From psychology student to train driver - how one Milton Keynes man changed tracks on his career
A train driver from MK is speaking out during National Careers Week to encourage others to take to the railways.
Jason Amos studied successfully for a psychology degree with the Open University, but then decided to follow a different path altogether.
He’s now a train driver for Great Northern and can't wait for lockdown to finish so he can drive trains full of passengers once again.
He said: “I began my life on the railway working as a customer service assistant for a different train company.
It was initially a part-time job whilst I studied for my degree, but it gradually turned into full-time and I was there for seven years.
"It was during this time that my interest in becoming a train driver started to take hold, so I did some research about the role and I spoke to a few train drivers that I knew. At the time, GTR was doing a big recruitment campaign calling out for trainee drivers, so I thought…. it’s now or never."
Jason admits he went into the training not really knowing what to expect.
"You undergo a mixture of classroom-based and physical learning as well as practise driving with a dedicated instructor. I officially qualified in June 2018 and have been solo driving ever since; it really is the best feeling!”
Jason, 32, drives in and around London on what’s called the ‘inner link.’He has seen huge changes during lockdown and the Covid pandemic.
“My Friday and Saturday night trains used to be filled with excited passengers who were heading into London for nights out in the city. Now however, it’s a completely different story.
"It’s been strange working through the pandemic and seeing everything completely shut down, but I feel lucky
to have kept a job when so many others haven’t been as fortunate. It certainly makes you appreciate what you have.
“I’m really looking forward to welcoming customers back on board when it’s safe to do so but in the meantime, I’m getting ready to move into my very first home.
"It’s been a year and a half in the making; it was meant to be ready last summer but because of the pandemic, the building work was delayed. I’m now spending my free time watching DIY videos online trying to learn some essential skills in preparation!”