GWA locomotive drivers (2013)

 
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney

GWA are calling for drivers to join their Port Augusta depot (Qualified only)

[quote:f589c7ac06]

Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd (GWA) is a progressive and established rail owner and operator in South Australia and the Northern Territory with over 440 staff. GWA is part of the US based Genesee & Wyoming Incorporated Group.

Additional opportunities have become available for a number of Qualified Locomotive Drivers based in the Port Augusta depot, South Australia. Working will involve; distributed power, electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) braking, relay working and local shunt working.

GWA is Offering:

? Attractive salary ? Attractive Collective Agreement ?

? 100% Crew van allowance stand alone ? Fulltime employment ?

? Good working conditions ?

? Relocation assistance for the right people ?

To be successful, you will need to have:

Locomotive Driver qualifications

Current or recent practical experience working on or about the operation of diesel locomotives and wagons

A basic working knowledge of safeworking procedures in a railway environment

A current unrestricted motor vehicle drivers licence and

A strong commitment to safety

For further information regarding these positions contact Les Promnitz, Depot Coordinator on 0418 809 232

Applications close Sunday 10 March 2013

Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd is an Equal Opportunity Employer[/quote]

To apply, visit the website.   https://www.expr3ss.com/mobileJobDetails.php?cc=gwa&selectJob=118&ppt=433912d2

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  Steve82 Junior Train Controller

What would a qualified driver with GWA take home roughly per year??
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.



What would a qualified driver with GWA take home roughly per year??

"Steve82"


Well you'd be living in Port Augusta, so whatever they're offering is probably not enough Razz
  craigd Deputy Commissioner

Location: A Thinktank near you
Because most of the work at Pt Augusta depot is relay working, $120k+ would be a rough guess without trying very hard or doing a big amount of overtime. When I last worked for GWA in 2010, I earnt just under $60k gross in 5 months from July to Nov when I left. I was based in Adelaide, doing mainly Darwin relay jobs.

The new EA increased the crew van allowance from 85 percent to 100 percent of the drivers hourly rate, combined with percentage base-rate increases, the potential income could be up around the $130 to $140 k figure.

On the flip-side, relay working is bad for your health, and it's pretty tough on families. I know, since it predicated the breakdown of my long-term 15 yr relationship that happened mid-2011. But living in SA is really good and I'd highly recommend it.

Craig.
  craigd Deputy Commissioner

Location: A Thinktank near you
Well you'd be living in Port Augusta, so whatever they're offering is probably not enough Razz
Typhon
Most people recommend not living in Pt Aug, but in towns such as Quorn.
  Steve82 Junior Train Controller

Just been looking at the Express3 website and GWA are after trainee drivers for Darwin and Ceduna.

Just saying

Steve82
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
And for those of us not employed as drivers, what is "relay working" please?

Regards
Brian
  Black Hoppers Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned
And for those of us not employed as drivers, what is "relay working" please?

Regards
Brian
"bevans"


It means you get to live on the train and stop to change crews over every so many hours, IE Adelaide to Darwin & return = 4 crewmembers and 5 days up and back.
  craigd Deputy Commissioner

Location: A Thinktank near you
And for those of us not employed as drivers, what is "relay working" please?

Regards
Brian
bevans
Relay working is the method of working where the crews stay with the train for the whole (or most) of the journey. It involves having a crew van behind the locomotives, and in GWA's case their relay working uses two crews of two people, arranged so that they swap over every 8 hours (or close to that depending on location and operational requirements) for the duration of the trip.

With the Darwin and the Perth working, it takes on average about 40 to 44 hrs for each leg (one up, one back), and the crews get a minimum of 12 hours off in Darwin or Perth before commencing the return trip to Adelaide.

A full relay job from Adelaide to Darwin or Perth and back is roughly 5 days away, and since the new GWA 2011 EA came in the crew van allowance has been increased from 85 percent to 100 percent of the driver's hourly rate, so compared to where I work now in the Hunter Valley with Intersnail HVC, the coin is really good if the style of working suits you and your family situation.

