Old Delec Enfield personalities 1976-78

 
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
Speaking of old Delec personalities My Father's Father was an Engineman-He used to drive/fire Steam Locomotives, His name was Albert Lawrence , Anybody heard of him ?

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  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Got any more pictures of Eveleigh running shed ?


hello KT19, glad you enjoy what gets posted here. I have just one more Eveleigh picture and its not a good one, but here it is anyway. 4203 next to the shed, and either Southern Aurora or Indian Pacific cars in the foreground




My father often talked about a guy he used to know very well who I think worked at Enfield/Clyde back in the day, but not sure what he did as I never knew him. I will attempt to find out more, but I will throw a name out there and see who knows this man and what he did.

"Cleve Raymond Burgess"

Anyone have an idea who he was?



My Father's Father was an Engineman-He used to drive/fire Steam Locomotives, His name was Albert Lawrence , Anybody heard of him ?  




Hi lukejoe23 & Israilfan - I don't know them, maybe some of the other ex firemen and drivers who read this might.


hello Xgentric

that was an interesting read about your long hours Taree incident. I guess the further away you get from Sydney, the harder relief becomes.

I had a few extra long shifts, they didn't worry me too much as I was mostly with Drivers who didnt know me, so didn't or wouldn't ask me to assist with driving, so hardest part of my job was maybe staying awake and alert, particularly at night.

In my first month out on the road I did quite a few 10 + hour jobs. I was signed on at 6.00am for Local with driver J Smythe, but this got changed to 709 SC (South Coast) hauled by 4883 & 48130. These were usually changeovers with Coast crews, but for once we got all the way to Port Kembla North without a changeover, then Home Passenger on a late afternoon passenger service, signing off after a 14 hours 35 minutes shift.

Looking through my notebook many of my "Locals" became South Coast jobs, and some of my rostered South Coast jobs got cancelled on the day, and became Locals instead.

But you could get 11 + hours without leaving the local area. A month later I was signed on for Local at 5.10am with Ray Sullivan (the young one). We did a lot of hanging around then were sent (walked) to Enfield North to relieve a crew on 4895 took the train into the yard, and the loco to Delec. Then more waiting around the Sign On room, then relieved 464 South at Delec Platform, with 42107 & 48111, took it to Cooks River, then Light Engine to Eveleigh where we stabled the locos, then suburban train and bus back to Delec to sign off - 11 hours 55 minutes shift.

In fact most of my long hours shifts (10 + hours) occurred in the Sydney metro area.

My  longest shift in 1977 was Thursday 22 December. Signed on at 5.31pm with Vassos Vassiliou (aka Vince) to do 415 South to Goulburn & Home Passenger. Prepped 4205, took it light engine to Botany, & attached to 415 South. Something was wrong with the Guards Van, and no spare van was available at Botany (I didn't note what was wrong, bloody fussy guards ) so we had to take the train to Enfield, where the van was cut off, and another added. Then to Goulburn arriving sometime around very dark o'clock. We weren't prepared for barracks, we were too early to catch a more comfortable ride on 4 South (Spirit of Progress) so hitched a ride back on 476 South, camped in the number two end of a 44 for the ride back, signing off 15 hours and 14 minutes after we had signed on.

long days, fun days, all long gone

cheers
oldguy

Delec, 4914 with a 73 class in the paddock




Enfield yard 48161 + 2 more 48s, and a 73 in the background (probably the Low Level Shunter)

  KT19 Beginner

Oldguy, thanks for the Eveleigh running shed pics & the stories. Certainly gives a tremendous insight into how things were run when we actually had a railway !.

Its certainly history now, but a lot of us on here have, unfortunately, missed out on that era. Keep them coming !
  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
Good Photo pics "oldguy"
but i beat you by 36' mins mate.

ie 15 hours and 50 minutes longest shift for me, (10 mins off 16 hours!)
Enfield to Goulburn and backhome passenger train.
(came back home Goulburn to Strathfield on Spirit of Progress back loco cab)

I have also done 14 hours and 16 hours in Barracks waiting for my
rostered train home, and once after 12 hours, the call boy told my driver and me that our rostered train for us to work home out of barracks,
"disappeared" so we came home passenger from Goulburn on the XPT.

Ahhh yes long shifts and stuck in barracks,
the joys of being a NSW State Rail engineman (train crew)

NB: The shortest shift for me was 4 hours neat.
(inc 10 min sign on at Goulburn Station and sign off time at Delec)
The Driver: (Garry White) and myself out of the Goulburn Barracks.
worked an express  freight high wheeler (100km/h runner)
with a 421 class up front and green light signals all the way to the Delec platform and we got relieved there.

So We claimed the 6 hours mileage payment.
Some shifts are rememerable 8)  esp with the rock & rolling 421 class doing mostly track speed.
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hi BFCYU

yeah, I agree 15 hours 50 minutes is a looong shift.

