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Tube traffic controller
Scott Chasserot

Quit your job, become a… tube controller

Danielle Goldstein

What exactly do you do?

‘We’re based in Southwark, where we monitor all branches of TfL including buses and the Emirates Airline, and any National Rail trains that come into London. We’re looking at everything to make sure customers are safe and get a world-class service. We work with all the emergency services too to make sure London runs perfectly.’

How did you end up watching over us?

‘Having gone to university in London, I’ve always been fascinated with how it works. When an opportunity arose to join the Metropolitan line as a service operator, I jumped at the chance. Then this role came along.’

Is everyone you work with geeky about the tube?

‘You get some guys who absolutely love trains. I wouldn’t go that far, but I love a challenge – and the bigger the challenge, the better I perform.’

What kind of challenges?

‘Signal and points failure, someone ill on a train... The best part of the job is not knowing what the day’s going to throw at you. A few weeks ago on the Bakerloo line, someone reported an unconscious person on the train and the emergency stop was pulled. We had an ambulance en route and the British Transport Police were on site to inspect, but it was just someone who’d fallen asleep.’

How do you stay healthy when you're in an office all day?

‘We’re six floors up, so I always take the stairs. Plus I go to the gym five days a week and eat plenty of fruit and protein shakes.’

Is this the sort of job that anyone could do?

‘If you’re not very patient or able to remain calm, you won’t be successful in this job. Another key thing needed is good listening skills. That’s one skill of mine that has definitely improved, but I had to obtain it very, very quickly.’ 

Hours: 37hrs per week

Starting salary: £28,500 p/a

Qualifications: Experience elsewhere on London Underground desired.

Or why not become a party planner?

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