The GWA EA limits the hours that a set of crews can work in a relay configuration to no more than 54 hours, so when things go bad (on the Darwin corridor), local Darwin crews are used to take over the train from the full relay crew and work it up to Darwin. Doesn't happen all that often.

After doing a full relay job, the crews get a minimum of 2 days off before another rostered shift can be worked.

PN does relay working too but they I think still use 3-person relay (from Port Augusta to Cook) with a 15 hour cycle where each crew member cycles from driving to 2nd personing to resting, and that's I think limited to about 30 hours maximum.

QRN/Interail/Aurizon also do relay working on the Adelaide to perth corridor and I think their way of doing it is very similar to GWA's.

Craig.
  ChrisSun Station Master

Location: Melbourne, VIC
I've applied for the for the Trainee Locomotive Driver position in Part Augusta and got the "thanks but no thanks" email. I've also applied for the Trainee positions in Ceduna and Darwin, but don't expect to get them either mainly because I live in Melbourne VIC.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Letters for the Port Augusta position have gone out, stating that the position has been pulled due to a lack of need.
  ChrisSun Station Master

Location: Melbourne, VIC
Got my thanks but no thanks email for the Trainee Locomotive Driver position at Ceduna. As expected. I wonder how can I improve my chances of getting a trainee position with any of the companies, ie: PN, Aurizon, GWA etc. I've applied for advertised positions from all 3 companies but always get the same result.
  tryingtodrive Beginner

Got my thanks but no thanks email for the Trainee Locomotive Driver position at Ceduna. As expected. I wonder how can I improve my chances of getting a trainee position with any of the companies, ie: PN, Aurizon, GWA etc. I've applied for advertised positions from all 3 companies but always get the same result.
ChrisSun

Hi ChrisSun,

I know the frustration you must be feeling. Its very hard to get a start anywhere but here in SA it is near on impossible. I don't hold out much faith in ever getting anywhere with GWA. I have applied 3 times in Pt Augusta, 6 for Whyalla and the Ceduna all to no avail. Did have a test and interview last July for a Port Augusta position, was told very unlucky not to go through, first one below the cut and definately reapply blah,blah,blah. Obviously didn't count for much as just got the good old no thanks last month for Pt Augusta??

I know some of the other posts on here say a good resume cover letter and work history will count a lot but a trade certificate will probably help more.
I think unless you have a trade, they seem to be predisposed to anyone with a trade or a prison guard, here you may as well be shortsighted, deaf and colour blind with GWA. Doesn't seem to hurt your chances by being mates with someone either.

Hopefully PN will start hiring in SA again here after end of financial and getting rid of the government in september might start things going again.

Well one can only hope anyway.
  Spiritman Train Controller

Location: Camden, NSW
Hi ChrisSun,

I know the frustration you must be feeling. Its very hard to get a start anywhere but here in SA it is near on impossible. I don't hold out much faith in ever getting anywhere with GWA. I have applied 3 times in Pt Augusta, 6 for Whyalla and the Ceduna all to no avail. Did have a test and interview last July for a Port Augusta position, was told very unlucky not to go through, first one below the cut and definately reapply blah,blah,blah. Obviously didn't count for much as just got the good old no thanks last month for Pt Augusta??

I know some of the other posts on here say a good resume cover letter and work history will count a lot but a trade certificate will probably help more.
I think unless you have a trade, they seem to be predisposed to anyone with a trade or a prison guard, here you may as well be shortsighted, deaf and colour blind with GWA. Doesn't seem to hurt your chances by being mates with someone either.

Hopefully PN will start hiring in SA again here after end of financial and getting rid of the government in september might start things going again.

Well one can only hope anyway.
tryingtodrive
A few of us know the feeling mate...you have to really stand out (have heard of figures like 400 applicants for 9 positions) and I suppose there will be times when the standard of the candidates will be high and times when they will be low....leaving you higher or lower on the list. Keep learning from the people here and I'm sure we'll all get there in the end.
  car_fanatica Station Staff

Got my thanks but no thanks email for the Trainee Locomotive Driver position at Ceduna. As expected. I wonder how can I improve my chances of getting a trainee position with any of the companies, ie: PN, Aurizon, GWA etc. I've applied for advertised positions from all 3 companies but always get the same result.
ChrisSun

I did actually apply for those also, and got knocked back.
In all cases, I've been told my biggest downfall is pretty much the fact that I'm not local.

