Debate rages over training on new infrastructure
With the recent opening of the new infrastructure changes at Liverpool, a difference of opinion seems to have emerged in regards to what constitutes training in new or modified infrastructure.
Clearly, the RTBU Locomotive Division stance is that any major changes to, or the commissioning of, new infrastructure requires extensive on-site instruction. There is obviously some flexibility around what training would be needed – e.g. a single change or relocated signal does not require an entire shift to learn, but an entirely new road and associated infrastructure does need more than a handout in the SCD or a briefing if drivers need any further information.
Following a Dispute from the Loco Division, Pilot Drivers over the new Down Main Line through Liverpool were put in place for the first couple of weeks of the commissioning however, these were taken away as of 08 March 2014. This was despite the fact that there were still a number of Blacktown (and other depot) drivers who had not had the opportunity to traverse this section in the limited time that the Pilot Drivers were in place.
As a result, on a number of occasions after this, trains either encountered delays or needed to be re-routed through Platform 2 as drivers still did not feel confident running over the new Down Main without having the changes fully explained to them or a Pilot Driver on board.
Taking this position caused some concern among management who were quick to try and make these drivers directly accountable for any delays etc.
Drivers are reminded that being piloted over a road DOES NOT qualify you for the road because you can’t be concentrating on driving a train and be instructed in any shunting movements or signalling changes.
Sydney Trains management has decided that any driver who feels that they need any additional training/support in this new infrastructure may request it (in writing) from their shift managers and training will be provided by a Driver Trainer or OSM.
The Loco Division however believes that it should be the company’s responsibility to supply training to ensure all drivers receive proper instruction, rather than relying on drivers to seek training out themselves.