- Nearly 200 applicants for each post resulting from biggest driver recruitment drive on east coast route since 1980s
- New recruits to start in January, ahead of Azuma train fleet roll-out in 2018
More than 15,000 candidates have applied to drive Virgin Trains’ revolutionary new Azuma trains following the biggest recruitment drive on the east coast route since the 1980s.
The overwhelming response, which equates to nearly 200 applications per post, comes as Virgin Trains gears up for the launch of the new fleet in 2018. The Virgin Trains talent team has now started sifting through the thousands of applications after the closing date last Friday.
The 78 new drivers will work from depots between London and Edinburgh and are due to start a year-long development programme in January 2017.
A spokesperson for Virgin Trains said: “We have received a huge amount of interest in this fantastic opportunity at Virgin Trains on its east coast route. We’re really excited that so many people want to come and join our fabulous company! The Talent team are working hard to process and update all of the applications we received. Those who have been successful in getting through the first stages of the process will be invited to attend a selection day which will include a variety of assessments and exercises that will bring the best talent into our business.”
Over the course of a year trainees will take part in a mix of classroom-based and ‘on the job’ learning at different locations on the east coast route. Modules range from track safety, understanding operational route risks and emergency situations to getting to know the traction they will be driving.
New recruits also go through rigorous immersive practical learning including driving Virgin Trains’ state of the art simulator in order to familiarise themselves with the cab and build train handling experience.
When they launch in 2018, the 65 Azuma trains, built in the UK by Hitachi, will be amongst the most advanced trains on the UK’s rail network.
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