especially in the London area. Definitely worth an approach.

Depots: The former Anglia depots are at London Liverpool Street, Ipswich and Norwich; the Great Eastern depots are at Clacton, Colchester, Gidea Park, Ilford and Southend Victoria; the West Anglia depots are at Bishop’s Stortford, Cambridge, Chingford.

Applying: Greater Anglia Recruitment Team, Floor 2, East Anglia House, 12-34 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3EH.


Heathrow Express
JobsWikipedia

Pay: Around £45,725 for a 35 hour week, including Sundays. The roster is on a 6 on, 4 off basis. 5978493

Company: Heathrow Express is not a franchise but an unsubsidised open-access operator owned by Heathrow Airport Holdings. Although HEx has taken on a few trainee drivers directly, the normal route to becoming a driver is to start within the company in a customer service/sales position.

Although it may appear monotonous driving the Heathrow Express, you also get to drive Heathrow Connect (the Paddington – Heathrow stopper) and there is an Inter-Terminal-Transit at Heathrow, so diagrams do allow for a bit of variety. It used to be the case that HEx drivers were also required to carry out customer service and train dispatch functions at times, but this has now ceased.

Although Hex has had a reputation as a good company to work for in the past, cost cutting measures and workforce restructuring have made it somewhat less so now. Some drivers spread their wings after a while and go on successfully to join other companies. I would say that if you live west of London and fancy having a go at train driving then Hex is probably a great way to start out.

Depots: Depots are at London Paddington and Old Oak Common. You will need to be able to get to OOC, Terminal 4 and Paddington as turns start at all three places.

Applying: Apply online through their website. The company’s general contact number is 0845 600 15 15, which may put you through to the Human Resources Department. Their general e-mail contact is queries.hex@airexp.co.uk.


Island Line
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £36,494 for a 35 hour week over four days but amounting to 39 hours including Sunday working. 4397797

Company: Operating as an autonomous part of Stagecoach’s South West Trains franchise, Island Line is a very small company at which vacancies seldom occur. You would work for Island Line more for living on the Isle of Wight than for driving trains!

Depots: The only depot is at Ryde St John’s.

Applying: Write to the Island Line Area Office, Ryde St Johns Road Station, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2BA. The general phone number is 01983 812 591 and the general e-mail contact is comments@island-line.co.uk.


London Midland
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £48,750 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra. (£50,000 from 4/16)7156634

Company: This new franchise started in November 2007 and is run by Govia. It was formed out of the West Midlands elements of the defunct Central Trains and the Euston to Northampton part of the former Silverlink. The work is all fairly unglamorous urban and inter-urban multiple unit operations. Pay rates are competitive and conditions of service are seen as better than at many operators. It is proving rather difficult to harmonise the pay and conditions of the constituent parts of the company and there must be some doubt as to whether it will happen. Most drivers are promoted internally from conductors or station staff, but there is always a seasoning of external recruits. Accepts speculative applications only from qualified Train Drivers and Conductors and will keep them on file.

Depots: Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Snow Hill (sub-depot of BNS), Bletchley, Coventry (sub-depot of BNS), Crewe, Leamington, Northampton, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton (sub-depot of BNS) and Worcester Shrub Hill.

Applying: Call 0121 654 1147 between 10:00 and 16:00 to request an application pack or e-mail recruitment@londonmidland.com. Write to: Human Resources, London Midland, PO Box 4323, Birmingham, B2 4JB.


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London Overground
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £54,071 hours including Sundays
(Trainee c£27,000 and first year c£42,000 for the first year). Former Anglia depots are on £50,000, Sundays excluded. No London Weighting.8039211

Company: London Overground is not a franchise but a concession let by Transport for London to Laing / MTR, which is in turn now owned by Deutsche Bahn. It operates the Watford d.c. line between Watford and Euston; the West London Line; the North London Line from Richmond to Stratford; the Gospel Oak – Barking line and the new East London Line services. For all that TfL try to make LO look like an extension of the London Underground with bullseye nameboards and the like it really it isn’t. All LO trains run on Network Rail infrastructure and so LO has the same training procedures as the TOCs and its drivers are licenced to drive on NR lines. This means their qualification is valid for all TOCs and you could apply to transfer to another firm later, subject to any golden handcuffs clause in your contract which may tie you to LO for a period. London Overground has recruited around 120 trainee drivers, mainly in connection with the East London Line, and there may be more to come as it expands services. Their training centre is at Swiss Cottage. Often promotes internally from customer facing roles. Must live within 30 minutes travel of the depot.