I also had it happen a few times that a Barracks job in Goulburn became Home Passenger. I still have the 'amended' entries in my book. Sometimes we were told outright when we signed off duty in Goulburn, and other times it was only when we were in Barracks and would be woken by a call boy advising our job home was running too late, so we were to go home, but this was after only 7 or 8 hours in Barracks, not your 12 (thankfully). It always seemed a waste to have a barracks job cancelled.

And from memory time spent in Barracks was paid at much less than your hourly rate, I cant remember what the rate was, but it was well under a dollar an hour, maybe 20 cents per hour or something like that.  

It seemed to only happen with Goulburn to me, but then again it was our most common Barracks destination in those days. And the "Express" freights were often delayed, even though in theory their on time running was supposed to be as important as that of passenger services. I can recall leaving on Mayne Nickless Expresses three and four hours after their scheduled departure time from Enfield, probably as the train was incomplete, or still being loaded, but as you know many things could delay your departure: loco shortages, brake van shortage, waiting for a train examiner, waiting for a Guard, waiting for the road, etc, etc

In my time,  train crew were also allowed to ride Home Passenger in passenger cars on any passenger train, the two exceptions being 1 & 2 South (Southern Aurora) and 1 & 2 West (Indian Pacific). This was because these trains only had First Class seating/cabins, and staff could only ride free for work purposes in Second Class.  I went home passenger on the Spirit a few times, sitting in an upright seat in Second (or Economy) Class, catching a few winks on the way. You just showed your Delec issued free travel on public transport pass which identified you as an employee to the train staff if they asked to see your ticket. This was before uniforms were issued, so no one knew you were train crew. Maybe the rules changed later, or maybe your Driver just didn't want to sit in with all the pensioners Smile

I had a few 6 hour shifts coming off Barracks in my book, but nothing as short as your 4, at least not in 1977.

Longest 'Home Passenger' trip I ever did was probably 15 hours or more, I dont recall how long exactly, but I got on it in daylight, and got off it in daylight the next day. But it wasn't a paid shift.  I went on loan to Narrabri when I was a Class 1 Engineman for the wheat season in 1977. Even when I arrived I was told the bulk of the work was over, and by the 4th week I was there I was getting a job about every 3rd day, so was only getting paid the 'Guarantee' of 40 hours per week. It would have been nice if I was looking to be semi-retired, but I was only 17 years old - a bit young for that.

I also was living in the Barracks at Narrabri West, which is a few kilometres out of Narrabri town, and had no car, & the boredom was killing me. The Barracks had no amenities other than beds, ablutions and a kitchen/mealroom, there was not even a TV or radio, and the nearest shop to get your smokes or a can of coke was a little service station on the way to Narrabri township, about 2 or 3 kilometres walk.

So I decided to ask the Roster Clerk if I could go home. He was happy to see me go, as it meant more work for everyone else. Later in the day he came over to the Barracks and said he had rung & arranged for my transfer back to Delec, and I was now off Narrabri's Enginemen Roster, and to ring Delec Roster Clerks on 37167 as soon as I got home to get my next job. This was great, I packed my bag, and asked one of the other on loan guys to give me a lift to Narrabri Station so I could get the afternoon train to Sydney home. I didn't have a car at that stage.

I kind of forgot that there was a passenger service from Moree to Sydney only 3 or 4 days a week, and this day wasn't one of them. I didnt want to waste another day in Narrabri. A mail only train ran in the passenger train's place on the days there was no passenger service, so I asked the Guard if I could hitch a lift in a mail van. The train was made up of several such vans. He was happy enough for me to get a lift, and pointed to one mail van that he said wouldn't be disturbed for the rest of the trip, as it was loaded with parcels and mail bags for Sydney.  

So I arranged the mail bags into a lumpy bed and settled in for a very long trip. It was late October, and was quite cold for most of the trip after dark fell. Every time the train stopped (which was at every station to pick up & drop off parcles and mail bags) the slight lurch of the carriage would wake me up, and I'd notice how cold it was, particularly on the ranges. Sometimes I'd stand up and walk around to warm up, and look outside for the station name, and was always a bit amazed that every time I checked I expected to see a place name I knew, but every check revealed we were still a long way from Sydney. I didnt quite realise how long this trip would take, and hadn't bought along anything to eat or drink.  We stopped for quite a while at some spots, where a small mountain of mail and parcels would be piled up on the platform waiting to be loaded on this train. Eventually we arrived in Sydney, long after sun up, and caught a suburban train home. Worst 'passenger' trip ever, but I was glad to be back at Delec.

talking of 'home passenger' here are some passenger train pics

cheers
oldguy

first one is at Lithgow. Note the Gladstone bag on the platform opposite the 4490. This was the type of bag most old drivers had in those days. I'd take a guess this was the Central West Express



I think the next was taken at Strathfield, but can't be sure. 42108 leading a 422, 4629 and two doubledeckers



42210 at Central, probably having hauled Number 2 or Number 4 South (Southern Aurora or Spirit of Progress)



and lastly I found another Eveleigh picture in my roof - its another bad shot, but here it is anyway - X205

  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
Not long after I was "on the road" as a fireman 1980 or 81
a lot of blokes at Delec and a couple of other depots too,
were buying the large full leather barracks bags,
from Ray "kojak" Morris.
$50 then but worth it.

