Off topic but that remark interests me as it suggests crews at Lithgow who drove 58 class also did not drive 38 class? I realise 38 was Eveleigh depot and 58 was Enfield depot but clearly I wrongly assumed Lithgow crews could be rostered on either class since both classes worked into Lithgow and thus I assumed Lithgow crews needed loco and route qualifications on all locos and routes for trains departing Lithgow.
Maybe a different thread is needed as it comes to the topic about if all crews at same depots eg Lithgow, were usually qualified for the same routes and classes, apart from junior drivers who might not be qualified for all classes.
What needed to be understood with the working of locomotives, trains & crew rostering was that not all crews, that at times applied to both drivers & firemen while at times one or the other.
In the case of 38cl when they worked through from Sydney they were only generally found on the CWE, which if I understand correctly back in those days was worked by Eveleigh enginemen, thus through running Lithgow. The other aspect to look at is that in depots such as Lithgow, there were different rosters for enginemen, with senior men working passenger trains only, then the next roster, which again from my understanding was like Enfield which was called the top link roster or similar, Enfields top roster in those days was called the big link, a deference to the big engines.
At that time the men on that roster were all qualified for big engines as well as working on the Blue Mountains, these men were in general not qualified for 38cl, the only thing that was close was the a6et BV fitted to the 58 & 38cl likewise to the garratts. The 57cl only had the older #4 brake valve as well as a "straight air" brake valve as fitted to the 36cl which operated only on the locomotive & tenders.
As for Enfield men, the 38c was something that flew past them as they rotted away in sidings, which is likely the same with the Lithgow men. Spreading out, Goulburn was similar with their crews also but likely their diagram crews were both qualified to drive big engines & 38cl as they progressed upward on the rosters.
The aspect related to the "drive them like a 38cl" was in those cases foreign to the majority of big engine drivers, as they were used to working the 57cl, & as they got on a 58cl from what several told me was almost a totally different engine as in most cases they had a large adjustment in driving them, given how few of them were in service compared to the 57cl they could go months without setting foot on one, again a fair adjustment needed.
During the times of problems with the 58cl inspectors were rostered on particular trains to travel with particular crews who were having problems with them, that is where they were given that instruction as these crews, & more especially the driver worked the 58cl like the 57cl, when things started to not work out, he was told to change the driving style. Every driver soon learnt the truth in the saying of the exhaust beat was the engine talking to you, & little subtle changes in the exhaust would be picked up, the ear of the big engine driver was much attuned to the 57c more so than the 58c.
Every class of engine had to be driven & in a different manner, as well in many cases fired differently which depended on load & especially coal types. The 58cl, from what I was told about had to worked at a greater cutoff of the screw, meaning they were heavier on coal & water this was totally foreign to the way the 57cl was worked, which was often up to1/2 a turn back in the screw which was significant, again compared to the 57cl.
There were apparently sections on the mountains, one called the long 33 which taxed the engines but with years of experience on the 57cl the crew knew where they could "fudge or bludge" on steam or water or both" which was not possible to do with the 58cl, a reason why they would lay down with steam pressure dropping under the 180Psi, to cut the injectors off on that grade to get steam back could cause problems with low water.
They type of coal also was a big factor in the trip.
At Enfield in the 60's, the roster system was similar but then called 46cl for the senior roster, 41cl for secondary roster, & a junior roster at the bottom of the 41cl. The rosters were based on line qualification as well as locomotive types & goods type working.
Hope that helps to understand the saying.