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bikkuri bahn

Becoming a shinkansen driver

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bikkuri bahn

from a TV special on careers children aspire to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WqoRFGpH8Y

 

Profiles of drivers on JR West (this is an Osaka TV program).  To become a shinkansen driver, the path is: 2 years as station staff, 2 years as a conductor, and a number of years as a driver of 1067mm gauge (zairaisen)trains. Other interesting tidbits:

*train drivers are licensed by the government, and take a national examination to qualify

*shinkansen drivers are responsible for running repairs to electrical systems, should a malfunction occur

*before setting out on a run, drivers set their pocket watches to a reference clock at the depot

*the arrangement of cab controls on shinkansen is the opposite of those on zairaisen trains- throttle on right, with brake on left, as opposed to brake left, and throttle left.  Apparently speed control through the throttle is more important than the brake on shinkansen.

*shinkansen drivers can't wear white socks

 

>Thanks once again to quashlo at SSC for this find.

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Martijn Meerts

"Shinkansen drivers can't wear white socks" ?

 

That one seems a little out of place :)

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The_Ghan

Thanks for the post.  Really interesting stuff.  It's also comforting to know they take their work so seriously.

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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westfalen

Wow, our trains in Brisbane have the throttle on the right and brake on the left just like a shinkansen. :grin

 

That's about where the similarities end though, while most of what they do is familiar to me we don't get as formal as they do, no matter how I strain my imagination I can't see our guys saluting our supervisors and our fault finding and rectification isn't as thorough, poking around in an electrical cabinet is a job for an electrician, if you can't fix it by resetting a circuit breaker it stays broken.

 

Hmm, I've had 24 years as station staff (maybe over qualified there), 3 years as conductor (guard) and 4 years driving 1067mm gauge trains, where do I get a JR West job application form.

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spacecadet

"Shinkansen drivers can't wear white socks" ?

 

That one seems a little out of place :)

 

I'm guessing it's just because white socks are more casual, typically worn with shorts or jeans.  They want the drivers to project a professional appearance.  The rest of the uniform is probably standard issue, so they just have to define the socks so the drivers know what to buy themselves.

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Nick_Burman

Q - what are railwaymen's salaries like in Japan? How much does a Shinkansen driver earn?

 

 

Cheers NB

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bikkuri bahn

Q - what are railwaymen's salaries like in Japan? How much does a Shinkansen driver earn?

 

 

Cheers NB

 

The average salary for a driver in Japan last year was 6,050,000 yen a year, or approx. USD 75K/year. For a shinkansen driver, the figure I've seen is around 7 million yen a year, or USD 87K/year.

 

http://nensyu-labo.com/syokugyou_densya_untensyu.htm

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bikkuri bahn
I'm guessing it's just because white socks are more casual, typically worn with shorts or jeans.  They want the drivers to project a professional appearance.  The rest of the uniform is probably standard issue, so they just have to define the socks so the drivers know what to buy themselves.

 

Exactly.  Alot is aimed at the younger staff, things like short socks (booties?) that don't cover the ankle are a no-no (I see alot of boys wearing these even in the depths of winter).  The strictness of dress code depends on the railway company attitude- I've seen rather more casually applied dress (though still in uniform) on the small railways. The shinkansen system is likely the most conservative, with JR Tokai at the top.

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Bernard

Is being a Shinkansen Driver a popular career choice and is there a huge waiting list? 

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The_Ghan

Is being a Shinkansen Driver a popular career choice and is there a huge waiting list? 

 

Hoping to have a go Bernard?  :grin

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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Nozomi4ever

Is being a Shinkansen Driver a popular career choice and is there a huge waiting list?  

 

Yes.. The salary is very high.. So obviously , the waiting list is very long..  :grin:laugh:

Approximately.. $87,000 per year

Per Month(approx) ---------->> $7250 per month..  :grin

 

Who doesn't want this high-paying job?  :laugh:

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Untenshu_TMB

"Shinkansen drivers can't wear white socks" ?

 

That one seems a little out of place :)

 

I can not wear white socks when I'm working Barcelona's Underground. That's more common than you think.  :walk::whip2:

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westfalen

Is being a Shinkansen Driver a popular career choice and is there a huge waiting list?  

 

Yes.. The salary is very high.. So obviously , the waiting list is very long..  :grin:laugh:

Approximately.. $87,000 per year

Per Month(approx) ---------->> $7250 per month..  :grin

 

Who doesn't want this high-paying job?  :laugh:

I would have thought the pay would be higher. At the current exchange rates that's about our average pay for driving suburban trains in Brisbane, if you work a bit of overtime you can pull in a 6 figure amount. The record was one guy who made around $125,000.

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Bernard

Is being a Shinkansen Driver a popular career choice and is there a huge waiting list? 

 

Hoping to have a go Bernard?   :grin

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

 

Gee it's tempting except for the part of being timed at all your destinations  :confused2:  that's a little too much pressure.

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westfalen

In Brisbane time keeping is the guard's responsibility, the driver concentrates on his job which is watching the signals and the track ahead.

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Bernard

In Brisbane time keeping is the guard's responsibility, the driver concentrates on his job which is watching the signals and the track ahead.