Top bags to carry and much lighter than the "old style" metal box
some blokes used to carry to barracks, hence the name "box" jobs.
ie Barracks (rest, cook & stay)

Talking too about Barracks,
as an engineman at Delec, because of the rosters I was on with my
regular drivers (Tony Ryan then Vince Jelley) we predominatly got the
"book off jobs" at Goulburn, and only a few at Broadmeadow,
and only rare at Lithgow.

But the good thing about it was going to Goulburn for me,
it was mostly an afternoon/early evening sign on at Delec,
and arrived at Goulburn around 10pm-3am.

So we slept like normal dayworkers do,
and always got a "daytime" train coming home,
after our min. 8 hours rest in Barracks.

Goulburn barracks was also pretty good, with quiet single rooms
double glazed windows and internal venetian blinds.

Some of my older engineman mates while doing their road trials
to Goulburn, hated signing on at 6-7-8am and booking off at 2 or 3pm
and then coming home after 8 hours rest at 11pm or midnight.

Daywork sign on's to Barracks was a killer for some.
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hi BFCYU

About getting a lot of the southern line working.

I'm pretty sure all my "regular mates" were not qualified for the North or West. They were all relatively young. You probably remember thats how it was in those days, a Driver only qualified for the North later, and the West last, I guess because it had the hardest grades to deal with.  

And given that firemen had to qualify on the Southern & South Coast lines, to pass the Acting Driver's test it made sense to be rostered with a Driver who did a lot of that working, to become familiar with the signal locations, loops, sidings and grades.

I also spent a lot of time on the Pencil roster and fairly often was rostered with one old driver or another for western or northern jobs.

I remember coming home from Lithgow with one old driver, in a couple of 46s with a train of mixed wagons.  My memory isn't perfect of how things were done back then, but I recall that the triple valves on the wagons had to be set so that the brakes were partly applied on all the wagons for much of the trip down the mountains, and at some point, when the worst of the grades were over, the triple valve levers had to be set to 'normal' where the brakes were no longer partly applied. This had to be done manually on each wagon, by the Guard.

Anyway coming down the mountain, we noticed a lot of smoke being generated, as the brakes were becoming very hot. The Driver made me stick my head out the window and watch the train, to let him know how it was going, and to check that sparks didnt set fire to the surrounding bush.  This seemed pointless to me, but I kept him informed that with the amount of smoke being generated, particularly from some BBW (ballast wagons) that I couldn't tell if the bush was catching on fire, but many wagon bogies looked like they were on fire & were probably melting. He didn't find it very funny. We completely blanketed stations and passengers waiting on platforms with thick clouds of stinking burning smoke as we squealed and creaked our way down the mountains. A steam train couldn't have generated as much smoke as we were. I half expected to see the Bush Fire Brigade chasing after us.

Another time coming home after Barracks at Lithgow, we got down to Glenbrook, moving very slowly, and there was an attractive looking woman standing on the platform ahead. The Driver asked me if we should stop and give her a lift. I readily agreed, not that he needed my permission. I'd never had a Driver give a non railway person a lift before. The train groaned to a halt and he got me to open the door and ask her where she was going, which she said was Penrith, and did she want a lift. Surprisingly she agreed, and we put up the Inspector's seat for her. It was pleasant to have some pretty feminine company for a change, and we let her out at Penrith. I wished she could have rode with us the whole trip. This Driver's name was Laurie, the same one that used to make out he was gay to stir up his long haired firemen.

To digress, the only other time a Driver I was with (almost) invited a woman into the cab, was shunting STC container terminal at White Bay in a 48 class. You'd often sit idle for quite some time, with nothing to do, and my Driver called me over to his side of the cab to see a very attractive woman climb down from a big truck cab, parked nearby. She then walked over and spoke to another truckie and climbed up into his cab. Big rigs in that era often had sleeper compartments at the back with a bed and curtains. She was 'working', and a bit later she left the truck cab, saw us looking at her, and gave us a beaming smile and wandered over. I took off back to my side of the cab, and she chatted to the Driver. I was really hoping he wasn't going to invite her up, as there is no room and no privacy in a 48 cab. Fortunately nothing came of it !

anyway, talking of the west here are a few pics of working down the mountains.



