Railway Employees

Discussion in 'Railway Workers' started by Chimp, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    15,322
    Location:
    Knighton, Powys, Wales
    Need a little help Re. Railway employees.

    I want to lay these professions out in descending order of importance. I realise that they may need to be split into separate groups but I'm getting confused and going around in circles. Anyone fancy a go?

    Office Clerk
    Drayman
    Engine Cleaner
    Engine Driver
    Fireman
    Flagsman
    Goods Clerk
    Goods Guard
    Goods Manager
    Inspector
    labourer
    Painter
    Plate Layer
    Pointsman
    Porter
    Servant
    Signalman
    Station Master
     
  2. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

    Offline
    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    3,203
    Location:
    Nottingham U.K.
    An almost impossible task you've set us. It really all depended on the size of the station/line that was being operated.

    For what it's worth I've turned it into 3 separate lists.

    List 1 - Probably in that order although there'd be little difference between an Engine Driver and a Goods Guard I'd guess.

    List 2 - I would have thought they had a roughly equal status

    List 3 - More or less the same. I've put the Painter at the top as he may well have been through an apprenticeship. I've put the servant at the bottom as I've no idea what they would do!

    Anyway it's a start - other lists will no doubt improve on mine !!

    Station Master
    Inspector
    Goods Manager
    Signalman
    Engine Driver
    Goods Guard
    Edit: Actually I think the Goods Guard could have been more important than the Engine Driver….


    Goods Clerk
    Office Clerk
    Porter
    Fireman



    Painter
    Flagsman
    Pointsman
    Drayman
    Plate Layer
    Engine Cleaner
    Labourer
    Servant
     
    Chimp likes this.
  3. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    15,322
    Location:
    Knighton, Powys, Wales
    Thanks Flook, that is better than anything I was coming up with. It's a bit of a head spinner trying to work it all out.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

    Offline
    Messages:
    6,924
    Likes Received:
    25,405
    Location:
    Orange, NSW Australia. The Colour City.
    As the daughter of a railway boiler inspector I would have thought that the fireman would be right up there in order of importance. He controls the pressure in the boiler. Not enough pressure and the train won't go, too much and it blows up. If the signalmen, pointsmen and flagsmen don't turn up for work, trains crash or get derailed.
     
  5. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

    Offline
    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    3,203
    Location:
    Nottingham U.K.
    It's a good point but I think the Chimp is really after the status of people within the hierarchy of a railway company.

    My father worked up from linesman to signal inspector /signalling planner and early on in his 'career' was initially blamed for this crash as he was in charge of connecting the signalling and electric points. He wasn't responsible of course or he'd have been in gaol and I wouldn't have been born:(!!

    http://
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Croydon_rail_crash
     
    Bonzo Dog, Chimp and Ma-dotcom like this.
  6. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

    Offline
    Messages:
    6,924
    Likes Received:
    25,405
    Location:
    Orange, NSW Australia. The Colour City.
    If it's hierarchy, then nothing gets going without the inspector's signature. So he is up there as well.
     
    Chimp likes this.
  7. Nightryder

    Nightryder Well-Known Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    1,989
    Location:
    Canberra
    Chimp, railways also had upholsterers.
    Jenn
     
    Chimp likes this.
  8. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    15,322
    Location:
    Knighton, Powys, Wales
    Thanks Jen. At the moment all I have to go on are the names from the 1871-1911 census. These censuses only mention the professions that I have given. The railway only reached the town in 1865 or there abouts.
     
    Nightryder likes this.
  9. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

    Online
    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    18,319
    Location:
    Northamptonshire, England.
    This is an excellent book for help with reseraching Railway employees. ;)
     
    Chimp likes this.
  10. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    15,322
    Location:
    Knighton, Powys, Wales
    Would a Stoker and a Fireman be the same thing?
     
  11. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

    Offline
    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    3,203
    Location:
    Nottingham U.K.
    Yes they usually are Chimp. Where a fireman didn't start the fire himself I suppose the person who did could be called a stoker but I suspect that was only in the larger engine sheds.

    Edit: The L.N.E.R. seemed to call firemen 'stokers'.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  12. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    15,322
    Location:
    Knighton, Powys, Wales
    Thanks Flook, I'm trying my best to give one description of the job instead of several for the same thing. Now I have a Railway Operator thrown in the mix too. I feel head spin already :eek:
     
  13. Ken_R

    Ken_R Well-Known Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    A displaced 'Brummie' now in Worcestershire
    I think to get it into some sort of order you have first to break the functions down into 3 separate categories.

    Buildings
    Track
    Rolling Stock.

    Hence the Station Master would be responsible for the Station and departing trains and would be God within his little Empire.