I do actually have a mechanical trade + I feel I satisfy all of their requirements thoroughly, and have stated I am willing to relocate, but it doesn't seem to help my case. And let's face it, not being local is pretty hard to compete with. Only thing I don't have is experience in working in the railways already.


In terms of Pt Augusta - I am even located only 90km's away, and I know guys there that would have been able to put in a good word for me.... 2 of which are currently trainee's that were put up on the last 2 intakes, but I didn't even get that far, I was thrown straight on the kill list. So I think perhaps internal affairs play quite a role.


Although it was interesting to hear above that the positions were canned.
  tryingtodrive Beginner

I don't think it is a coinidence that gwa withdraw there trainee positions and today pacific national are advertising for qualified drivers on seek for port augusta. Why pay to train when you can poach off the opposition. Cant blame them for changing with the larger pay packet at gwa although apparently your not at home as much.

Although for how long we can all play merry go rounds with drivers is a bit of a mystery until the next age group all retire and everyones left up the creek without enough I suppose. When that happens everyone will need trainees one would hope.
  Spiritman Train Controller

Location: Camden, NSW
I don't think it is a coinidence that gwa withdraw there trainee positions and today pacific national are advertising for qualified drivers on seek for port augusta. Why pay to train when you can poach off the opposition. Cant blame them for changing with the larger pay packet at gwa although apparently your not at home as much.

Although for how long we can all play merry go rounds with drivers is a bit of a mystery until the next age group all retire and everyones left up the creek without enough I suppose. When that happens everyone will need trainees one would hope.
tryingtodrive
Read this article in Railexpress which raises this issue in a recent article http://www.railexpress.com.au/archive/2013/june-2013/june-5-2013/other-top-stories/rail2019s-workforce-challenges-continue . If the operators don't start planning now they will face a skill shortage with the prospect of more freight being shipped by rail. They also mention that the operators should consider career changers to fill future vacancies left by retirees.
  rook Locomotive Driver

Read this article in Railexpress which raises this issue in a recent article http://www.railexpress.com.au/archive/2013/june-2013/june-5-2013/other-top-stories/rail2019s-workforce-challenges-continue . If the operators don't start planning now they will face a skill shortage with the prospect of more freight being shipped by rail. They also mention that the operators should consider career changers to fill future vacancies left by retirees.
Sorry, but the TLISC is a government-funded, union-oriented talking shop.  As it doesn't command training funds or other government handouts of its own, it has about zero influence in the boardrooms and HR strategies of the major private-sector rail employers.

It takes 8 weeks to train a shunter, 12 - 16 weeks to train a suburban train guard, and 30 - 70 weeks to train a driver (with the upper reaches of the latter necessary only if really extensive route knowledge is required).  The driver role is expensive to train, but applications for training roles are so heavily oversubscribed that rail operators can take their pick of highly qualified--and highly motivated--candidates, so success is virtually guaranteed, from both the operator and trainee perspective, for any selected applicant.

The main day-to-day game the private operators play is against each other.  It's generally cheaper to poach a qualified driver from a competitor than it is to train a new one.

As the current crop of qualified drivers retires (and there is quite a wave of that pending across many operators), operators will face a choice between competing just a little harder for already established drivers, vs gaining part-time utilisation of otherwise-retiring drivers, vs ramping up training intakes (which show no signs of being less oversubscribed than before), vs automating trains...