4603 & another 46 on the Indian Pacific, looks like the locos have recently been waxed and polished, or maybe they had the "shortcut shine" of rags dipped in diesoline rubbed over them to give a shiny appearance. I can remember T.E. cleaners doing this in the shed at Delec when there wasn't time (or energy left) to finish a wax and polish job before going home time



4629 with a wheatie at Lapstone, the old orange handlamp can be seen in the front window

  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello

Another time altogether I was rostered with Laurie, and we were running light engine in a 48 from Darling Harbour to Enfield, via Strathfield. It seems all drivers loved the stretch from Redfern to Strathfield when travelling light engine, and most drivers felt obliged to open the throttle up to get through it as fast as possible, as this same piece of perway was rated for high speed and also used by express passenger trains. For reasons best known to himself Laurie decided he was only going to use the train brake to slow and stop the 48, rather than the Engine Brake. As we were travelling light engine, (without a train), there was no reason to be using the Train Brake.

Now I resigned before I did any of the Acting Driver's courses where you learn all the technicalities and minutiae of operating and applying the Westinghouse air brakes, but I never before or since was rostered with a Driver who did this.

To explain, and forgive me if I oversimplify, or get it a bit wrong, as it was a long time ago, & I only had some basic 'on the job training' from some Drivers,  but The Engine Brake handle was used to apply and release the brakes on the locomotive. the Train Brake handle is used to apply the brakes to all the wagons on the train.

When you apply the Train Brake it also automatically starts to gently apply the Engine Brake. You could see this by the slow creep of the needle on the break gauges.  So it is possible to control a light engine with the train brake, but its not efficient, and there is no reason to do it this way.

So to actually slow and stop just the locomotive using the just the Train Brake, it had to be applied really hard and often, and around Strathfield we got a caution signal, so had to slow down quickly from around 100km per hour. Laurie had to apply it full on in "Emergency" mode in order to make the Engine Brakes come on hard enough, instead of simply using the Engine Brake, which would have very quickly and efficiently slowed the locomotive.

When the Train Brake was fully applied the air escapes out of the back of the brake stand and makes a deafening noise, which due to to the direction it vents, seems much louder on the fireman's side of the cab.

It's actually loud enough to impair your hearing for a while after, and can be almost painful with the pitch and intensity of the sound as the compressed air exits.

Laurie knew this, but persisted all the way to Enfield with using just the Train Brake. He actually said it was more 'fun' or 'interesting' driving that way, even though I didn't question what he was doing or complain about it.

I figured he was just trying to get my goat, so didn't react. When I was back with my regular mate Vass a week later, I told him about Laurie's braking stunt, and he was actually more annoyed with Laurie than I was, he reckoned it was a low act, and I should have got stuck into him about it, but I got more pleasure from not taking the bait, & not giving Laurie the satisfaction of a complaint, as it was evidently Laurie's favourite game to stir up long haired young firemen.

I guess the old drivers had to find some way to get back at those annoying long haired firemen back in the 70s

here are a few pics

cheers
oldguy

4908 in Delec paddock, a 48 partly visible to the left, down the back the fuel and sand area, and a Driver or Fuelman's white XA Falcon.



4418 in Delec paddock, a 421 visible to the left rear



4492 & another 44 just outside Lithgow powering through hauling the Indian Pacific

  cuthbert Train Controller

When driving multiple locos L-Engine, the brakes can be applied faster on the trailing locos using the Auto. When only a single loco, then it's a different story.

OLDGUY, was it a single or multiple consist LE trip?
  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
A lot of drivers used to do "track speed" (or around 70km/h) from Darling Hbr. (Redfern) to Strathfield with Locomotive Light Engines. (LE)
~~I was told we had to do it because train/traffic control
would report (bung) us if we went to slow, but I and most others still only used the engine brakes only.

But interesting though.
Even while shunting at Enfield with non air trains
I used to use both brakes, ie train & engine. Exclamation

Just thought I would tell you to confuse all the viewers Wink
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Thanks guys, interesting to know. I'm sure it was a single 48. But it was a long time ago.

I'm just about out of anything much else recountable about Delec, so might wind this one up.

I resigned at the end of 1978 & rejoined less than 2 years later, I might start a new thread about my second 'career' on the railway.

At the end of 1978, I resigned from the railway, leaving Delec as an Engineman Class 2. I had no desire to do any shiftwork related job again. I did a bit of travel, driving down through southern NSW, Victoria and South Australia. On returning back to western Sydney I started work at a Petroleum Depot mainly working the cash register. The hours were day time Monday to Friday which was great, but the pay was woeful.  I was earning about 20% of what I was earning as an engineman. But I was working half the hours & no shiftwork or weekends. The other people that worked at the Petroleum Depot kept to themselves, were mainly truck drivers and were older, and were not easy to get on with, & there seemed to be no future here, so one day I resigned on the spot. I drove again down to South Australia to visit some relatives, then up to the Gold Coast, just enjoying the freedom for a few weeks.