Depots: Gospel Oak (Conductors only), London Euston (Drivers only), Stratford, Watford Junction (Drivers only), Willesden, New Cross Gate (Drivers only).

Applying: Write to the HR Department, LOROL, Overground House, 125 Finchley Road, London, NW3 6HY. E-mail: careers@lorol.co.uk.


Merseyrail
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £42,353 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra. 649944

Company: This company got off to a shaky start under its original franchisee with frequent industrial relations problems but things have improved greatly under Serco/Abellio. Un-glamorous, overlooked and with an almost totally self-contained system, Merseyrail quietly operates one of the most punctual train services in the country. Given that the nature of its work is rather monotonous, I suspect that a lot of its drivers move on to other TOCs and this may mean that if you start here as a conductor you might well progress to driving fairly quickly – and housing is pretty cheap too. One to start with perhaps.

Depots: Birkenhead North, Kirkdale and Southport.

Applying: Write to Human Resources, Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Ltd., 9th Floor, Rail House, Lord Nelson Street, Liverpool, L1 1JF or call 0151 955 2050 or email: recruitment@merseyrail.org


Northern Rail
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £41,625 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra at former fNW depots (£15,625 while training). £44,197 for 35 hour, four day week including Sundays at former ATN depots. 3607504

Company: This franchise was formed in December 2004 from a merger of First North Western and Arriva Trains Northern. It operates local trains throughout the north of England, including those for the various PTEs in its area. Before the merger took place the inter-urban express services migrated to the new Trans-Pennine Express franchise. Neither of the constituent companies were very popular firms to work for and they regularly lost drivers to Virgin, DRS and Freightliner. Part of the problem was that they had trouble competing with them on pay rates. Morale in the two franchises was also damaged by a succession of poor franchisees. Northern is now held by a new outfit, Serco/Abellio, under whose stewardship things have improved despite the current management’s desire to keep pay & conditions for drivers from the two constituent outfits separate. ATN regularly recruits externally so this is a good company for beginners in the north to find their first train driving job with, but you must live withing 30 minutes of your depot to be considered.

Depots: Barrow-in-Furness, Blackpool North, Buxton, Darlington, Doncaster, Huddersfield, Hull, Ilkley, Leeds, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, Newcastle, Sheffield, Skipton, Wigan, Workington and York.

Applying: You should normally apply online through their website. Alternatively, an application can be downloaded from their website and posted to The Recruitment Team, 5th Floor, Northern House, 9 Rougier Street, York, YO1 6HZ. The e-mail contact is recruitment@northernrail.org. Northern’s general contact number is 0870 000 5151, which might put you through to the Recruitment Team.

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ScotRail
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £42,158 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra. 9107745_orig

Company: This is a stable TOC with a strong national identity and has been run by Abellio since April 2015. Scotrail is seldom in the news with industrial relations problems, which probably points to good morale, and is almost the only choice of employer if you want to become a train driver north of the border. They seem to advertise fairly frequently for trainee drivers. All the same, you may be able to start as a conductor and progress, most likely getting your first driving job at one of the Glasgow area suburban depots before moving out to one of the more popular towns.

Depots: Aberdeen, Airdrie, Ayr, Bathgate, Dundee, Dumfries, Edinburgh Waverley, Fort William, Glasgow Central, Glasgow Queen Street, Helensburgh, Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh, Mallaig, Perth, Oban, Stranraer, Tweedbank, Wick and Yoker.

Applying: You should apply online at Scotrail’s website.


Southeastern
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £43,999 for a 35 hour, 4.5 day week, Sundays inside the week. High-speed drivers, £44,491. 1891340

Company: This firm suffered under the dreadful Connex for some years before spending some time being run by the now defunct SRA after Connex was sacked. It has now been let to Govia as a new Integrated Kent franchise which now includes high-speed express services between London St Pancras and east Kent via High Speed 1. The new high-speed Javelin trains are based at a purpose built depot in Ramsgate with a smaller one at Ashford and are operated by specialist crews. High speed and conventional unit workings are not mixed. As with South Central, progression from conductor to driver should be fairly rapid, although this firm also recruits Trainee Drivers directly.

