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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 38 - Spring / Summer 1979

The Crew Training Scheme

qn_38_15.jpg (34,311 bytes)

P I Clarke - Coventry No. 1 - used for crew training

As the 1979 season is about to begin at Quainton (or may have already begun by the time you read this), as Chairman of the Crew Training Board, I feel that I should put pen to paper about the Crew Training Scheme, the time and work involved by members of the CTB and also by the trainees when training for the various grades.

Before I proceed with grades involved in the crew training, I feel something should be said about the examination procedure. All the examinations, both practical and written, have been submitted to the Department of Transport and given full approval. All trainees are passed by Mr T C B Miller, ex-LNER, who is our appointed Chief Examiner in conjunction with the D of T - and all of this is strictly adhered to by all members of the CTB Crew training is as follows:

The scheme is open to any fully paid-up member of QRS who is over 18 years of age. Any member joining the scheme joins as a cleaner and, after completing 40 hours work with Loco Department on locomotives or possibly rolling stock, becomes eligible to apply to the CTB to attend crew training sessions for promotion to passed cleaner. This usually takes between seven and eight months training sessions held at Quainton, usually on Saturdays, with a locomotive in steam. Each trainee is given a certain amount of literature, which he is expected to study and become fully conversant with - it includes shunting procedure, signals and safety.

I will now explain some of the things in the passed cleaner's course, but it is not possible to cover everything as space will not permit. The passed cleaners course is as follows:

Safety aspects to be carried out and checks to be made before proceeding to light up a locomotive - these must be observed at all times - laying and lighting of fire. The boiler and mechanical parts of the locomotive are explained in detail, use of firing tools, how to operate the injectors, the correct method of firing, dropping the fire and cleaning out ashpan, etc. At the discretion of the CTB, when considered capable the trainee is then advised to take the passed cleaner examination. If the trainee is successful, he may then apply to be rostered on locomotives on open days; his duties would be 3rd man or firing under supervision of qualified personal.

After one year as passed cleaner, the candidate may apply to the CTB for inclusion in the next training session - from passed cleaner to fireman. The training from passed cleaner to fireman is an extension of the passed cleaners' training, including how to prepare the locomotive for the road (oiling up, etc.), more detailed instruction on working parts of the locomotive, faults which can occur and how to overcome them, more detailed instruction and practice in firing, how to stop a locomotive, shunting and correct signals, coupling and uncoupling rolling stock, the correct procedure to be adopted and instruction on the loco crews' duties in conjunction with running at Quainton.

When considering competent, the trainee will be advised by the CTB to apply to take the fireman's examination; this consists of written and practical examinations by Mr T C B Miller for the D of T. This training course may take from nine to twelve months to complete. If successful and passed as a fireman, the candidate may fire a locomotive in his own right, train 3rd men when on the footplate and drive the locomotive under the supervision of a passed driver. After two years as a fireman , the trainee may apply to the CTB to be considered for the driver's examination.

The situation regarding crew training for 1979, at the time of writing this article, seems rather uncertain, as both locomotives suitable for crew training (Coventry No. 1 and 7715) are at present out of use because of boiler and mechanical faults.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1979 and so does not reflect events in the 35+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

The Crew Training Scheme - Quainton News No. 38 - Spring / Summer 1979

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 17 November 2017