On returning I got a job as an "office johnny" for a large quarry group, who had their headquarters in the western suburbs at Greystanes. At first this was a bit better than the last job, I was now earning about 25% of my former wage, and still no weekend or shift work. After about 6 months it was getting quite boring. Petty office politics were also a drag. There were only a couple of people my age but they worked in other sections, so it was pretty well impossible to talk to them. Most people were twice, even three times my age, and we had nothing in common. It was a bit like being back as a Trainee Engineman Unqualified, I was again the bottom of the food chain, but unlike Delec I had no mates at the same level to talk to, and unlike Delec, there was no clear career path to advance yourself.  I was still only 19.  A job was internally advertised in Accounts, which was a step up,  which I put in for, but it went to a boss' son.

One of my mates got it into his head to go to Western Australia for a look. It didn't take much to convince me to come along, so I resigned with minimum notice. The old women I worked with said I'd regret leaving such a good job, good jobs are hard to find, etc, but fact is I've never missed that job or them since I left it in 1979.

The trip to Perth was uneventful. On the way we called into the railways at Port Augusta in SA and found to our surprise that they were recruiting staff and would give us a start. I ascertained the positions were as Safe Working Station Assistants (though that may not have been the exact title) They told us we were certain starters if we wanted the positions, though they had yet to clarify a start date for training, but it would probably be in a month's time. They would put us through training and qualify us, then we would be 'Relief' and go where needed. I gave them my relatives address in Port Pirie and told them to send the letters to that address when they had the start date, so we'd know when to come back.

Neither me nor my mate wanted to hang out in Port Augusta or Port Pirie for a month waiting, we still wanted to see Perth. Before we left I asked the railway guy what would happen if we didn't pass the training. I figured having passed NSW training this would not be hard, but my mate had no railway knowledge. The railway guy, who wore a business shirt, not a uniform,  said that was not a problem, he was one of the trainers, and he'd keep training, till everyone passed !

When we were in Perth I also enquired at WA railways, but they were not recruiting. They told me they had taken in some Trainee Enginemen a few months back, but had no future plans to take on more, or any other staff. Perth was nice enough, but our money was starting to run low, so we headed back to Port Pirie in South Australia. The letters had not arrived, we now only had enough money for petrol home & a few steak sandwiches on the way, so decided to head back home to NSW. Not long after we got back, my relatives in Port Pirie rang to say the letters with our start date for the railway training in Port Augusta had arrived. I'd lost interest in going back, as had my mate, so we told them to chuck the letters away. Port Augusta was not a very appealing looking place back then, and we knew no one there. My uncle told me I was weak, and should come back & take the job. I didn't even have the petrol money to get there !

I was needing a job & money, living back with my father was not much good. I'd tried the couple of day work jobs and they had turned out to be pretty awful,  so I decided to give NSW railways a shot again. Despite my hatred of shiftwork. I decided I'd aim for traffic branch. Even though shiftwork could not be avoided in Traffic Branch, at least it was rostered 8 hour shifts, not like the Rouseabout Pencil roster at Delec.

By now it was April 1980. The railway recruitment office had moved down near Circular Quay. I lined up, spoke to someone who organised a medical, and started the paperwork. After the medical I had an interview. This was new, last time I signed up there was no interview. The guy who interviewed me wanted to ascertain why I'd left before. I told him due to shiftwork. He asked if I played football or some other sport that required weekends & evenings off for games & training. I told him no, I had just got fed up with working 12 & 13 days straight & up to 12 hours each day. He asked other questions and finally said he could give me a Monday to Friday day work job as a Station Assistant (SA). I hadn't expected this.

He told me I could start at Clyde Central Goods Yard,  where SAs helped load and unload freight wagons, on a day shift Monday to Friday basis. This sounded great. He told me he had actually worked there at one stage & it was a good spot. He was a rugby league player, & working there had allowed him evenings & weekends to play sport.

My employment application was finalised successfully on the spot, and I was told to front up on the next Monday at Central to a training room, for a half day induction training, then to catch the train to Clyde to start work after that.

I went home looking forward to the coming Monday.

My railway life was kicking off again, but this time as one of those lousy traffic *****.
  oscar2 Locomotive Fireman

When you said the interviewer for the Station Assistant job asked "if I played football or some other sport", I thought you were going to say he wouldn't offer you a job if you said "yes".  Just reminds me of an older guy at my work, now retired, that always used to say he'd never hire a smoker, footballer or woman.

