View Full Version : I want to drive a train

2nd May 2005, 08:54
Being a train driver is still the most popular dream job for young boys, a recruitment website survey suggests.
Careers as footballers and policemen came second and third, but 10th on the list of boys' dream professions was simply to be rich.

However, the top three careers for young girls were nursing, teaching or becoming a vet.

More than 3,500 adults were asked what they had wanted to be when they grew up in the survey for AllTheJobs.co.uk.

Nicola Duarte, spokesperson for AllTheJobs.co.uk, said: "People's aspirations obviously change as they grow up

1 Train driver
2 Footballer
3 Policeman
4 Doctor
5 Firefighter
6 Scientist
7 Soldier
8 Astronaut
9 Vet
10 Rich

BBC online

One occupation seems to be conspicuously missing.

2nd May 2005, 09:06
Re: choice #7 - I was always told to be a Soldier first, and Pilot second.

Usually by senior officers who wanted to be either, but were neither.

2nd May 2005, 09:15
I always wanted to be a vet and in my forties, I'd still love to be a vet, but there was no way I'd ever have been bright enough to get the grades needed to get into University to train as a vet.

I've never been able to work out why most of the vets I've met don't seem to be all that bright either. Perhaps they burn themselves out at a young age getting entry into Vet school.

Cynical? Who, me?

2nd May 2005, 09:57
Engine driver was top of the list for me too, till age ten. Then one came home to find one's sister watching Top Gun (yeah, so sue me!) and that was that.

And am neither today :(

PPRuNe and a couple of other fora give me my daily fix of flying thingies.... hope some day to be designing electronics / writing code for them though *fingers firmly crossed*

Incidentally, dad got to ride in a diesel locomotive last year and came back grinning like the cat who got the milk.... Am STILL jealous of him :*

2nd May 2005, 10:49
No1 daughter is currently doing her A levels........yup!!.. she want's to be a vet!!!
Hoping to get her into Bristol if she makes the grades.
Think it's going to be expensive for old dad for a few years yet.
Ho Hum.

2nd May 2005, 11:15
BRL - where are you?

Onan the Clumsy
2nd May 2005, 11:55
I want to drive a train Yes I said this to one of my old gilrfriends once and she explained I would be unable to as there were leaves on the lines :{

I offered to run it through the sidings instead of the mainline station but she said I wasn't certified for shunting :}

2nd May 2005, 11:59
Again Onan causes me to spray screen with tea...


2nd May 2005, 15:38
Newly qualified doctor rings the Samaritans and confesses that he has just had sex with a patient and feels so bad about it that he is contemplating doing himself in.

"Don't worry about it", says the Samaritan counsellor, "Lots of doctors find themselves in that position"

"It's not good but equally you shouldn't feel that bad about it. Probably most newly qualified doctors fall into the trap. But you have to get over it. Focus on the life ahead of you".

"Yes, but I really, really enjoyed it and I'm scared that it will happen again and then I'm really in trouble", says the doctor.

"Of course you won't. You're a professional. And anyway, it's a perfectly normal reaction for a healthy young man. Get over it", says the counsellor.

"It's all right for you to say that", says the doctor, "but I'm a vet!"

vets, dentists and medicos all use the title doctor here in Ozland

2nd May 2005, 16:15
One occupation seems to be conspicuously missing.

Yeah, why don't all these kids want to be lawyers??

After all, if there's one thing this country needs, it's more lawyers.


2nd May 2005, 17:30
Quite legitimately !

Most large railway preservation societies offer a very short train driving course followed by a turn in the seat for a small fee.

2nd May 2005, 18:26
Don't get me started on train drivers. Next you'll be telling me they want to be subway drivers....round and round and round and round.......strike for more money (27K's not enough you know).......round and round and round....still not enough, strike again.......round and round and round......

:( :ouch:

Onan the Clumsy
2nd May 2005, 19:03
round and round and round Don't dismiss it so lightly. It must be a [email protected]@rd to keep them on the rails. Look how thin they are.

2nd May 2005, 19:38
Ever been on the Glasgow Subway Onan? It's not pleasant :mad:

2nd May 2005, 19:46
Here is a quick run down on how to become a Train Driver (http://www.rodge.force9.co.uk/faq/driver.html)

Not only do the selection tests seem much easier but you get paid while you learn how to drive trains, there are no bonds or pay for your own train-type ratings (or whatever they are called), and a reasonable salary. I have been told there are drivers working for Virgin and EWS that earn in excess of 60k per year. It's tempting y'know...

2nd May 2005, 22:27
Most large railway preservation societies offer a very short train driving course followed by a turn in the seat for a small fee.

Apologies in advance - this is a brag.....

