The job of dispatcher can be done by people of both sexes. For ease of reading only the male pronoun has been used in the following text. No disrespect to either sex is intended.
A dispatcher in a railway company like MEV is involved in the planning, execution and postprocessing of transport services like train journeys, technical wagon inspections and shunting operations. Train movements, shunting operations and deployment of locomotives must be planned and monitored along with the deployment of the appropriate personnel, operative employees' overnight stays before and after their shifts and the timely availability of all train, wagon and timetable documents.
Dispatchers are responsible for internal and external communication: telephone conversations with customers and other people involved in railway operations are just a much a part of day-to-day life as contact with workers on the train or locomotive. Other daily challenges include keeping a cool head in difficult situations and finding quickly actionable solutions in event of loss of personnel, train delays or sudden change of vehicle.
Your role will also involve the comparison of target and actual performance and preparation of documentation for internal and external billing. The detection of irregularities and the ability to make quick decisions in the implementation of emergency management are essential.
Dispatchers spend a large part of their working hours in front of a computer, often with several monitors active and a phone at their ear
Dispatchers work shifts and must be able at to assume responsibility at weekends, and holidays and at night for the smooth, punctual and safe running of train services.
Along with interest in the train system, a career as a dispatcher demands exceptional mental resilience and ability to cope with stress.
Willingness to work shifts and irregular hours, travelling long distances and being away from home for several days at a time, is today just as important for a dispatcher as the ability to work independently and make quick, situation-appropriate decisions and readiness to work in a team. Good knowledge of human nature and the ability one the one hand to adapt to a wide array of characters as conversation partners and on the other to assert oneself convincingly, are indispensable.
The role demands the ability to work confidently with standard soft- and hardware and willingness to participate in regular IT training.
The increasingly international character of rail transport demands that applicants demonstrate mastery of such written and spoken English as is necessary for communication relating to railway operation.
In order to become a dispatcher you will need rail management or logistics-oriented initial vocational training. Railway-specific knowledge can be imparted on top of this, which is necessary in order to find employment as a dispatcher.
Pay and development opportunities
The income of a dispatcher at MEV depends on training, professional experience and operations as well as years of work.
Individual company pay agreements such as the pay agreement between MEV and the GDL govern add-ons for night, Sunday and holiday work, remuneration for overtime, special payments, holiday allowance etc.
Regular further training and attractive social contributions are a given.
The professional development opportunities available to a dispatcher are highly individual.