Corporate HR for most operators will pursue all fronts simultaneously, while complaining bitterly to the government about the most expensive option (whatever that is).  But in no case will there actually be a longterm shortage of drivers...ever.
  wn514 Chief Commissioner

Location: at a skyhooks concert living in the 70's
don't know about there not being a shortage of drivers ever rook. there is a shortage now and there has been for about 5 years. we cant get anyone to come here to Kalgoorlie even though we are the highest paid aurizon  depot here in the west and aurizon have been advertising for drivers here for most of the year.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
don't know about there not being a shortage of drivers ever rook. there is a shortage now and there has been for about 5 years. we cant get anyone to come here to Kalgoorlie even though we are the highest paid aurizon  depot here in the west and aurizon have been advertising for drivers here for most of the year.
wn514
Are those the "West Kalgoorlie" jobs that have been sitting unloved on the seek site? I did notice that PN have again called for trainees out there, is it not a good place to live maybe?
Or is it the working that keeps prospective drivers away?
  wn514 Chief Commissioner

Location: at a skyhooks concert living in the 70's
Are those the "West Kalgoorlie" jobs that have been sitting unloved on the seek site? I did notice that PN have again called for trainees out there, is it not a good place to live maybe?
Or is it the working that keeps prospective drivers away?
seb2351

yep they are the jobs. nothing wrong with the town  or the work. most people who come here actually end up staying here for quite a few years.
  Spiritman Train Controller

Location: Camden, NSW

Corporate HR for most operators will pursue all fronts simultaneously, while complaining bitterly to the government about the most expensive option (whatever that is).  But in no case will there actually be a longterm shortage of drivers...ever.
rook
 I have worked with young people of school leaving age for 12 years, and I can tell you that I have not come across any student considering a career in the rail industry. Admittedly the adolescents I have worked with are from the higher end of the socio economic background spectrum, some have mentioned trades and one or two truck driving. Once the current crop of mature age applicants for rail vacancies runs out, the industry will face a REAL skills shortage with no one coming through from school, just like the mining industry that has been suffering from the lack of skilled young people for years.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I have worked with young people of school leaving age for 12 years, and I can tell you that I have not come across any student considering a career in the rail industry. Admittedly the adolescents I have worked with are from the higher end of the socio economic background spectrum, some have mentioned trades and one or two truck driving. Once the current crop of mature age applicants for rail vacancies runs out, the industry will face a REAL skills shortage with no one coming through from school, just like the mining industry that has been suffering from the lack of skilled young people for years.
Spiritman
I never considered a rail career when I left high school. I can count at least 12 others I know of personally around my age who also never counted on joining the rail industry.
There is more then enough interest from young people looking to join the rail industry. Most companies start looking at people aged 20 and over anyway (with exceptions).

In the long term, I would agree with rook.
  Spiritman Train Controller

Location: Camden, NSW
I never considered a rail career when I left high school. I can count at least 12 others I know of personally around my age who also never counted on joining the rail industry.
There is more then enough interest from young people looking to join the rail industry. Most companies start looking at people aged 20 and over anyway (with exceptions).

In the long term, I would agree with rook.
seb2351
With the expected growth in rail in the coming 10-20 years after many many years of on non investment, the industry cannot rely on young twenty somethings chancing across the industry and choosing a rail career, this maybe ok for the moment but not sustainable for the future. Aurizon, Asciano, UGL, ARTC should be making themselves known at career expos now to cater for the projected growth (I'm nor sure if they currently do) to make young people aware that there are very worthwhile careers in rail from drivers, technicians, mechanics, engineers to the corporate side of rail businesses and career pathways from entry level positions to those in management.
  car_fanatica Station Staff

I have to agree there.

When I left school, my main (and only) introduction to the railways was my own rich family history is working/driving in them, for the past 100 years almost.

If it wasn't for that, I would have done what many do at that time of their lives - followed very closely what was on offer at the career expo that our school's take us to.


Having said that - when I left school, I was told very little was available in the way of drivers, so I choose to persue a mechanical trade instead. But things are different now, the industry (and resources in general) is clearly booming & progressing more by the day.


As a side note - a lot of the career expo's DO offer a large array of stands that point people in the way of trades, but I have to be honest - I really do not remember seeing anything rail related. It's quite odd, now that I think about it.

Perhaps the rail industry thrives on the notion that "we'll never have a problem finding people that want a slice of the cake" ... ??

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