During a ballooning trip in Sri Lanka recently our transport included a couple of days where we had the use of the Viceroy Special, a steam-hauled vintage 4-coach set with observation, dining and air-con cars, with a 1928 Hunslett 4-6-0 tender loco in charge. Fortunately H&S has yet to make a dent on the impressive bureaucracy inherited from the British (they've had 60 years to improve it) and so it is still possible to make friends with the footplate staff and travel at the fun end.

You don't get many things in life without asking nicely, so apart from the footplate ride I also did some 25 miles of firing, some running token exchanges (for single track working) and was in partial charge of the steam whistle!

Although not quite dressed for the part (white t-shirt, shorts and sandals) apart from my mucky paws I was cleaner than some of the others who had been hanging out of the doors while I shoved a few hundredweight of extremely dusty coal into the firebox most of which I'm sure went straight up the chimney.

On the last trip coming back down from the hill station back to Mount Lavinia, I also revisited the footplate while the loco was turned on a hand turntable (two of us!) and watered. From Columbo Fort Station down the coast to ML, through the city at night by steam is a memory that will live with me forever.....

End of brag. You can come out now, even though you probably all hate me.....

sua cuique voluptas, indeed! :ok:


2nd May 2005, 22:39
Jolly well done !

2nd May 2005, 22:56
Ever been on the Glasgow Subway

I have. It was not an experience I would like to repeat.

I believe it is sometime referred to as the "Clockwork Orange" could have been applied to the colour and the violence of a couple of the commuters.

Sultan Ismail
3rd May 2005, 02:31
The Clockwork Orange

Had the dubious honour of working on that system about 12 years ago, when it was upgraded with more intensive service and computerised control systems.

The highlight was a requirement for a Method Statement to transfer ones body from the platform to the track, necessitated by some bright spark, the Project Engineer, who managed to fall off the platform and dent his skull.

Needless to say we worked after the commuters and staff had gone home, the piss and shit was still fresh on our nostrils and the rats were running round like it was the M25.

I never did go for a ride on the system, didn't like the look of the passengers, any way day time was for sleeping.

Sauchiehall Street was an experience, not at all like Peter Sellars impression.

3rd May 2005, 05:07
When I were but a lad my stepfather were a director of the Eastern Region. Had some great rides on A4s. Siver Link, Silver Fox.

Then one evening at Dinner he announced "I've bought a Railway engine." He had bought the Flying Scotsman. I had several footplate rides on special trips. Of course we had to wash her a few times too. You think washing the car on Sunday mornings is a chore?

3rd May 2005, 05:09
Growing up in the industrial north I was wild on steam trains. My mother said I wouldn't like being an engine driver because it meant having to get up at three in the morning. Instead I chose another profession in which I had to report for duty at even more ungodly hours.

(I still hold dear the memory of a fireman on a Gresley A4 at Doncaster making me a slice of toast by putting the bread on his shovel and thrusting it into the firebox, then pouring me a cup of tea in the lid of his billy can [I'm sure Drapes will know what one of those is]).

3rd May 2005, 07:43
One of my old workmates was a driver at the now defunct Diniting Railway Centre. On bank holiday weekends they used to keep a loco in steam all weekend, which meant a night crew had to keep it in steam.
Spent many an hour on the footplate of Leander and Bahamas traversing the running line, after the public had left .....and got my hands on the regulator .

3rd May 2005, 09:08
I once had a ride on the footplate of one of the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway locos - I can't now remember which one it was but it had an earsplitting full size A4 whistle mounted on it. Huge fun.



Just looking through their website, I found this:


200 and you can drive a steam locomotive!

3rd May 2005, 09:58
Had many a great time as a child at Dinting Railway Centre.... My grandparents always used to take me there as a special treat.

My lasting memories of it are the tortuous climb up the side of the valley to get to it, 532 Blue Peter, Bittern being endlessly restored, and having a ride on the footplate of Bahamas on the first day of steam testing after restoration. We were quite lucky in that region as well because the Keighley And Worth Valley, the East Lancs Railway, Steamport Southport, the Ravenglass And Eskdale, and the amazing place that was Steamtown Carnforth were all within a short drive from where my parents live.

Real shame about Steamtown :( There was a good day out!!

tony draper
3rd May 2005, 10:48
Alus fancied being a Guard on goods trains,one of me Grandads was one, the Guards Van was like a little shed on wheels with a iron stove tea pot,frying pan ect, all the comforts of home and nice bench to have a kip on,and a wee balcony at the back to sit on and watch the passing scenery, and yer only had to get out twice a trip ,once to wave yer flag at take off, then when yer arrived, cushy number it must have been,
Oh yer and yer was issued with a whistle, jobs don't come any better than ones where yer have a whistle.

3rd May 2005, 11:24
eih, dear me dinting railway, me dad used to take me up there all the time when I was a nipper, apparently I used to slide down the coal chutes because they were so like proper slides. Friend of mine is involved in the Keighly and worth railway which is where one will now find Bahamas. And you all thought I was just a pretty face! As for Leander, anyone know where or what happend to that?

