The One Where I Didn’t Get to Drive, aka Training Week Two

Again, I am afraid no pictures or anything, but week two saw the group disappear from the training academy and go out with individual drivers across the network, doing what is known as “front-end turns”. This is basically shadowing a driver on their roster for the week, and observing them as they go about the job.

I found out towards the end of the week that most trainees join their assigned driver on the shift about a third of the way through, and leave two thirds of the way in, not doing the full day… Me? I go hardcore, I met them at the start of the shift and stayed with them for the whole day. Unfortunately, this did mean getting to the depot for 0500 on Monday and Tuesday, 0430 on Wednesday and 0330 on Thursday!

It was a fantastic week, and very insightful… especially as there wasn’t a single day where something didn’t happen!

  • Monday morning, 5F04 (to form 2F04 Shenfield to Braintee) held on approach to Shenfield for a few minutes due to overrunning engineering works near Ingatestone. As we passed, they were still welding or drilling or something, and sparks were flying!
  • Tuesday morning, 5F04 (to form 2F04 Shenfield to Braintree) held outside Shenfield and then redirected all the way to Southend Victoria (2F04 and the return journey very much cancelled today!), where we waited for about half an hour in the mess room before Control ran us back to Liverpool St., to turn around and take the unit as booked to Orient Way CS.
  • Wednesday morning, we had a few issues with the train… woo boy, this was exciting. As we were leaving the depot, I remarked on how the screen was saying “AWS Activation”, which was unexpected… not only had we not had a Slow to Cancel on an AWS alarm… we hadn’t passed over any magnets either! It followed the usual process of allowing a brake release on screen after 60 seconds (even though there wasn’t actually a brake application…), and then as we were passing through Ilford station… the system piped up again and threw a SPAD Alert at us, asking us to contact the signaller. We were running on greens!
  • Thursday morning, more overrunning engineering works. Held on approach to Gidea Park for 10 minutes.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.