Anyway oldguy, if I can just add to the comments made by others praising this thread.  It's been a great read over the past few months and one thread that I'll have to go over again down the track.  From a historical perspective the stories and photos have been gems.  Thanks to you and the other contributors.  8)
  DWE1958 Beginner

I have just found this forum on the 'old' Delec Enfield personalities. I started as a cleaner in early 1976 and finished up as an Engineman Class II in September 1978 when I left to seek a career somewhere else. I have only glanced at some of the names from that era in the previous posts (Vas Vassilou) and also recall Ted Edward (pommy), Mick Eely, and Clarrie Wheatley (who I 'fired' for for 18 months). Clarrie passed away in 1980 following a car accident at Mullumbimby where his family had a farm. I recall some antics whilst being shed bound as a cleaner then as an Engineman Class I. One comes to mind was to see who was the bravest at trying to light the diesel heater for those cold shed nights. Trying to make sure our home made 'wick' stayed alight and the 'boom' of ignition didn't wake the fitters or annoy the Chargman on duty. Trying to get a handle on the turn table when there was a rush on to point the long end or short end of a loco in the right direction and the loco wasn't balanced too well on the turn table. Getting $3.99 an hour and losing money doing the shed roster of days, afternoons and morning shifts with no overtime and no weekend work. Seeing the aftermath of the call truck collision just at the end of DELEC station. The brown looking Ford wagon that carted us around to relieve various crews to work trains locally or elsewhere. Thanks to the people that put the pictures of the running shed and others in previous posts. Brought back a lot of memories. I saw a Safe Working Catechism on ebay (1978 edition) that finished on the weekend but was outbid by a few dollars.  The training to progress from a cleaner to an Engineman was also a hoot from initial induction at 409 Pitt St - travelling home with those drops in your eyes and having people stare at you when you couldn't read the station prompts because your eyes were like dinner plates. Having a few ales at lunch time when doing classroom work (safe working stuff) in the old railway building at the end of Central Station and annoying the instructor when we couldn't hold it in any longer and had to take an unearned break. The driver and fireman that got collected when a shunter couldn't control a run away steel train and the load was sent down an occupied siding when they were having crib. Thanks for those people that provided information for the period.
  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
Did any of you guys talk about having a DELEC reunion.
I'd go if any of you blokes (and or gals) organised it. Smile

I/m not much for organising things like that~ Rolling Eyes
But Bankstown Sports Club at Greenfield Pde could be a suggestion.
(all the NSWGR memrobillia inside the Greenfield restuarant and its a big Club with many bars/etc inc Fri&Sat nights revolving Piano bar upstairs)

NB Out of towners can stay at the Travel Lodge which is "inside" the club it self--reception etc)

PS: any one know where Don Ritchie is?
(last time i heard on the Intercity's out of Eveleigh and moved homes)
  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
When you said the interviewer for the Station Assistant job asked "if I played football or some other sport", I thought you were going to say he wouldn't offer you a job if you said "yes".  Just reminds me of an older guy at my work, now retired, that always used to say he'd never hire a smoker, footballer or woman.

Anyway oldguy, if I can just add to the comments made by others praising this thread.  It's been a great read over the past few months and one thread that I'll have to go over again down the track.  From a historical perspective the stories and photos have been gems.  Thanks to you and the other contributors.  8)
"oscar2"


Hey Oscar;

I've also heard that question (not on the railways though) esp footballers,
ie injury prone (heaps of sickies) and or bodgy workers comp. claims.

I also thought about re-applyling again as Trainee Driver (freight)
but after a lot of thought, i said to myself--Na, been there done that,
and the "thrills" not there for me anymore, esp the high tech. new diesels,
and prob. would not hire old farts like me (50) even with rail experience.
  ozibob Assistant Commissioner

Location: Parkes Australia
PS: any one know where Don Ritchie is?
(last time i heard on the Intercity's out of Eveleigh and moved homes)


If it is the Don Ritchie (lived out near holsworthy, ex enfield driver, dad drove the cph down waterfall way) as i know he went to Newcastle about 5 years[/quote]
  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
PS: any one know where Don Ritchie is?
(last time i heard on the Intercity's out of Eveleigh and moved homes)


If it is the Don Ritchie (lived out near holsworthy, ex enfield driver, dad drove the cph down waterfall way) as i know he went to Newcastle about 5 years
"ozibob"
[/quote]

That's him "ozibob" ie Don & his dad Mal.
If we do have the Enfield/Delec reunion i want to contact him (Don)
I didn't know he went to Newcastle though.

Mal i met in 1977 when i first joined the former PTC of NSW and stationed
at Waterfall as my first post as a general relief JSA. (age of 16)

Mal used to take on the "Tin Hares" CPH Watefall to Helensburgh AKA "The Burgh" and i would replace the oil lamps on the old semaphore signals as Mal drove the Tin Hare, there and back for me.

