Eagle Eye wrote:This could be quite similar or quite different:
To drive trams in Adelaide you become a tram operator – these are like trainee positions which see you act as a conductor (selling tickets, providing information to pax, etc.) for about 9 months, then if you are successful you will be trained as a driver firstly on Flexity trams, then later Citadis trams. For a while you will alternate between driving and conducting, but over time more time driving.
In Adelaide, both trams and trains are run by Government departments, so you can easily transfer between trams and trains. I'd assume there would be a similar path for trains in Adelaide, and obviously tram experience would help to cross over to trains. You don't need any special qualifications to become a tram operator – just a current drivers license and the usual qualities/skills for most driving jobs.
It may not help too much for you in Perth, but hopefully this will give you some idea of the path as it is here in Adelaide.
This information is incorrect. For starters, you are employed as a multi-skilling Tram Operator right from the beginning. Meaning, they want you as a driver. Not "do your conducting, and we'll wait and see before we decide to make you a driver". You are pretty much guaranteed to end up as a driver after you've done your initial months as a conductor, they just stagger out the driver training, especially when there are a lot of new operators to be trained. Also, depending on operational requirements, driver training can commence a lot sooner (or a lot later) than nine months. In my case, the order of driver training was determined by names pulled out of a hat. I was fortunate to be among the first drawn out, and started my driver training less than three months after my initial employment. Again, depending on operational requirements, even after driver training, you can end up working a larger portion of conducting shifts, if those shifts need to be covered.
Also, tram drivers get absolutely no preferential treatment when it comes to recruiting for trains. You can't just "easily transfer". It does not work that way, you have to apply from scratch and sit through all the testing that everyone else has to. (That is, initial written application, Hogan's Personality psych test, psychometric, mechanical reasoning and vigilance (d2) test, interview and medical. Tram Drivers don't have to do the medical if their Category 1 medical is current, that's the only thing they get to skip if they make it that far!)
Amusingly enough, the majority of tram drivers who do apply for trains, never seem to get past the psychometric and vigilance tests. Even though I could quite confidently argue you need to be more vigilant to drive a tram than you do to drive a train (due to pedestrians and cars you have to dodge in the open corridor, you have to make your own selections at signals with switches, you are also at the mercy of road traffic signals dropping out to red at very short notice, as opposed to trains on a closed corridor the entire time and all of their signals pre-selected for them by Train Control). I have tried, and failed. But I will give it a crack again in the future, now I know where my weaknesses were in the train testing (I too, failed the d2 vigilance test). Most of the trammies I know who successfully got into trains didn't pass their testing the first time either, a bit of perseverence as well as thoroughly researching the testing requirements, downloading those tests off the internet and practising those tests got them through.
It comes down to those tests, so do your research. Find out what exactly is required by the employer, and practise, practise, practise, especially the vigilance tests! After a few seconds, those lines upon lines of similar looking letters/symbols all just look like a blur. :-/ The vigilance test is the part of the recruitment process that you really don't want to stuff up, so be sure to take the time to be as accurate as humanly possible!