Mistakes you made as a trainee

Coach Carter

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21 Sep 2018
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The train was taken out of service to be cleaned, I had to ride on that train to the train maintenance depot for the train to be deep cleaned in the cabs and for me to clean myself with hose pipes at the depot with a new uniform provided. It was a mess. Don't get caught up in that.
Anytime I’m having a bad day I’m just going to think of you. Sorry to laugh at your misfortune as it was obviously a really ****ty day
But seriously, thanks for sharing as it’s lightened up my day.
 
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Val3ntine

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The train was taken out of service to be cleaned, I had to ride on that train to the train maintenance depot for the train to be deep cleaned in the cabs and for me to clean myself with hose pipes at the depot with a new uniform provided. It was a mess. Don't get caught up in that.

Gosh my worst fear!! But then also got to empathise with the passengers aswell as they’re just as easily caught up in similar situations when things go wrong out there, especially those with existing incontrollable conditions.
 

Mgv1349

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10 Oct 2018
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163
Not going to the toilet before a long trip, I ended up ****ting myself on the driver's seat after being stuck at a red signal for 45 minutes
It’s for this reason I always carry plastic bags and baby wipes just in case, luckily haven’t had to use any yet!
 

TheGoldfish

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28 May 2019
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The train was taken out of service to be cleaned, I had to ride on that train to the train maintenance depot for the train to be deep cleaned in the cabs and for me to clean myself with hose pipes at the depot with a new uniform provided. It was a mess. Don't get caught up in that.
That does sound like the worst day at work ever !! Although, I’ve only been with the railway a short time and already Heard several similar stories involving train crew .... so I guess at least you’re not alone in this !
 

Stigy

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Oh wow, what does that feel like? I currently work on track but I’ve never heard of anyone actually getting shocked. Not as life threatening as they make out in PTS then?
The fact that it’s DC tends to be the real killer. Don’t get me wrong, you’d be injured significantly by getting a jolt regardless (plus there’s the risk of cardiac arrest etc), but the fact that you effectively stick to it, making it difficult to pull away from it, is probably a big deciding factor on whether you live or die.

Personally, I think RTC is not the be all and end all, that and NTS, (formerly known as common sense)
I know of drivers (and instructors) who have been using RTC and still gone on to have serious incidents. It might work for some people, but it definitely doesn't work for everyone, including myself. I think it is wrong for anyone to have this pushed down their throat as a must do, it should be left entirely to that person's discretion whether they do it or not.

At my TOC RTC is mandatory for trainees and new drivers. I think it works, even subconsciously, but only when used effectively and not as a commentary. I agree, some people have used RTC but still had incidents. I know of one person who used RTC for door release but still opened the doors on the wrong side. That’s when you have to stop and ask yourself “is this effective, or just complacent?”.

It’s similar to using the DRA in that there’s laid down rules of when to use it, but if you use it without thinking about it, it becomes a useless button on the desk.
 
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TheGoldfish

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The fact that it’s DC tends to be the real killer. Don’t get me wrong, you’d be injured significantly by getting a jolt regardless (plus there’s the risk of cardiac arrest etc), but the fact that you effectively stick to it, making it difficult to pull away from it, is probably a big deciding factor on whether you live or die.



At my TOC RTC is mandatory for trainees and new drivers. I think it works, even subconsciously, but only when used effectively and not as a commentary. I agree, some people have used RTC but still had incidents. I know of one person who used RTC for door release but still opened the doors on the wrong side. That’s when you have to stop and ask yourself “is this effective, or just complacent?”.

It’s similar to using the DRA in that there’s laid down rules of when to use it, but if you use it without thinking about it, it becomes a useless button on the desk.
I think the problem sometimes is that some people are merely vocalising what they are doing ..It works for me in that I’m not just vocalising what I’m doing but also why I’m doing it
 

Stigy

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I think the problem sometimes is that some people are merely vocalising what they are doing ..It works for me in that I’m not just vocalising what I’m doing but also why I’m doing it
Agreed, but also it becomes a routine and more of a commentary drive to an extent if you don’t explain what you see and/or what it means. I vocalise what I’m seeing in terms of signal aspect if it’s restrictive or steps up after I’ve passed the magnet for example. I sometimes just mumble to myself the same thing several times. It is really what works for an individual. Marking diagrams only works to an extent with me. I know what stations are coming up as I have the same every day. If I have different or uncommon calling patterns, I highlight these and that’s when I consider crossing other stations off, so I don’t miss the uncommon ones, and same principle with RTC, just vocalising what’s next (just crossing off stations as I call at them really just distracts me).

