You can expect a training salary of around 14-17k during your training period, however some operators don’t give you the full salary for a full year after passing out. On completion of your training or passing out competent as a conductor you will receive a salary of around 19-30k depending on operator.
Once fully productive (working trains solo) you will be working to a usual 36-42 hour week, which is averaged over the course of the roster. Some weeks you will work around 20hours and other around 35. Some operators have a four day week and some have the standard 5 day one, usually once a month or in the fourth week you will have a long weekend, Friday to Tuesday or Saturday to Wednesday. Your days off are called Free Days of Rest Days, one these days you can put yourself forward for rest day working which is overtime, some operators pay more for rest day working but most pay your standard hourly rate.
Some operator class Sunday outside the ‘working week’ which means in theory you don’t have to work them, but you are expected to get someone else to cover your Sunday if you don’t want to work it, most operators who pay of premium for rest days pay extra for Sundays also.
You will also receive around 28-32 Annual Leave days a year, which are paid holiday, you will get a week (7 days) in at the beginning of the year, 14 days in the middle and 7 towards the end of the year. The remaining days are ‘floating’ days to be used as and when you want (subject to the roster clerk).
Below is a guide to the salary that fully qualified Conductor will receive per year.
This section is divided into three groups, Franchised, Open Access and Freight Operators.
A Franchised operator is one that is ‘owned’ by the government so if the ‘operator’ goes bust who wont lose your job, a new operator will be found and put in place whilst a holding company is charged with the day to day operational, this happened in 2003/04 with South Eastern Trains after previous operator Connex was striped of its operation.
An Open Access operator is one that isn’t owned by the government for the likes of Hull Trains who are owned by FirstGroup owns of GB Railfreight and a number of TOCs, but the situation between for example FGW and Hull Trains is that if HT goes bust you will lose your job, so my advice would be unless you are single and able to move about the country don’t take up a job with a open access operator.
Freight Operators as it says on the tin, they operator freight trains and the same advice go as to the open access operators, most these operators recruit on the basis of new contracts, so you will be allocated to a contract so if they lose the contract or it isn’t renewed you may lose your job unless you are prepared to move to another depot or part of the country.
Chiltern Railways: 23k.
Train Manager: ??
Senior Conductor: 23k.
Train Manager: ??
Senior Conductor: 23k.
First Capital Connect: Driver Only Operator.
First Great Western:
Train Manager: (HSS): 27k. Ex First Great Western.
Conductor: (Link): ?? Ex
Conductor: (West): 23.8k Ex Wessex Trains.
First Scotrail: 23k.
First TransPennie Express: ??
Gatwick Express: Driver Only Operator.
(Senior Conductor): 23k Ex Central Trains.
(Conductor): 20.5k. Ex
(Senior Conductor): ??
National Express East Coast: ??
Northern Rail: 19.5k
South West Trains:
(Commercial Guard): 27k.
(Non Commercial): 22k.
South Eastern: 22k (After one year Service).
Virgin Trains: 30k.
Open Access Operators:
Grand Central: ??
Heathrow Express: Driver Only Operator.
Hull Trains: ??
Wrexham & Shropshire: 23k
Advenza Freight (Cotswold Rail Group): 22k
Direct Rail Services: 20k.
First GB Rail Freight: 23k.
Other benefits you will be in receipt of once you are offered a position as a conductor will include a lovely corporate uniform and the correct equipment you will need to undertake your duties.
Your Conductors bag will include:
Red / Green Flag.
Multi Aspect LED Lamp.
Orange High Visibility Vest,
Carriage Key (to operate train doors on newer trains).
Number One Key (to operate train doors, on older trains).
Weekly Operating Notices (WONS).
Periodical Operating Notices (PONS).
Diagrams (Work sheet for the day).
Newspaper or reading material.
As part of your employment you will be offered a opportunity to pay into the Railway Pension Scheme (RPS) a percentage of you monthly salary will be deducted and paid into the RPS to form your pension when you retire at 65.
I would strongly advise you to join this, even if you are very young it is never to soon to start paying into a pension.
Trade Union Membership:
You will also be given the opportunity to join a trade union your subscription will be taken out of your salary monthly, personally as a new starter i would join a union some people have different views but i personally would and have.
If you join a franchised operator you will be given an ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies) Privilege Travel Card, this give you 75% discount on rail tickets, and your company will also provide you with a travel pass for your operator and if you are part of a group of TOC’s i.e., FirstGroup you will also be given a FirstGroup pass which allow you free travel on all First operations.
Even though you will be given ATOC and Company passes in reality you rarely pay with other operators, if you ask the conductor on the train you wish to use prior to boarding and present your company ID and tell them who you are they will permit you free travel, of course you are expected to return the favor should they want to travel on your train one day.