The Rail Dispute: Computers and fast trains add to pressure
Thursday 16 June 1994
While the basic working week has remained the same - 39 hours - signal modernisation and more and faster trains have meant that the job has become much more complicated and pressurised.
Bobby (not his real name) says: 'When I started it was a very simple . . . job of pulling levers and answering bell signals.' At that time a signalman might control 300 yards of track - all that you could see out of the signalbox window - or one junction.
Now, with computerised consoles and electronic signalling technology, a signalman can control 15 miles or more of track, dozens of junctions and up to 15 trains simultaneously travelling at high speeds in different directions. 'The pace of the job has changed beyond belief,' he says. 'It has got much faster. With so many trains to look after at the same time you really have got to be on your toes, you cannot afford to relax. A simple mistake by a signalman can actually slow down the movement of trains tremendously and cause severe disruption.
'Signalmen are basically in the front line on the safety issue and any signalman who makes any kind of a mistake, they are down on them like a ton of bricks.'
With night shift allowances, a middle grade signalman earning a basic pounds 169 a week might expect to gross pounds 280 a week two weeks in three before stoppages for tax, national insurance and pension.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
- 5 Britain First picture: Photographer 'horrified' after first Afghan policewoman killed by Taliban used for 'ban the burka' campaign
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Gabrielle Union contacts FBI over nude 4Chan pictures leaked by 'vultures'
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...
£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...