Depots: Ashford, Dover, Faversham, Gillingham, Grove Park, Hastings, London Charing Cross, London Victoria (Eastern), Orpington, Ramsgate, Slade Green and Tonbridge. Javelin depots at Dover, Faversham and Ramsgate. Staff are expected to live within 15 miles of their depot.

Applying: In the first instance you should e-mail this firm at careers@southeasternrailway.co.uk and ask for an information pack and application form. Their general address is Friars Bridge Court, 41-45 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8PG.


online-train-driver-course

Please note: the above online course contains detailed online modules to help you pass every element of the selection process – including sample application forms and responses, all interview questions and 100s of assessment questions. Get instant online access for only £27. Thereafter the course is just £4.99 + vat per month with no minimum term.  You can cancel at any time by simply contacting info@how2become.com and provide us with your order ID number. This online course can be accessed on Windows, Mac and Mobile Devices including iOS and Android. Get your unlimited access to this comprehensive online train driver course now.


South West Trains
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £45,417 for a 35 hour, including Sundays. (around £20-27,000 while training). Depot Drivers, c£33,000 1626994

Company: Run from the start of privatisation by Brian Souter’s Stagecoach, the new managers initially embarrassed themselves by giving a large number of drivers early retirement, only to find they didn’t then have enough to cover the service. Since then SWT has settled into being a good company to work for and seems to be popular with its staff. It also has about as good a reputation as a London commuter train operator as public opinion is ever likely to allow. SWT trains drivers in-house and promotion from conductor shouldn’t take too long, especially if you are prepared to go to one of the inner-suburban depots for your first driving job. It does take in some new entrants as trainee drivers but the fact that you need to live within thirty minutes of one of its depots just to get an interview makes it pointless applying unless you already live in its area. Maximum age at entry is 58 and this firm has made a point of recruiting quite a lot of ‘mid-lifers’ coming to train driving as a second career.
I understand that SWT have introduced a ‘roll playing’ element into the recruitment process.

Depots: Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Farnham, Fratton, Guildford, London Waterloo, Salisbury, Staines, Strawberry Hill, Weymouth, Woking and Wimbledon.

Applying: Look out for job ads on their website.


Southern Railway
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £46,438 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays extra. 7847354

Company: This TOC is now owned by Go-via and has now recovered from several years at the hands of the appalling Connex. The sheer scale of its operations are such that if you join as a conductor you should get onto a driving course fairly quickly. It also recruits Trainee Drivers directly, especially in the London suburban area (which is DOO), but you must already live within thirty minutes of a depot and have your own transport even to be considered. The main training base is at Selhurst and simulators are used extensively.

Depots: Barnham, Brighton, Caterham, Eastbourne, Epsom, Horsham, London Bridge, London Victoria (Central), Redhill, Selhurst, Norwood and Three Bridges. First Great Western contracts SCT crews from Redhill depot to work over its North Downs line.

Applying: You need to download an Application form and Supplementary Application form from their Jobs page and e-mail them to recruitment@southernrailway.com. You can also send forms to Southern Railway, Resourcing & Assessment Department, 5th Floor, Knollys House, 17 Addiscombe Road, Croydon, CR0 6SR. Call 020 7023 4305 in the event of problems.

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Thameslink Great Northern
JobsWikipedia

Pay: £47,133 for a 35 hour, four day week, Sundays optional. 220063

Company: Another operator of Driver-Only trains, so it’s as well to have the confidence to deal with the public as well as being a ‘machine operator’. Seems to prefer recruiting existing drivers when it can get them, but also takes on external trainees regularly enough for it to be worth making a speculative approach to them. Appears to have quite a low staff turnover despite the very intensive work. Formerly ran as Thameslink (under First Group) the franchise was re-let to Govia in September 2014. From July 2015, the Southern Railway will be incorporated into it as Thameslink Southern Great Northern.

Depots: Bedford, Blackfriars, Brighton, Cambridge, Hitchin, King’s Cross, King’s Lynn and Peterborough.

Applying: You can apply for jobs through their website, though you have to register with the site first.


Virgin Trains
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £53,724 for a 35 hour, four day week, committed Sundays extra. 7241060

Company: Hardly anyone ever leaves Virgin to work for another TOC which says a lot for them as an employer. Their rate of pay and quality of work is such that VT can realistically expect to get all the drivers they need by transfers of qualified drivers from other companies and so they never recruit trainees. I understand that speculative applications are not kept on file. When the Virgin Cross-Country franchise expired in November 2007 VWC took over responsibility only for the operation of Voyager services between London Euston, Chester and North Wales; the rest passed to Cross-Country.