    Nothing moves along the track unless the [Track] Inspector says so. And along with him go the Pointsman, Flagsman, Signalman, Plate Layer, etc. I'm not sure when Signal Boxes [as we know them] came into common use, but I'm sure interlocking systems came in much later. Therefore, in the main, points were operated by hand and Flags used to indicate that the 'road' had been set. Similarly, level crossings would have been controlled by flag.

    On a Loco, the normal progression is Engine Cleaner [who might also 'set' the fire], Fireman (I always think of Stoker as relating to a Stationary Engine), and then Driver.

    Whilst the Driver is in charge of the Loco, it is the Guard that is in charge of the Train. Whilst the Signalman, Station Master, and Driver, are all content for the train to move off, if the Guard, he say "No." Then it doesn't move.;)

    The Guard also acts as a 'backup' to the driver. Checking signals (and flags) to ensure that the driver hasn't missed anything. Without going into details of how Vacuum Brakes work, the Guard is able to apply the brakes 'to the train' (but not the Loco), a change of 'power effort' that would be detected by the Driver who would then select a safe place to bring the formation to a halt. i.e. Not in a Tunnel or traversing a Viaduct, in the case of a passenger train.
     
    Huncamunca and Chimp like this.
  14. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    15,322
    Location:
    Knighton, Powys, Wales
    Wanna give me that like Flook did in post #2. My brain is fried ( actually I would go as far as saying crispy and slightly charred)
     
  15. Ken_R

    Ken_R Well-Known Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    A displaced 'Brummie' now in Worcestershire
    I'll have a go. The simple ones first.
    Guard, Engine Driver, Fireman, Engine Cleaner.

    [Track] Inspector (That's assuming not Ticket).
    Signalman
    Flagsman
    Pointsman
    Plate Layer
    Labourer

    Although the Pointsman and Plate Layer would require technical abilities and physical effort - not that the others might require a high degree of mobility.

    The final group I would list in terms of Revenue [earning]
    Station Master
    Goods Manager
    Goods Clerk
    Drayman
    Office Clerk
    Porter
    Painter
    Servant
     
    Huncamunca and Chimp like this.
  16. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

    Offline
    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    4,746
    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    Trevor May's The Victorian Railway Worker, a Shire book, has some useful stuff about grades and job progression. Bits of it are online:
    books.google.co.uk/books?id=dlcHPMkFp7QC&pg=PA13

    In case it helps, this is the classification used in the 1911 census (these codes should have been written on the census form):
    510 - railway officials, clerks
    511 - railway ticket examiners, collectors, checkers
    512 - railway engine drivers, stokers, cleaners
    513 - railway guards
    514 - signalmen
    515 - pointsmen, level crossing men
    516 - platelayers, gangers, packers
    517 - railway labourers (not railway contractors)
    518 - railway porters
    519 - other railway servants

    The full list of occupational codes is here:
    http://www.
    1911census.co.uk/content/default.aspx?127

    Various other railway company employees appear elsewhere in the list: search for 'railway' to find them.
     
    mugwortismy cat and Chimp like this.
  17. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    15,322
    Location:
    Knighton, Powys, Wales
    Thank you both very much. (I'll let my one remaining brain cell cool down before I go checking these out)

    It's not as easy as I though it would be to sort out the hierarchy of a train station. I thought it would start at the top and work its way down, but there seems to be different routes. A management flow chart would look like a London train planner.
     
    Ma-dotcom likes this.
  18. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    15,322
    Location:
    Knighton, Powys, Wales
    Have ordered the book :D
     
    Daft Bat likes this.
  19. Old Stoneface

    Old Stoneface Well-Known Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    1,253
    Location:
    France but ofttimes in Yorkshire
    Or perhaps the London Underground Map?

    I would have loved to have been able to help, but my railwayman has gone to the big steam railway in the sky.
     
    Ma-dotcom and Chimp like this.
  20. Ken_R

    Ken_R Well-Known Member

    Offline
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    511
    Location:
    A displaced 'Brummie' now in Worcestershire
    I presume we are talking about Knighton? Whilst Ancestry has "All UK, Railway Employment Records, 1833-1956" none are credited to Knighton. However, I have a feeling that the Locations are listed according to their 'first posting' - so to speak.

    If you throw some names + Birth years into the mix, then we might be able to track Career Advancement.

    Looking at the Wiki page for Knighton Railway Station, it states, "The railway station is located below street level at Station Road beside the River Teme."

    However, when looking at the accompanying photograph, albeit possibly something of a poor choice,

    [​IMG]

    it appears as though the river might actually be flowing along the track bed.:D
     
    Ma-dotcom and Chimp like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice