Shunter Martin

Location Management, Taulov.

Started as a trainee in 2007

“We typically lift 33 tonnes by forklift. We’re working with massive forces, and you have to be aware of that when you work in our workplace.” 

Martin Pjengaard Nielsen

Martin works as a train preparer at the combined terminal in Taulov, where his primary task involves shunting the freight wagons – a task performed in close cooperation with one or more colleagues. The work slip must be followed, which means that wagons have to be placed in the correct order. Using a shunter and extensive physical lifting of the wagon couplings, Martin and his colleagues get everything in the required order.

“The feeling of getting everything to come together correctly is a big part of a good workday for me. When it looks like things are going to be tight, the trains are coming in one after the other, and we help each other to get things right and on time – that’s a good day.”

New functions and development

Martin started as a trainee in 2007. Over time, new tasks and responsibilities have been added to Martin’s position of shunter. He is the yard’s deputy foreman, which involves planning the day’s work, coordinating customers, and everything else that happens at the terminal in the course of a shift. Martin has completed training courses on conflict management, and he actively participates in our mandatory ongoing training programmes. The work is very practical in nature, so a lot of training in new tasks is in the form of hands-on training with designated instructors and exercises.

“I see all new functions as development, and there are opportunities for development in the company.”

In addition to his duties as shunter, Martin also serves as a mentor for new trainees, where he draws on his strong empathic skills. For Martin, there is a lot to learn from talking with new colleagues about his work. He appreciates and enjoys the new perspectives that they bring to the workplace.

“As a newcomer to our work, you have to learn that there’s a reason we perform our tasks in a certain way. I strive to ensure that our trainees gain a professional pride.”

Professional pride and responsibility

Professional pride also entails responsibility, which Martin thinks is particularly strong among his experienced colleagues who have worked in the company for many, many years. To Martin Pjengaard Nielsen, responsibility is one of the most important things in working as a shunter.

“We typically lift 33 tonnes by forklift. We’re working with massive forces, and you have to be aware of that when you work in our workplace. Responsibility is all-important for ensuring that a train is sent off responsibly and safely.”

Fresh air

Train preparers work almost exclusively outdoors – no matter the weather – because the train cannot wait for the rain to stop. On working outside in all kinds of weather and getting plenty of fresh air, Martin says:

“It’s nice to follow the seasons outside – a wonderful feeling to be outside when the sun is shining. I also have tasks indoors, and I like a mix of inside and out. The workwear is good for outdoor work, so if you get cold it’s your own fault.”