Depots: Edinburgh Waverley, Holyhead, Liverpool Lime Street, London Euston, Longsight (Manchester), Polmadie (Glasgow), Preston and Wolverhampton.

Applying: You should download an application form relevant to the job you are applying for and send it to the address on the form. The recruitment team e-mail is recruitment@virgintrains.co.uk.


Virgin East Coast Trains
Jobs – Wikipedia

Pay: £55,850 for 35 hour, 4.25 day week including compulsory Sundays.295657

Company: Under the ownership of Jim Sherwood’s Sea Containers the original GNER established an enviable reputation as Britain’s best TOC during its franchise period despite often mediocre punctuality. The second franchise was seriously over-bid and led the TOC into financial trouble which resulted in it going to re-tender and being won by National Express. That too has now collapsed and East Coast was taken over by the state for a while but has now been let to Virgin. A very popular firm to work for, you would probably be expected to start on the stations and work your way up via on-board staff. Has the second highest pay rates after Eurostar. This company sometimes takes on trainee drivers from outside the industry but, as I have never seen these jobs advertised on their website or anywhere else, a speculative application might be a good idea.s

Depots: Doncaster, Edinburgh Waverley, Leeds, London King’s Cross and Newcastle.

Applying: No information as yet


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Freight Train Operating Companies…

Colas Rail
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: ‘Contracted hours’ drivers are paid £40,193 + company van & fuel (for work only). 160 averaged over four weeks (including working Saturdays or Sundays), then time & a quarter. ‘Zero hours contract’ drivers are paid about £20 per hour for whatever they work with no petrol allowance. These latter may work anything from 0 to 6 days a week but three days is about typical. Zero hours contract work might be attractive as partial retirement. As Colas is descended from one of the original companies at privatisation, safeguarded staff retain their priv travel. Lodging away will be required. 2221864

Company: Amec-Spie was a new entrant to the rail freight business in October 2006 but has now been taken over by Colas Rail, the rail arm of SECO. The initial business was the transport of wood between Crianlarich in Scotland and the Kronospan works at Chirk in north Wales but has since expanded to other flows. It has also carried out rail head treatment and p-way services in the west of England and possibly intermodal work from Grangemouth and Thornaby. Hires in Virgin class 57s and also owns some class 66s and a couple of refurbished ex-RES 47s. Emphasis is placed on recruiting flexible, reliable, experienced Drivers who get on with the job unsupervised. Locomotive experience would be a distinct advantage if not already freight qualified (and may be essential). Some lodging away is involved. In 2012 Colas Rail acquired the Cardiff-based Pullman Rail train maintenance facility.

Depots: Drivers book on from home all over the country.

Applying: Send your full CV, stating your current remuneration package, to The Personnel Manager, Floor 2, Dacre House, 19 Dacre Street, London, SW1H 0DJ, or e-mail to recruitment@colasrail.co.uk. General contact number is 020 7593 5353.

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DB Schenker
Jobs – Wikipedia

Pay: £47,000 for a 35 hour, four day week including Sundays. 8749241

Company: Privatised as EWS, this firm got off to a flying start under the inspiring leadership of Wisconsin Central’s Ed Burkhardt. After he was ousted by corporate bureaucrats it became a less happy place to work and seems to have quite a high turnover of staff. Many go to other and better paying FOCs which seem to regard EWS as a free training school for drivers. To be fair, this is probably aggravated by the high incidence of night and Sunday working. At the end of 2007 EWS was taken over by Deutsche Bahn as part of their program to create a pan-European freight operation and since then have been actively expanding into the continent, even recruiting new drivers in France. At the beginning of 2009 the company was renamed DB Schenker. They might be your best way of getting into freight driving as they have occasionally recruited externally and train drivers in-house.

Depots: Acton, Barking (Ripple Lane), Barrow-in-Furness, Bescot, Bristol Barton Hill, Carlisle, Dolland’s Moor (for the Channel Tunnel, ability to speak French required), Doncaster, Eastleigh, Ellesmere Port, Fort William, Garston, Gloucester, Great Rocks (Buxton), Healey Mills (Wakefield), Hereford, Hither Green, Hoo Junction, Hunterston, Immingham, Inverness, Ipswich, Knottingley, Leicester, Margam, Millerhill (Edinburgh), Motherwell, Newport, Peak Forest, Peterborough, Perth, Polmadie (Glasgow), Rugby, Rotherham, St. Blazey, Stratford, Thornaby (Middlesborough), Toton, Tyne Yard, Warrington, Woking and Worksop.

