The entry level position in the Guards’ Department is the role of Travelling Ticket Inspector (TTI). So what is a TTI responsible for? From the job title you will have gleaned that you travel on the trains and inspect tickets, but the role is much wider than that. There are in fact three broad elements to the role: train preparation and disposal, ensuring the safety of everyone on the train, and communication with other staff and passengers.
Train preparation means ensuring that the carriages ready, at the start of the day, for passengers to board. This involves:
- watering up the carriages, which simply means attaching a hose to water tank filler pipes and waiting for the tanks to become full;
- unlocking carriage doors and checking that they function correctly;
- ensuring that the carriage interiors are clean and tidy and that the toilets have sufficient stocks of hand towels, toilet rolls, hand soap etc.
Train disposal means ensuring that, at the end of the day, the carriages are secured and are left clean and tidy. This involves:
- locking all the doors and closing all the windows;
- removing all rubbish from the carriages.
Ensuring the safety of everyone on the train is the most important part of the role, and is achieved by the TTI and Guard working together as a team. The TTI’s part in this is to:
- watch along the exterior of the carriages, on arrival at and departure from stations and at other points en route, to ensure that passengers do not attempt to open doors whilst the train is in motion;
- check that, immediately prior to departure from a station, all doors are properly closed;
- ensure that passengers do not attempt to alight from carriage doors that are not on the platform.
Communication is also very important - to many of our passengers you will be the face of the Railway, as you could be the only volunteer they talk to during their visit. TTIs are not required to sell tickets, but communication with passengers will involve checking their tickets, answering their questions, dealing with any complaints, keeping them informed of any delays, reserving seats for groups, and generally ensuring that all passengers enjoy their time with us. Good communication with the Guard is also vital, to ensure that he/she is made aware of any issues or problems that arise.
The duty starts an hour and a half before the first departure of the train to ensure that it is ready to receive passengers and lasts until the train has been cleaned and secured at the end of the day (see above). Please remember that this is not a 9 - 5 position and in the unlikely event that things go wrong, you may be required to stay later to assist. Duties are rostered – the process is that you indicate which days/times you can work, and you will then be allocated a duty on one or more of those days/times. Once allocated, you will be expected to fulfil the duty.
No previous experience is required for you to become a TTI, as full training will be given. The most important qualities are a friendly manner, enthusiasm, a sense of humour and a willingness to help. However, you will have to pass a medical. There is nothing invasive about this – you will simply need to complete a questionnaire about your medical history and we will need to check that your hearing, vision and physical fitness are sufficient for you to be able to fulfil your duties. You will also have to pass written theory exams and a practical assessment, based on the training you will be given.
The basic uniform is a white shirt or blouse with black trousers or skirt together with black jacket and black (preferably safety) shoes together with a blue company tie and black peaked cap. In addition you will need an Orange High Visibility Vest, black waterproof coat, torch, ticket clippers, accurate timepiece and rubberised gloves. You will be given a name badge which you will be expected to wear and when you qualify as a TTI you will be given a GWSR logo badge for your cap.
Finally, if, in time, you want to progress to becoming a Guard then we will be happy to consider this. However, we want you to enjoy your volunteering - the TTI role is in itself very rewarding, and an opportunity to make new friends and gain satisfaction from making a significant contribution to the railway. So if the Guard role is not for you then that is absolutely fine!
CURRENT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:
We have vacancies for friendly, enthusiastic people right now.