GWA- Darwin- Working

 
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney

Afternoon,

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?

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  Black Hoppers Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned




Afternoon,

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?

"seb2351"


Seb

According to several ABC news items rental accomodation in Darwin is damn hard to find.

You would be best to live in Adelaide and do the Relay working out of there as the GWA depot there has good working conditions and several ex Parkes blokes on there roster who enjoy that working and are good blokes to work with.

  Wiseone Locomotive Fireman

Location: Darwin. NT
Afternoon,
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?
seb2351
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.
  Wiseone Locomotive Fireman

Location: Darwin. NT
Seb

According to several ABC news items rental accomodation in Darwin is damn hard to find.

You would be best to live in Adelaide and do the Relay working out of there as the GWA depot there has good working conditions and several ex Parkes blokes on there roster who enjoy that working and are good blokes to work with.
Black Hoppers
The relay working ex Adelaide to Darwin is a 5 day job. It is not as easy as some people say (and yes I do very infrequent relays down to Adelaide when needed). Adelaide does have a variety of working (3 rosters (Darwin, Perth and scrounge (Melbourne))), but like any depot, if is not for everyone. Before applying for any job, do your homework on the location, the working and weather you will be happy there (and what your family thinks about the idea).
  craigd Deputy Commissioner

Location: A Thinktank near you
Having worked for GWA (based in Adelaide) between mid 2008 and late 2010, and doing quite a lot of relay working ex-Adelaide on the darwin corridor (plus some stints on loan to the Darwin depot) I can say that Darwin is a really great place to be if you are able to adapt to the climate.

GWA at least now, after the debacles with crews abandoning Darwin depot in droves during 2009/10, understands that in order to attract people they have to compete which what's on offer in the Pilbara.

The working is good. WHen I was with GWA, Darwin depot did two ore train jobs (iron ore from Pine Creek 200 km south of Darwin, and manganese ore from 130 km north of Tennant Creek [this job is relay-working ex-Darwin]), and when the intermodal relay jobs go bad and crews coming from Adelaide or Pt Augusta depots run out of time, Darwin crews would help out. Most of the local work is yard work with the ore trains, shunting, etc. and since GWA took over management of Berrimah Terminal from Pacific National, GWA people now work the shunt locos for the intermodal side of things too.

Yes Darwin is a very expensive place to live because the demands for new housing outstrip the supply. But it's a unique place and if the climate suits you, have a go.

Craig.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Would of our Northern brethen be able to PM a copy of their roster, or fill me in on some questions I have?

Cheers

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