Who is District Dave ?
David Maloney was the man behind the original District Dave Trainweb site and the District Dave London Underground forum. He was also a much respected Instructor Operator on the District Line, hence his pseudonym !
In the late 1990’s Dave parted company with his previous employer after 28 years. Besides using London Underground as a everyday commuter, he had no experience of the railway industry and was simply looking for his next challenge, but had no specific idea of which direction to take.
By pure chance his next door neighbour, a Duty Station Manager and another close neighbour, a Station Assistant, both independently suggested that as London Underground were recruiting station staff at that time, it might be something to do even if only in the short term. Dave duly applied and was offered the position of Station Assistant, undertaking a four-week training process at the London Underground Training Centre at Ashfield House in West Kensington.
Working at a station which was one of the main change over points for Train Crews, Dave got to know a number of Train Operators, Instructor Operators (I/Os) and Duty Managers (Trains) (DMTs). After a few months adverts for Train Operators appeared in the weekly Traffic Circular and he was encouraged by the train crews to “go for it; we can see you on the handle”. Until then Dave had simply thought that he would progress through to Station Supervisor grade and perhaps beyond, but had never really thought that ‘Train Side’ would be avenue which would open up.
With a Training Day available to Dave, arrangements were made for him to spend a day with an Instructor Operator, during which he learnt about the various bits of kit in the cab, what each did and basic driving techniques. Then suddenly he was informed that he would be driving for the rest of the trip...
“to say I was taken aback would be an understatement; I had expected to do a ‘rounder’ observing and to see what it was like on the front of the train, but not to actually take control”.
So Dave had been bitten by the driving bug and obtaining an Application Pack, he duly filled out the necessary forms and submitted his application.