Our signalmen operate the signals and points that help make sure trains run safely and on time. You'll be a guardian for safety and will be responsible for maintaining safety standards not just when the railway is running normally but also when there is disruption or failures of both trains and equipment.
This calls for excellent communications, a strong sense of responsibility, an ability to work under pressure and make systematic decisions in a timely fashion.
You'll be the focal point of operations in the area controlled by your signal-box, as part of the team of staff that manages safety and operates trains on the railway. As well as being responsible for the safety of our passengers and staff, you must be calm, methodical and analytical, so you can make your decisions accurately after proper consideration.
You'll be expected to take the lead in your duties, being assertive and in command of many different situations, so good communication skills are key. This includes written communications as accurate record keeping and event recording are also an essential element of the role.
As well as good hearing, eyesight and normal colour perception you'll need good concentration skills too, and a minimum level of physical fitness. There will be times when you need to maintain your attention even when there is not much happening and other times when you need to focus on the detail to make sure an activity is performed correctly or switch between many different activities, for example when train operations are disrupted.
You must be able to assess situations and think through the outcome of your actions, sometimes under pressure. In most cases you'll be the only one in your signal box, so self-motivation and the ability to work alone are essential.
RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING:
The signalling course starts in November each year, subject to new signalmen being required, but please note we can only accommodate a maximum of 4 trainees in the training process at once, so you may be added to a waiting list until a vacancy becomes available. The training process will usually take a minimum of 9-12 months and you will need to make yourself available at least twice per month for practical training and attend classroom training days that are held on fixed dates. To find out more about what is involved in the training you can download a 'pdf' showing the process here. You can apply at any time throughout the year to go on the waiting list for the next course with vacancies.
Previous experience is not required, but due to the safety-critical nature of the role you will need to gain experience of working on our Railway in another Department before you can be considered for signalling training. Please indicate on the application that you wish to become a signalman and the Recruitment Team will discuss your application with you and where you may volunteer to gain experience of our Railway while you wait for training to commence.
Once you have spent a minimum of 6 months working in another department at least twice per month, you will need to complete a Signalman Application Form and will be invited to meet with one of our Signalling Inspectors who will discuss your application and suitability.
If you are already a qualified signaller/signalman (Network Rail or heritage railway) we operate a 'fast-track' recruitment and training process. Please provide full details of your experience and the name, contact details of someone in authority in the signalling department we can talk to at the last railway you worked / volunteered for.
CURRENT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:
We have vacancies for recruits to the signalling department. Those people with traditional signalling experience on the main line, or on a heritage railway of a similar size to the GWSR, are also of interest to us. Training usually takes place once a year.
Please indicate, when applying, any past experience you may have so that we can assess requirements on an individual basis.