Applying: Write, including a full CV and notice period for your current job, to The HR Recruitment Team, DB Schenker, Lakeside Business Park, Carolina Way, Doncaster, DN4 5PN. Alternatively, email your CV or enquiry to Recruitment.Team@ews-railway.co.uk. Telephone: 01870 140 5000.

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DC Rail (Devon & Cornwall Railways)
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: Pays on a ‘zero hours contract’ basis at around £20 an hour.8041833

Company: British American Railway Services Limited (BARS) is British railway rolling stock hire & maintenance company, and minor railway owner. It was formed to acquire the assets of ECT Rail Holdings in 2008.

Subsidiaries include RMS Locotec, Weardale Railway, Dartmoor Railway, and Devon and Cornwall Railway. British American was formed by Iowa Pacific Holdings, an American shortline railroad holding company.

This is an open access operation with a licence to operate freight and excursion trains (including steam) over Network Rail lines. It is mainly staffed by semi-retired drivers who have come back to work for DCR on an ad-hoc ‘zero hours contract’ basis. I don’t believe they have any full-time drivers at all. The short notice nature of much of the work means that you will need to be very flexible in your approach and you will need to be a car driver to get out to pick up trains.

The lack of guaranteed work probably means that this company will mainly be of interest to retiring drivers or those with reduced commitments. Also, I doubt they have a safety case to train staff from scratch so are best regarded only as being of interest to currently qualified train crew.

Depots: Train crew book on and work from home nationally. However, the main work at the moment seems to be scrap from Skipton and Shipley to Cardiff which centres on Washwood Heath.

Applying: Devon and Cornwall Railways Ltd., Stanhope Station, Stanhope, Bishop Auckland, DL13 2YS. Tel: 01388 526203. E-mail: documentcontroller@britamrail.com

This company never advertises for staff; you’re expected to approach them if you’re interested.


Direct Rail Services
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: c£55,000 for a 35 hour, four day week including Sundays, + 5% bonus dependant on targets. £27,894 when training. 8175408

Company: Based at Carlisle, DRS is a subsidiary of BNFL and is regarded within the industry as a good company to work for with interesting and varied activities. Although a large part of DRS carryings are nuclear traffic, it also runs container trains between Grangemouth and Daventry for WH Malcolm, Asda and Tesco. There are no travel facilities as they are not part of ATOC but the pension is the BNFL final salary one with contributions still only 5% – much cheaper than some RPS contributions in other companies. A generous relocation package is available. Some night and lodge working is involved and you are expected to be very flexible in your approach. DRS seems to have recruited qualified drivers slowly & regularly at all of its depots over the years – best to enquire if you are a qualified driver. They normally consider trainees, though they did take a few at Crewe in 2007 and are doing so again in mid-2013. You must live within 45 minutes travelling time of the depot.

Depots: Bristol, Carlisle (Kingmoor), Crewe, Daventry, Grangemouth, Inverness, London (Willesden), Sellafield, Stowmarket and York. Depots may be opened at Daventry and Bicester in due course, subject to contracts.

Applying: Write to The Recruitment Section, Direct Rail Services Limited, Kingmoor Depot, Etterby Road, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 9NZ or phone them on 01228 40 66 82. You can enquire about vacancies at recruitment@drsl.co.uk.


Freightliner
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: Intermodal is £41,400 for a 35 hour, four day week including Sundays. Heavy Haul is £47,792 for 1820 annualised hours (average 35 hour week) including Sundays. As Freightliner was one of the original companies at privatisation, safeguarded staff retain their priv travel. 1036056

Company: Regarded within the industry as a good firm to work for, Freightliner is actually two companies, Freightliner Intermodal and Freightliner Heavy Haul. The former deals with the traditional container business while the latter company was set up to win conventional block-train and infrastructure work. Drivers work for one or the other with little operational overlap.

Run by experienced and well-respected railway people, Freightliner expanded rapidly. It has posted healthy profits and spent a considerable sum on an impressive new HQ building at Basford Hall, Crewe. It has now bought much of its own rolling stock and a large new Class 66 & 70 locomotive fleet in preference to leasing.

