Saturday, August 30, 2008

Graduate and apprentice recruitment schemes for railway jobs

Many of the larger companies have graduate and apprentice recruitment schemes, which will provide an excellent start for anyone wanting a job in the industry. First Great Western has a dedicated training academy which provides comprehensive training and development for its employees, whether they are graduates or apprentice level. Their courses are recognised by the City & Guilds and the Centre for Rail Skills and will ultimately provide the candidate with national qualifications while they earn and learn. There is also the Leadership Horizons programme, for first line managers, which can lead to a nationally recognised BTEC award in Advanced Leadership.

Network Rail runs a very comprehensive graduate program and has an annual intake of engineers and other graduates on six different schemes including civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, commercial property, finance and general management. The company is looking for graduates who have a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree (with accreditation by one of the recognised institutions) in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or a land and property management and of course recognised business qualifications. Network Rail does not normally offer sponsorship but is involved in the ICE Quest Scheme for Civil Engineers. Starting salaries would be around £22k to £25k with an additional one-off £3k bonus when you start.

Transport for London is another company worth considering as they control the London Underground rail system. They have graduate training intakes each September in disciplines such as civil engineering, commercial management, electrical engineering and electronic engineering. It is always best to apply early in the year for graduate training as the places tend to fill up rather quickly. So the best advice is to do your research early and then submit your applications in plenty of time to give yourself the best possible choice of opportunities.

Jobs with UK rail companies

Rail in the UK includes some of the country's largest employers with EWS (English, Welsh and Scottish Railways), the largest freight operator in the UK, employing over 5,000 people and First Great Western, one of the largest passenger companies, employing 4,500.

However, one of the most important companies in rail in the UK has to be Network Rail, responsible for the entire rail network and many of the stations, employing over 32,000 personnel. Network Rail's many responsibilities include the laying and maintenance of track, installing and maintenance of signalling and providing infrastructure improvements.

There are also many smaller companies to produce and supply a range of equipment for the network, who could also be prospective employers for those looking to get into the railway industry.

How to get on the rail industry job ladder

The railway industry is one that requires a variety of skills. To keep the transport network running requires the skills of all types of engineers (transport, mechanical, electrical, civil and specialist railway infrastructure) as well as drivers, operators, IT personnel, business personnel, customer service personnel, station staff, chefs and a whole host of others. The industry is as diverse as it gets and the likelihood would be that an interested candidate could find a position to suit them.

History Of Deutsche Bahn Rail

Deutsche Bahn AG was founded on January 1, 1994 and, unlike its predecessors, is a public limited company. The founding DBAG was seen as the first step of the Bahnreform (administrative railway reform) and should not be confused with the planned privatisation. In 2007 all its shares were held by the Federal Republic of Germany, though privatisation is planned.

The second step of the Bahnreform was carried out in 1999. All rolling track, personnel and real assets were divided among the holding and the five principal subsidiaries of DBAG: DB Reise & Touristik AG (long distance passenger service, later renamed DB Fernverkehr AG), DB Regio AG (regional passenger services, in the course of the reform under charge of the federal states), DB Cargo AG (freight services, later changed to Railion AG), DB Netz AG (operating the railway system), and DB Station & Service AG (operating the stations). This new organisational scheme was not least introduced to implement the European Community directive 91/440/EEC that demands access to railway system free of discrimination.

The group is the largest German railway enterprise and one of the largest transport corporations in the world. About two billion passengers are served each year.

DBAG has taken over the abbreviation and logo DB from the West German state railway Deutsche Bundesbahn, although it has modernised the logo, which is occasionally called "Dürrkeks" (after Heinz Dürr, the first chairman of the DB AG), a play on words meaning "meagre biscuit", referring to its shape and the sans-serif font, especially when compared to the older, more rounded Bundesbahn logo.

Originally DBAG was headquartered in Frankfurt am Main but moved to Potsdamer Platz in central Berlin in 1996, where it is located in a 26-storey office tower designed by Helmut Jahn, at the eastern end of the Sony Center and appropriately named BahnTower. As the lease expires in 2010, DB has announced plans to relocate to Berlin Hauptbahnhof. A move to Hamburg was briefly considered in 2005, but these plans were abandoned after political pressure.

Deutsche Bahn

Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG, DBAG or DB) is the German national railway company. It came into existence in 1994 as the successor of the former state railways of Germany, the Deutsche Bundesbahn of West Germany and the Deutsche Reichsbahn of East Germany. It also gained ownership of former railway assets in West Berlin held by the VdeR.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yaxham Light Railway

The 2ft gauge Yaxham Light Railway is situated alongside the former GER Yaxham Station on the Dereham to Wymondham Line, on which regular trains are operated by the Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust.

Yaxham Light Railway operates an interesting collection of industrial railway equipment acquired over the years from quarries and other locations throughout the country.

Passenger trains are usually hauled by a variety of vintage diesel locomotives. In addition the YLR owns two steam locomotives, see rolling stock for further details and photographs.

A recent arrival to the railway is the steam locomotive “Kidbrooke” a WG Bagnall 0-4-0ST, owned by Paul Hemnell

Although not normally open to the general public, the YLR can cater for organised parties by prior arrangement, see visiting YLR. Contact Colin for further details.

Interior of Newcastle Railway Station

Essentially, Newcastle Railway Station is made up of two parts. The solid exterior, built in 1863, looks like a Classical temple. Its great stone walls, with heavy columns and arches conceal the curving interior, designed earlier by Dobson and Stephenson in 1848. And it is this, not the exterior that deserves our attention.

This photograph, by Edwin Smith, reveals why. Inside, stone, glass and iron combine to form a majestic sweep. The walls are relatively plain, easy to ignore. Instead, it is the roof structure that astonishes: iron beams arch over the width of the platforms; above a glass clerestory lights the vast space below; and thin struts tie this together. Resting on slender columns, this is a remarkably economic design for its date.

The first of their kind, three of these great, arched sheds were originally built, the proto-type for railway stations in Britain and beyond. Later two more sheds were added, along with more modern facilities, seen here. Signs point to the booking and left luggage offices, plus the ladies room. These, and the mass of people on the platforms, date from an age when the railways still dominated transport, and Newcastle Station was one of its busiest destinations.