Same with train lengths; It generally does nothing to help me in writing these on my diagram unless I’ve gone from having loads of 2/3 cars to randomly having a 5 car (I know how many I have on, as it was part of the handover, plus I’ve checked period to taking the train, then when it pulls in to the station - if I take it off the depot, part of the mobilisation will be to check the tail lights, so I’ll make a mental note then of how many I have on).

I guess it really is just honing what works best for you.
 

Nym

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The fact that it’s DC tends to be the real killer. Don’t get me wrong, you’d be injured significantly by getting a jolt regardless (plus there’s the risk of cardiac arrest etc), but the fact that you effectively stick to it, making it difficult to pull away from it, is probably a big deciding factor on whether you live or die.
I wish people would get off this train of thought that DC makes you stick and AC you can let go of. I have no idea where this has come from but having being shocked by both on multiple occasions as various voltages and frequencies. I can say that it is not that hard and fast of a fact. Plenty of times I've been capacitively coupled to AC and had paralysis of muscles locking me onto otit and plenty of times I've been hit with DC and simple been able to pull off or let go of it.
 

Stigy

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I wish people would get off this train of thought that DC makes you stick and AC you can let go of. I have no idea where this has come from but having being shocked by both on multiple occasions as various voltages and frequencies. I can say that it is not that hard and fast of a fact. Plenty of times I've been capacitively coupled to AC and had paralysis of muscles locking me onto otit and plenty of times I've been hit with DC and simple been able to pull off or let go of it.
Maybe it varies depending on intensity and the individual concerned. Maybe “sticking” was the wrong use of terminology. I guess it also depends how you’ve come in to contact with it and is more specific to the systems in use on the railway rather than AC/DC currents as a whole, for example by touching with a hand, it would (probably) be easier to let go than if you fell on to a live rail torso first.
 

4F89

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Maybe it varies depending on intensity and the individual concerned. Maybe “sticking” was the wrong use of terminology. I guess it also depends how you’ve come in to contact with it and is more specific to the systems in use on the railway rather than AC/DC currents as a whole, for example by touching with a hand, it would (probably) be easier to let go than if you fell on to a live rail torso first.
I've had all sorts of kicks from batteries, toy trains, household, 3 phase. Didnt enjoy any of em, and would rather not run the risk....
 

Stigy

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I've had all sorts of kicks from batteries, toy trains, household, 3 phase. Didnt enjoy any of em, and would rather not run the risk....
I remember taking my PS2 apart when it was still plugged in and got a bite from that. 240v is enough for anyone as far as I’m concerned.
 

MistaMatthews

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I wish people would get off this train of thought that DC makes you stick and AC you can let go of. I have no idea where this has come from but having being shocked by both on multiple occasions as various voltages and frequencies. I can say that it is not that hard and fast of a fact. Plenty of times I've been capacitively coupled to AC and had paralysis of muscles locking me onto otit and plenty of times I've been hit with DC and simple been able to pull off or let go of it.

Plenty of times coupled to AC?? o_O. I need to hear more of your stories...
 

MistaMatthews

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But I mean, how did it happen? Was it through a mistake / breaking a rule? Did it end up with a hospital visit? I was always under the impression that a DC shock is nasty but if you're lucky you can escape with minor injury and an AC shock almost alway results in serious injury or death?
 

Nym

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But I mean, how did it happen? Was it through a mistake / breaking a rule? Did it end up with a hospital visit? I was always under the impression that a DC shock is nasty but if you're lucky you can escape with minor injury and an AC shock almost alway results in serious injury or death?
Why does this come across as some kind of heroism or glory to you...?
People made mistakes, them mistakes have managed to not stop me being able to work but I have two of my trainees with PTSD that won't work on anything that even has a chance of being or having been live again.

Those who received a collosal bollocking for their mistake causing me to buzz know who they are, and I doubt they'd made the same mistake again.
Unfortunately, like any industry, it's protection at the lowest possible cost for the lowest possible denominator, so we end up with dumb and dumber following something written by idiots to protect us.
 
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As a non driver, can I ask, is it against the rules to start off with a single yellow, or just considered bad practice, as best to wait till you can get going without the immediate prospect of having to stop (and perhaps blocking crossings)?
I would imagine doing that would seriously cheese off the signallers and you would get in trouble for it (costs a lot of money for each minute delayed if it's your employers fault)
 

MistaMatthews

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Why does this come across as some kind of heroism or glory to you...?
People made mistakes, them mistakes have managed to not stop me being able to work but I have two of my trainees with PTSD that won't work on anything that even has a chance of being or having been live again.

Those who received a collosal bollocking for their mistake causing me to buzz know who they are, and I doubt they'd made the same mistake again.
Unfortunately, like any industry, it's protection at the lowest possible cost for the lowest possible denominator, so we end up with dumb and dumber following something written by idiots to protect us.