Mal himself was never an Enfield Driver though,
only Eveleigh Steam/Diesels, Sutherland CPH's;
then Mortdale Sparks after the "wires went up" to Waterfall.

Don did the Trainee Engineman at Delec/Enfield to acting drivers school
and then "jumped ship" to the suburban electrics while at Petersham.

Thanks for the info "ozibob"

If any one knows Don's mobile or other details
give us a "PM"

Thank's in advance Smile  from another Don's old Oatley mate.
  Johnny_Walton Railcorp Crash Test Dummy No.1

Location: Flemington Maintenance Centre
 If we do have the Enfield/Delec reunion i want to contact him (Don)

Thanks for the info "ozibob"

If any one knows Don's mobile or other details
give us a "PM"

Thank's in advance Smile  from another Don's old Oatley mate.


Guys you dont to need to try hard.

Enfield have a retirement/reunion lunches EVERY 12 months at Dooleys Lidcombe and have done so for many decades.
Driver Peter Marshall runs them. Usually around April?

Jono.
  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
 If we do have the Enfield/Delec reunion i want to contact him (Don)

Thanks for the info "ozibob"

If any one knows Don's mobile or other details
give us a "PM"

Thank's in advance Smile  from another Don's old Oatley mate.


Guys you dont to need to try hard.

Enfield have a retirement/reunion lunches EVERY 12 months at Dooleys Lidcombe and have done so for many decades.
Driver Peter Marshall runs them. Usually around April?

Jono.
"Johnny_Walton"


Thank's mate;
I actually recall hearing about that before and back of my mind
and i remember Peter Marshall telling me about that, not long after
NR and FRC merged to become PN.
(Peter was on the short NR Brisbane shuttle at Botany)

I'll try and contact him. (but will have to wait till next April 2011) Rolling Eyes
  dimi_108 Beginner

Location: Strathfield NSW

This has got to be the best thread in Railpage.

So many nostalgic photos and the stories from "Oldguy" are amazing to read.

Thanks guys.

  Zodiac Junior Train Controller

Location: The Never Never
Sorry about raising an old thread but I've only just seen this one and it brings back a whole lot of memories of Enfield as I was a Guard there around 1978.  I saw an ex-Guard named Bob Lutak mentioned. I haven't heard or seen Bob for over 20 years, does anyone know anything about him ?

Thanks
Zodiac
  Michael M Beginner

Hello

I worked as an engineman at Delec from early 1976 to late 1978, when I resigned. I later worked in Traffic Branch from 1980 to 1984, but thats another story.

I've lived out of the state since 1984, and have really never been back, except to pass through.

I sometimes wonder about some of the people I used to know and enjoy working with, and what became of some of them. Some would have retired many moons ago, some may still be working on the railway.

Seems there are a few ex Delec people around this forum, maybe anyone remember any of the below people ?

When I started the Head Cleaners were Reg and Tom, and a bit later Benny. These were all old guys near retirement. Reg and Tom were both fairly serious , Benny used to greet everyone with 'Hello shagger' or 'ya gettin any ?'

In those days Trainee Enginemen were recruited in large numbers, and often. Trainee Enginemen schools were sometimes run every month, or at worst every few months, to qualify a new batch of Trainee Enginemen (Unqualified), to Trainee Enginemen (Other) which allowed them to commence 'going on the road' with Drivers, and building up their all important first 500 hours on the road, to allow them to become Enginemen Class 1. Turnover of staff was huge, and a lot of drivers were nearing retirement. Qualifying as a driver (Class 5) took years in those days, it was all based on hours on the road and seniority. The merit principle was an unknown concept.

Some of the guys who started around when I did whose names I recall were Steve Lukehurst, Gary A'Beckett, Brad Longhurst, Greg Keenan, Wayne O'Mara, Dave Watkins & Keith Bourke. There were many others whose faces and personalities I recall, but not their names.  Only one I kept in touch with was Keith Bourke, he went on to the ETR, then back to Delec as a Driver Trainer, long after I'd gone, and he resigned in the early 90s. He is no longer alive unfortunately.

I can't remember the names of some of the other guys who started around that time, but I do remember some of their nicknames. They were Mountain Man, Speed, Pigsy, Kojak (also sometimes called Friar Tuck), John the Baptist, Rhodesia, & Simple Rodney.

Some of the drivers were characters. One was Barry 'Animal' Smith. Desi Charleston was another. I cant recall the names of others who were also real characters.

I was mostly on the 'Rouseabout' roster with a different driver every day for many months. I later had Vass (Vince) Vassiliou as a regular driver for some time, and also was rostered with Ray Sullivan for a time, and another guy named Peter Cross, all good blokes.