For a long time Freightliner did not train its own drivers but recruited solely from within the industry, something it had no trouble doing because of its attractive pay rates. However, this began to change in 2008 when FL took on new entrants in Birmingham. As these vacancies were only advertised in the local press it looks as if speculative applications might be worthwhile in future. Heavy Haul drivers are paid significantly more than Intermodal but have much more onerous conditions of service and work a lot of weekends on engineering trains. Intermodal drivers tend to be off most weekends as much of the container business is confined to weekday operation. It’s certainly a better than average firm to work for.

For qualified drivers freight experience within the last five years is pretty much essential, otherwise you will have to complete 150 hours practical freight handling to regain your competency, which FL is naturally keen to avoid! Any loco experience at all may just get you in the door, though, as could a good portfolio of relevant route knowledge. It can be a good idea to ask HQ at Crewe for the Ops Manager’s number for the area you would like to work in. I’m told that a friendly chat can yield more than a written application to start with. Working for both firms involves a lot of night work and some lodge turns. As you will often have to drive to jobs a car driving licence is essential to work for Heavy Haul.

Depots: Intermodal has depots at: Birmingham (Lawley Street), Crewe, Eastleigh, Ipswich, Leeds, Mossend and Tilbury. Heavy Haul has depots at Bedford, Bristol, Carlisle, Crewe, Dagenham, Doncaster, Dunbar, Earles Sidings (Hope), Eastleigh, Ferrybridge & Aire Valley, Garston, Guide Bridge, Humber, Immingham, Kiverton & Rother Valley, Leeds (Midland Road – now a Freightliner Maintenance site), Mossend, Peterborough, Reading, Rugby, Taunton, Tees Valley and Troon. There are some small sub-depots, such as Earles Sidings, only have two or three drivers to handle a specific flow.

Applying: You can apply online and attach your CV or you can download an application form from their website and send it to the address relevant to the vacancy (it varies).


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GB Railfreight
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £52,691 for a 35 hour, four day week including Sundays. Groundstaff c£26,000998168

Company: This company now has around 80-100 drivers – called Train Managers – and seems to be popular with those who work for it. The company recruits both qualified drivers externally and trains in-house with people starting out as Assistant Train Managers under a five year apprenticeship scheme. Drivers sometimes book on from home and make their way to wherever they are required. More usually they book on at their depot and either pick up their working from there or else drive themselves to their required pick-up point in a company van. The driver they relieve then drives back to the depot in the van, thus avoiding a lot of expensive taxi fares. This makes it essential that you have a car driving licence to work for this firm. There is some night and lodge working involved. In June 2010 this company was acquired by Eurotunnel.

Depots: Birmingham, Bristol, Burton-on-Trent, Cardiff, Doncaster, Eastleigh, Felixstowe, Ferme Park, Fort William, Glasgow, Lackenby, Liverpool, March, Mountsorrel, Motherwell, Peterborough, Port-of-Tyne, Shieldmore, Southampton, Stratford, Temple Mills, Tonbridge, Warrington, Wellingborough, Whitemoor, Wigan and Willesden.

Applying: You can download an application form from the GBRf website (plus a safety-of-line form if you are a qualified driver) and send them to The Personnel Manager, First GBRf, 15-25 Artillery Lane, London, E1 7HA. The information for each vacancy lists a name and contact number for the line manager concerned so that you can have a chat before applying. For more general recruitment information call 020 7983 5188.


DB Schenker Infrastructure Monitoring (Serco)
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £46,532 for a 35 hour five day week, Sundays outside, 33 days holiday. 7320889

Company: Not a freight train operator as such, this company is based at Derby and runs various track testing trains around the country. The work is based on a five-day week of seven hour days, Monday to Friday, with little weekend work. As many days will turn out to be longer than this there is a lot of opportunity for overtime and I am told that it is commonplace to gross £4,000 a month. Management is very light, you book on from home with all your books and notices on a laptop (which you have at work with you) and you are very much trusted to get on with the job. The nature of the work is such that you range all over the network, having a massive route card, and much lodging away from home (at decent hotels!) is involved. As you will often have to drive to jobs a car driving licence is essential. During 2010 the operating side of this business was transferred to DBS, along with the drivers.

Depots: Derby, London Marylebone, Crewe and Shrewsbury; there could be depots at Leeds and Bristol in due course. There is a separate rail grinding division based in Cumbernauld.