3rd May 2005, 12:38
Leander ain't moved too far...she is at Bury on the East Lancs Railway.

Due to run steam specials on BR metals this year.:D

3rd May 2005, 13:57
My Father and Uncle worked for the NSWGR. ( New South Wales Government Railway). My Uncle was an Engine Driver, one of the top 10, my Dad, Station master. With my Uncle I drove the C 38, Pacific, his hand was always in the backup position. I, as a 12.13.14. year old , wanted to be a Steam train Driver.

However , I ended up retiring, as a International Boeing Captain,


I still have this unending LOVE of steam engines.



3rd May 2005, 14:18
I know what you mean about steam trains ppl. Got pulled up and down England in the 50's and early 60's by them a lot when I was at school at Wetherby. Often by the A4, Silver Fox and I am sure that on one occasion by the number one A4 of all time, Mallard.

Squillion miles per hour pointy things with tinted windows just "aint got it.


3rd May 2005, 18:57
Thanks IB will have to go and pay a visit with sproglet when it arrives, if it's a boy it'll be nice to introduce him to his namesake.

lexx ;)

Rabid Dog
5th May 2005, 19:56
Never had the train fixation, but I can understand it. I got to fly a few (all too short) times - 727 across the Bight, 737 over the Pacific etc.
For those of you still wanting to drive a train, a close second may be to drive a tram, and I understand that 15 year olds in Melbourne do it on a regular basis, even picking up passengers with the police in pursuit!

6th May 2005, 13:36
#3:- Policeman.

If only they knew. . . must go, I've just said good morning to someone and they've requested a stop and account form.. .

Shaggy Sheep Driver
6th May 2005, 14:34
Alus fancied being a Guard on goods trains,one of me Grandads was one, the Guards Van was like a little shed on wheels with a iron stove tea pot,frying pan ect, all the comforts of home and nice bench to have a kip on,and a wee balcony at the back to sit on and watch the passing scenery, and yer only had to get out twice a trip ,once to wave yer flag at take off, then when yer arrived, cushy number it must have been,

But Drapes, there was more to it than that. In the days of 'loose coupled' un-fitted (that is no continuous brake) goods trains the wagon had only manual brakes, and as the name 'loose coupled' implies their coupings to the next wagon had quite a bit of slack. The guard would operate his brake so as to keep the entire train of maybe 50 or more wagons all 'bunched together' when stopped or 'stretched apart' when rolling. The idea is that the train comes to a stop with the wagons all bunched up so that when the loco starts the train again, it can take up the strain one wagon at a time as the couplings come tight. If this went wrong, the wagons would rebound against each other quite violently (an unforgetable sound of those days on the railways; the bang-bang, bang-bang of rebounding goods wagons as a train starts or stops. If the rebounds got too violent, the thick steel chain couplings might snap as if made of barleysugar. It was guard's job, using his van brake, to make sure that didn't happen.

And descending steep hills, the loco and guardsvan brakes would be insufficient to prevent the heavy train running away, so they'd stop at the top while the guard walked the length of the train applying the waggon brakes and pinning them down. And then repeated the excercise at the bottom of the hill, this time releasing the brakes.

Not quite such a cushy life, Drapes, in that wheeled shed on't back of the unfitted loose coupled goods. :O


Flying Foxy
7th May 2005, 15:19
Something you never hear - "When I grow up I want to be a Piano Tuner"...

Well there is a REAL lack of these guys and girls (there are girly ones too) and I would wish that schools had this on their list of professions/careers.

It's up there with the income of the plumbers but it gets almost zero recognition. It is one of the greatest professions in terms of job satisfaction and it's a great one for the gregarious types who love to meet people. I've been doing it 25 years and love every minute of it and it supplies me with enough moolah to do my PPL in the (H) department - mention it to your kiddies and tell 'em you don't have to be a player to learn.


Onan the Clumsy
19th May 2005, 18:23
What's blue, weighs 15,000 lbs and sits in our parkng lot? (http://www.raildriver.com/)


Flying I've read your post several times and I'm really not sure if you're a train driver or a piano tuner.


19th May 2005, 18:44
Holy s**t, that is so sad :ooh: :ooh:

PPRuNe Radar
19th May 2005, 20:03
I once had a ride on the footplate of one of the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway locos - I can't now remember which one it was but it had an earsplitting full size A4 whistle mounted on it. Huge fun.

Just looking through their website, I found this: 200 and you can drive a steam locomotive!

Sounds good PP. Wouldn't it be great to drive the engine associated with one of our late and well loved PPRuNers ... Dr Syn ?? I'm sure he'd be alongside you on the footplate in spirit !!



Flying Foxy
20th May 2005, 16:12
Onan - I'm a tuna..

Smell fish?