Up to three operators are responsible for all train movements at each station or yard. They take carriages to the sidings, shunt wagons in the goods yard, turn engines, manage the engine shed, change points and prepare trains for departure. One of the operators at each location also takes on the role of Station Manager.
The Station Manager has the responsibility to perform the following:
- Ensuring platforms are free for arriving trains.
- The breaking down or turning of trains if prescribed by the timetable.
- Assigning platforms of the correct length for the making up of departing trains.
- Ensuring the correct type of stock is used for a specific type of train and completing the task in plenty of time before a departure is due.
- Informing the Timetable Manager of the platform and stock details of an impending departure.
- Ensuring that the appropriate part of the station trackwork is released to allow the computer-controlled trains to arrive and depart, and making sure no stock movements are being undertaken on the same areas of track.
All in all it can be quite a pressured environment with some stations, such as London, dealing with 10 to 12 external train movements an hour.
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