Train Driving Instructor – Part 1: My Student + Preparation

Greetings, my loyal blog readers!

It has been about one year and five months since I have become a Train Driver. A question put forward to me in my interview was: ‘What are you going to bring to this position?’ Part of my answer was that ‘I quite like the idea of – once I felt that I had gained enough experience – training someone to be a great Train Driver.’

At this point in time, there is a class nearing the end of its theoretical training, and so the students will be joining us shortly. There are Train Drivers who offer their names to the Traffic Manager who forwards the list on to the Facilitator/Assessor, who in turn, gives it to the class so that they can decide who they would like to train them.

The person who chose me also received their practical Conductor training from me when I was still a Conductor. This is great news for me, as I feel that, because I have trained her before, she will be great practice for the first time I give training as a Train Driver and we also understand each other.

This lady truly has ‘Railway Blood’ running through her as she comes from a Railway Family. Her father is a Train Driver and her brother is a Conductor (or rather Train Guard as they call it) for Metrorail. I shall refer to her by her nickname – ‘Bronkie’ (or Bronky in English 😝).

Earlier last year, before deciding to offer up my name, I did some research to make sure that giving practical training is something I would really like to do. I downloaded a PDF from http://www.opsweb.co.uk called ‘First Capital Connect – Driver Instructors Handbook’. This has turned out to be a wonderful resource as it covers everything, from setting ground rules to dealing with different learning styles and a whole lot more! I have read it a few times to grasp everything.

More recently though, when I first caught wind that a student selected me, I decided to go through our list of Journals so that I can select which Links would be best for training (during training, a Trainer Driver may request specific shifts from the Roster Planning Office). I have chosen the shifts I think will benefit Bronky the most in terms of learning and which cover a lot of aspects of the job, with a lot of driving time. I also compiled our own Roster and have printed the Journals so that she can see what to expect over the course of the practical training, and prepare herself mentally.

Sometime during this week, the Facilitator/Assessor will call each Trainer in individually and explain what he expects from us and give us additional documents that will be filled out during training. This he does even for those that have given training before.

I really look forward to giving training and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about my adventure as I am bound to get new and interesting knowledge/experience from it. I hope to have another two chances at giving practical training later this year. If you are a trainer or have given training before, I would love to hear about your experiences!

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