I think you're looking too deep. No heroism or glory. Look back to where you first mentioned about getting a shock. It came across as quite casual when it is rather life threatening. Maybe I misread? But I'm interested to learn from people's experience and yours appear to be quite remarkable...
 
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I wish people would get off this train of thought that DC makes you stick and AC you can let go of. I have no idea where this has come from but having being shocked by both on multiple occasions as various voltages and frequencies. I can say that it is not that hard and fast of a fact. Plenty of times I've been capacitively coupled to AC and had paralysis of muscles locking me onto otit and plenty of times I've been hit with DC and simple been able to pull off or let go of it.
I was actually told this when I did my electrical apprenticeship in the Navy and the theory behind it. I've had quite a few AC belts but but not so many DC ones so I can't vouch for the veracity of it, but what I can say is that they both can be very painful and are best avoided!
 

OldTimT

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Not going to the toilet before a long trip, I ended up ****ting myself on the driver's seat after being stuck at a red signal for 45 minutes
As an occasional interested browser, I’ve registered just to ask one simple question. That didn’t happen just outside Hemel Hempstead station, did it?
 

sw1ller

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Only thing I can add to this “sticking” to DC is... when I was about 16 I was at Ellesmere Port station when 3 happy dogs wondered onto the tracks for a good sniff around. I immediately knew it was going to end badly and quite soon one of the dogs touched the live rail and stuck to it like glue!! It screamed! It didn’t Yelp or bark weird, it screamed like a human would! Then the electricity was cut for a
Few seconds (ECO probably reset it, they do it 3 times I think). Then as the dog went to get up it was sucked back down to the rail
Again as the power came back on and the ordeal started again!! At this point I could take no more and jumped down on the tracks and imitated kicking the dog (not actually kicking it, just trying to scare it (no trains were coming, but I wouldn’t have cared anyway, the driver would have seen me and stopped, again, wouldn’t have cared if they didn’t, I couldn’t bare to see this happening))

the power was cut again and the dog got um immediately and ram away without any use of its back legs and that’s the last I saw of it.

so yeah, it’s dangerous, there’s a massive chance it’ll kill you or leave you with massive injury’s.
DONT PISS ABOUT WITH IT.
 

DriverEight

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Not going to the toilet before a long trip, I ended up ****ting myself on the driver's seat after being stuck at a red signal for 45 minutes
I've learned to carry a large bin bag with me for such emergencies. Squat over the open bag on the floor, do what needs to be done then tie a not in the bag and dispose of it when possible. It's distasteful, but it's better than the alternative!

I take it whatever you were driving wasn't fitted with toilets!
Is it permitted for a driver to step back into the passenger area and use the loo? At a station stop, perhaps?
 
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peakNed

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JohnChuchu

If you were sat at a red for 45 minutes, why on earth didn’t you get out of the cab and pinch one off in a bush or in front of your train?

Much sooner do that then crap mysen!
 

bengley

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I've learned to carry a large bin bag with me for such emergencies. Squat over the open bag on the floor, do what needs to be done then tie a not in the bag and dispose of it when possible. It's distasteful, but it's better than the alternative!


Is it permitted for a driver to step back into the passenger area and use the loo? At a station stop, perhaps?

Yes. In fact if you feel you are going to sh*t yourself you would be perfectly permitted to stop anywhere and after contacting the signaller to explain, use the toilet on the train or at a station.

Do not use the toilet while the train is standing in the station.

If the alternative is filling my trousers up with turd, that rule goes out of the window.

Why not? I thought modern trains didn't "deposit" on the tracks?

Correct. They don't.

JohnChuchu

If you were sat at a red for 45 minutes, why on earth didn’t you get out of the cab and pinch one off in a bush or in front of your train?

Much sooner do that then crap mysen!

Clearly common sense is something not held by a lot of our colleagues...
 

JohnChuchu

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JohnChuchu

If you were sat at a red for 45 minutes, why on earth didn’t you get out of the cab and pinch one off in a bush or in front of your train?

Much sooner do that then crap mysen!
In the middle of the multitrack, no bush. I was trying to hold it.
 

adc82140

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This thread (less the bits about crapping yourself :) ) has blown my mind. It must take a particular type of mental ability to be a driver.

I work in a non railway safety critical role. One mistake and I could potentially kill or injure someone. However those moments come and go, there are times of extreme concentration, and times to relax. But reading this I could never be a driver. I'd never be able to memorise the rulebook. I'd never be able to concentrate for such a long period of time. The DC also frightens the bejezzus out of me. I have much respect for you guys.
 

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