 

Alvin - is there a lot of pressure on an Aussie crew to keep the train running on time?

It seems in Japan there is, I remember a couple of years ago a young Japanese engineer that was running behind schedule on a local train route, over exceeded the speed limit and caused a huge crash (was it in Tokyo??) 

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miyakoji

That was the Fukuchiyama line derailment (that's what I call it, wiki says Amagasaki rail crash), in Hyogo Prefecture between Amagasaki and Tsukaguchi stations.  Yeah, he was something like 90 seconds behind.  107 dead including the operator.  I remember all kinds of stuff in the news after that about how JRW pressures the crews, a station being added into a kaisoku schedule with no adjustment to the times of the adjacent stations, etc.  Hard to believe, although I accepted it as true.  There were news segments about motormen who had killed themselves because of the stress.  Then, several weeks later, it all kind of quieted down.  No more discussion of fixing problems.  :sad: Every time I think to myself that I'd take a job with JR in a heartbeat, I then think of this.  Maybe I could work at a depot, I think I could handle changing headlights.  :grin

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spacecadet

Then, several weeks later, it all kind of quieted down.  No more discussion of fixing problems. 

 

I don't know what problem there really is to fix.  Either you pressure train operators to run their trains on time or you don't.  If you don't, you end up with a system like we have in the US, where anything within 6 minutes is considered on time, trains have to operate on far reduced schedules (vs. in Japan) and then often run late anyway, causing cascading delays on a routine basis.

 

I really doubt anyone wants anybody to die in the name of punctuality, but when that accident happened, people acted like the mere idea of requiring the trains to run on time was responsible for the accident.  To me, what was responsible for the accident was a train operator who was speeding.  The solution to that is not an institutional change that no longer requires trains to run on time; the solution is better training for operators so they can keep their trains running on time, combined with additional training requiring them to adhere to speed limits.

 

When the Tenerife accident happened between two 747's some years back, where a KLM pilot took off without clearance and hit a Pan Am 747 because he was delayed and just wanted to get going, nobody said the cause was the pressure the pilot was under to get his plane to its destination in a reasonable time.  The cause was the pilot taking off without clearance!

 

Lots of important jobs involve dealing with pressure.  If you can't handle pressure when you have hundreds of lives in your hands, then you're working at the wrong job.

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Nozomi4ever

Then, several weeks later, it all kind of quieted down.  No more discussion of fixing problems. 

 

I don't know what problem there really is to fix.  Either you pressure train operators to run their trains on time or you don't.  If you don't, you end up with a system like we have in the US, where anything within 6 minutes is considered on time, trains have to operate on far reduced schedules (vs. in Japan) and then often run late anyway, causing cascading delays on a routine basis.

 

I really doubt anyone wants anybody to die in the name of punctuality, but when that accident happened, people acted like the mere idea of requiring the trains to run on time was responsible for the accident.  To me, what was responsible for the accident was a train operator who was speeding.  The solution to that is not an institutional change that no longer requires trains to run on time; the solution is better training for operators so they can keep their trains running on time, combined with additional training requiring them to adhere to speed limits.

 

When the Tenerife accident happened between two 747's some years back, where a KLM pilot took off without clearance and hit a Pan Am 747 because he was delayed and just wanted to get going, nobody said the cause was the pressure the pilot was under to get his plane to its destination in a reasonable time.  The cause was the pilot taking off without clearance!

 

Lots of important jobs involve dealing with pressure.  If you can't handle pressure when you have hundreds of lives in your hands, then you're working at the wrong job.

 

 

Oh well.. Most of the passengers are crew are killed.. Absolutely terrible.. Can you imagine 2 A380s crash into each other. The record will be horrifying to know!  :sad:

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spacecadet

Oh well.. Most of the passengers are crew are killed.. Absolutely terrible.. Can you imagine 2 A380s crash into each other. The record will be horrifying to know!  :sad:

 

It sure will be, and let's hope it never happens.  But the point is nobody would blame something like that on the flight schedules!  It's still the pilot's responsibility to fly his/her plane in a safe manner.

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westfalen

In Brisbane time keeping is the guard's responsibility, the driver concentrates on his job which is watching the signals and the track ahead.

 

Alvin - is there a lot of pressure on an Aussie crew to keep the train running on time?

It seems in Japan there is, I remember a couple of years ago a young Japanese engineer that was running behind schedule on a local train route, over exceeded the speed limit and caused a huge crash (was it in Tokyo??) 

 

 

Safety is always the over riding consideration, exceeding the speed limit would loose you more brownie points than running late though there is always the sense they would push us harder to run on time if they could because QR is penalised financially for late running trains by a reduction in the government subsidies they receive. Guards are required to give train control the reasons for late running because if it's due to reasons beyond our control there is no penalty, you can sense the frustration in the controller's voice if the guard says his late running was because of the freight train control put in front of us or a fault on the train that has gone unrepaired for a week. IMHO it's a flawed system because the subsidy should be increased to address the problems that cause the late running.

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Untenshu_TMB

Everybody thinks only in money... When you ask to somebody about his job you say... How much money. Or, How much responsibility....

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