Applying: Recruitment is presumably now through DBS (see above).

Train crew vacancies: None known. A fair bit of recruitment here is by word of mouth among qualified drivers and it might be as well to make a speculative application. Won’t take trainees though.


Excursion Train Operator…

West Coast Railway Company
Wikipedia

Pay: Pays on a ‘zero hours contract’ hourly basis at around £120 a day. 5583243

Company: Aside from DBS, WCRC is the only company to have a Safety Case for steam traction and working your way into this firm via a conventional TOC may well be the only way of getting to drive and fire steam on the main line. Based in Carnforth, WCRC operates the regular steam services on the West Highland and Cambrian lines in the summer and various excursions and charters around the country, also RHTT work.

This operation seems to be mainly staffed by qualified drivers from regular TOCs ‘moonlighting’ for them on their days off. There are also a number of retired drivers who have come back to work for WCRC on an ad-hoc ‘zero hours contract’ basis; I’m not sure they even have any full-time drivers at all. Therefore, this outfit is not really a regular employer and working for them is best viewed as akin to volunteering to work on a heritage line, save that it runs on Network Rail and you get paid. The short notice nature of much of the work means that you will need to be very flexible in your approach and you will need to be a car driver to get out to pick up trains – you book on from home. Its good, varied, old-fashioned loco work – if you are prepared to be mucked about. I doubt they have a safety case to train staff from scratch so are best regarded only as being of interest to already qualified train crew.

Depots: Train crew book on and work from home.

Applying: The general contact address is West Coast Railway Company Ltd, Jesson Way, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 9UR, and their number is 01524 732 100.

This company never advertises for staff; you’re expected to have the gumption to approach them if you’re interested.


Irish Train Operators…

Iarnron Eireann
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay:, hours and Sunday working unknown – information please. 6456774

Company: It is not possible to apply for a train driving job externally in Ireland. Instead, you have to start as a station operative and so this is the job you will need to apply for. Even so, you will face the full battery of psychometrics, medical and interviews before you start. Once you’re in you can apply for the train driving course straight away, but how long it takes for your number to come up is another matter! All employees start on €26,000 p.a and then advance one step each year. If you get into driving early on your rate will increase faster to enable you to catch up to the full driver’s rate

Depots: Unsure… There are certainly depots at Dublin Heuston, Dublin Connolly, Dublin Abercorn Road, Claremorris, Cork, Dundalk, Longford, Limerick and Galway. Possibly also at Rosslare, Waterford, Kerry, Westport and Sligo?

Applying: I have no contact information for IE other than their website.

Train crew vacancies: I have seldom seen this firm advertise so a speculative application might be worthwhile.


Northern Ireland Railways
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: Hours and Sunday working unknown – information please. 7806287

Company: NIR is part of Translink, which operates trains and buses throughout Northern Ireland. Believed to promote drivers internally.

Depots: Unknown. Probably Belfast Central, Larne and Londonderry.

Applying: The recruitment contact number is 028 90 899 400


Underground & Metro Train Operators…

Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramway
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: Pay, hours and Sunday working unknown – information please. 1718750

Company: Blackpool Transport do not recruit tram drivers externally. You normally have to start as a bus driver, then do overtime as a conductor on the trams before having any chance of becoming a full-time tram driver.
A car driving licence is required due to the on-street running.

Depots: Thought to be only the one central Blackpool location.

Applying: For an application form contact the Human Resources Department on 01253 473 082 or e-mail susan.pickering@blackpooltransport.com or julie.manning@blackpooltransport.com.

Train crew vacancies: I have never seen this firm advertise so a speculative application might be worthwhile.


Docklands Light Railway
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £35,555 for 35 hours, which include Sundays.5925007

Company: As the trains are normally worked on automatic the ‘Train Captains’, as the operators are called, pass through the train checking tickets, so in a sense they aren’t really train drivers at all. This firm has a good team spirit but assaults on staff are said to be commonplace, so it’s best if you’re confident and good with the public. Vacancies are often filled by personal recommendation and a lot of ex-bus and ex-military are employed.

Depots: Poplar & Beckton.

Applying: You can apply online or contact the Resourcing Administration Team on 0800 0155 072.


Glasgow Subway
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: c£25,593 for a 39 hour week. 9907701

Company: Keen on recruiting women but the work must be dreadfully tedious. I believe there is a possibility of these trains being automated in the future.

