I was wondering what kind of working drivers based at Darwin for GWA would do? Given this question is bound to be asked again, I thought it better to make it a "search" easy thread title.
How is the environment to work in, and Darwin itself. Would you recommend it to anyone?
Darwin currently works the ore services in the Northern Territory, discharges them at the port of Darwin and shunts the intermodal services. Darwin works train to Union Reef which is where Iron Ore is currently loaded for Territory Holdings. This service runs 8 times a week and is a 10 hour job. They also work to Muckaty which is about 800 km south of Darwin where Manganese is loaded for OM Holdings. The Muckaty job is relay working and is around 30 hours. This service runs 4 times a week.
Darwin crews discharge the ore services and shunt the intermodal trains. The depot works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. There is a lot of week end work and only just enough crews to cover the jobs. The only time it shuts is for cyclones. If it is 95% humidity and 36 degrees, pissing down rain, or a fine sunny day and there is work to be done, then it has to be done. Darwin occasionally works the Intermodal trains between Darwin and Katherine. The majority of working does tend to be shunt jobs. You work with a mixture of new and very ancient locos. You work in very isolated areas of Australia with your only contact a satellite phone. You have to be able to think on your feet and adapt to changing conditions and be able to think logical (and outside the square) when things go wrong. The roster currently maximizes RTO days, which means there are some not so nice consecutive shifts.
Darwin is a very expensive place to live. It is never included in the Australian cost of living for that reason. While it is the Major City of the Northern Territory, you need to leave the southern thinking attitude behind. It is a very unique place. Medium house price is fast approaching 700 K. You can get a house cheaper, but you don't get to pick your neighbors (and anyone who has lived in Darwin or down in the Alice will know what that means). Dili, the capital of Timor is closer to Darwin than any Australian Capital City. We don't need to save daylight like they do down south. If you are into fishing, four wheel driving or camping then Darwin is a great place. You do have to go out and meet people and you do need to keep yourself hydrated, so one of the many watering holes is a great place to meet people.
Yes, I would recommend it to others, but I'm biased.