Depots: The only depot is at Broomloan.

Applying: The general contact address is Customer Services Manager, SPT Subway, Broomloan Depot, Robert Street, Glasgow, G51 2BY. Their telephone number is 0141 333 3159 and e-mail contact is enquiry@spt.co.uk.

Train crew vacancies: I have never seen this firm advertise so a speculative application might be worthwhile.


London Underground
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £49,790 for 35 hours including Sundays (Trainee c£24,000 and first year c£38,000). 1164613

Company: Train drivers are not normally recruited directly. Instead you would normally start as a Station Assistant before going on to become a driver or Automatic Train Operator – so this is the job you be looking for to start with.

Depots: As my knowledge of the Underground is limited and there is no point in my duplicating someone else’s work please refer to District Dave’s London Underground Site which has a good deal about the recruitment and training of London Underground train drivers. Sadly the owner of this site has died and the site may no longer be updated.

Applying: You can apply online or contact the Resourcing Administration Team on 0800 0155 072.

 

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Manchester Metrolink
JobsWikipedia

Pay: c£23,000 for 37½ hour, five day week.5290384

Company: Now managed by RAPT Dev. Recruitment is mainly from speculative applicants, mostly bus drivers. The training period is three months and pay during training is around £16,000 (pro-rata) over a six month probationary period. A car driving licence is required due to the on-street running.

Depots: Currently the only depot as at Queen’s Road although a second depot will open at Trafford Bar when Phase 3 of the Metro is built.

Applying: Use their online enquiry form or telephone 0161 205 8665 and ask for the recruitment section.


Midland Metro
JobsWikipedia

Pay: Hours and Sunday working unknown – information please. 9819721

Company: A car driving licence is required due to the on-street running.

Depots: The only depot is at Wednesbury.

Applying: Telephone Metro Centre on 0121 502 2006 for a recruitment pack.


Nottingham Express Transit
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £18,271 for 38 hours, 20 mins. Sunday position unknown. 5999391

Company: Driving is actually a mixed role, driving and conducting. I believe driver/conductors work a ratio of two-thirds driving to one-third conducting, supplemented by part-time conductors. A car driving licence is required due to the on-street running.

Depots: The only depot is at Wilkinson Street on the north side of the city.

Applying: Write to the Nottingham Tram Consortium, NET Depot, Wilkinson Street, Nottingham, NG7 7NW. The general contact number and e-mail addresses are 0115 942 7777 and info@thetram.net.


Stagecoach Supertram (Sheffield)
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: Hours and Sunday working unknown – information please. 4212702

Company: A car driving licence is required due to the on-street running.

Depots: The only depot is at Sheffield Nunnery Square.

Applying: Fill in the online application form and post it to The Traffic Manager, Stagecoach Supertram, Nunnery Depot, Woodbourn Road, Sheffield, S9 3LS. The general contact number is 0114 275 9888.


Tramlink (Croydon)
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £34,030. Hours and Sunday working unknown – information please. 4254081

Company: This company is under franchise to First Group. A car driving licence is required due to the on-street running and all drivers must live within 40 minutes travel of the depot.

Depots: The only depot is at Beddington.

Applying: Croydon Tram Depot, Coomber Way, Croydon, CR0 4T. You can apply online or contact the Resourcing Administration Team on 0800 0155 072.


Tyne & Wear Metro
Jobs Wikipedia

Pay: £32,800 + benefits for a 36 hour, four day week including Sundays (£16,400 for first six months). Discounted UK rail travel. 3507336

Company: The T&W Metro is a fully recognised TOC and has been so since 2002. It’s no longer classed as Metro light rail, but is more a commuter rail network offering urban and inter-urban train services throughout the North East. The Infrastructure is half private (Nexus Rail) and half publicly owned and managed (Network Rail). This makes it is a bit like the London Underground in that trains run over Network Rail Infrastructure on certain routes. There is driver-only train operation throughout. Nexus have had a number of recruitment campaigns in local press to train new drivers. However, they regularly recruit new drivers from within the company structure, such as from platform staff, revenue etc, so this is probably the best way to get in, rather than waiting for newspaper advertisements.

Depots: Just the one depot at South Gosforth.

Applying: Contact The Human Resources Dept., Metro Control Centre, South Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1YT. The general contact number for Nexus is 0191 203 3199, which might put you in touch with the HR department at Gosforth.


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