Up at the fuel point was Mongrel Mick the fuelman, who apparently only knew one word of "english", which he used often and it was his response to everything. It sounded like; "smeg". The shed drivers and firemen, when not moving locos around Delec, hung out in the mealroom at the fuel point, often playing cards with Mongrel Mick for small change. I think it may have been 2 cents a hand to be 'in' and with 6 or more playing there were frequent arguments over someone not putting in their 2 cents, and no one ever admitting to it. In the end a grid was drawn on the white plastic mealroom tabletop with a kind of grid to place your 2 cents in, to ensure everyone did put in.

Anyone know any of the above people ?

cheers
Neil
oldguy
  Michael M Beginner

Hello Old Guy...I was an engineman at Delec from 1972 till 1989 i fired for Bill Valich for few years he was a really great guy and taught me a lot,sadly Bill passed away in about 1992 from cancer.i remember Animal Smith name suited him most the drivers you listed i knew many passed on . I knew Rhodesia quite well real name was Adrian Hamilton also Speedy Pick a Box Ken Groves and Corn King Roy Holt many more i could list great times till it was put in private hands i left then it was a shame that happened as freight services was making money whereas the suburban side was not wonder who benefited from the sale thanks for your excellent posts bring back memories good and bad thank,s.
Michael M
  Michael M Beginner

I have just found this forum on the 'old' Delec Enfield personalities. I started as a cleaner in early 1976 and finished up as an Engineman Class II in September 1978 when I left to seek a career somewhere else. I have only glanced at some of the names from that era in the previous posts (Vas Vassilou) and also recall Ted Edward (pommy), Mick Eely, and Clarrie Wheatley (who I 'fired' for for 18 months). Clarrie passed away in 1980 following a car accident at Mullumbimby where his family had a farm. I recall some antics whilst being shed bound as a cleaner then as an Engineman Class I. One comes to mind was to see who was the bravest at trying to light the diesel heater for those cold shed nights. Trying to make sure our home made 'wick' stayed alight and the 'boom' of ignition didn't wake the fitters or annoy the Chargman on duty. Trying to get a handle on the turn table when there was a rush on to point the long end or short end of a loco in the right direction and the loco wasn't balanced too well on the turn table. Getting $3.99 an hour and losing money doing the shed roster of days, afternoons and morning shifts with no overtime and no weekend work. Seeing the aftermath of the call truck collision just at the end of DELEC station. The brown looking Ford wagon that carted us around to relieve various crews to work trains locally or elsewhere. Thanks to the people that put the pictures of the running shed and others in previous posts. Brought back a lot of memories. I saw a Safe Working Catechism on ebay (1978 edition) that finished on the weekend but was outbid by a few dollars.  The training to progress from a cleaner to an Engineman was also a hoot from initial induction at 409 Pitt St - travelling home with those drops in your eyes and having people stare at you when you couldn't read the station prompts because your eyes were like dinner plates. Having a few ales at lunch time when doing classroom work (safe working stuff) in the old railway building at the end of Central Station and annoying the instructor when we couldn't hold it in any longer and had to take an unearned break. The driver and fireman that got collected when a shunter couldn't control a run away steel train and the load was sent down an occupied siding when they were having crib. Thanks for those people that provided information for the period.
DWE1958
  Michael M Beginner

I have just found this forum on the 'old' Delec Enfield personalities. I started as a cleaner in early 1976 and finished up as an Engineman Class II in September 1978 when I left to seek a career somewhere else. I have only glanced at some of the names from that era in the previous posts (Vas Vassilou) and also recall Ted Edward (pommy), Mick Eely, and Clarrie Wheatley (who I 'fired' for for 18 months). Clarrie passed away in 1980 following a car accident at Mullumbimby where his family had a farm. I recall some antics whilst being shed bound as a cleaner then as an Engineman Class I. One comes to mind was to see who was the bravest at trying to light the diesel heater for those cold shed nights. Trying to make sure our home made 'wick' stayed alight and the 'boom' of ignition didn't wake the fitters or annoy the Chargman on duty. Trying to get a handle on the turn table when there was a rush on to point the long end or short end of a loco in the right direction and the loco wasn't balanced too well on the turn table. Getting $3.99 an hour and losing money doing the shed roster of days, afternoons and morning shifts with no overtime and no weekend work. Seeing the aftermath of the call truck collision just at the end of DELEC station. The brown looking Ford wagon that carted us around to relieve various crews to work trains locally or elsewhere. Thanks to the people that put the pictures of the running shed and others in previous posts. Brought back a lot of memories. I saw a Safe Working Catechism on ebay (1978 edition) that finished on the weekend but was outbid by a few dollars.  The training to progress from a cleaner to an Engineman was also a hoot from initial induction at 409 Pitt St - travelling home with those drops in your eyes and having people stare at you when you couldn't read the station prompts because your eyes were like dinner plates. Having a few ales at lunch time when doing classroom work (safe working stuff) in the old railway building at the end of Central Station and annoying the instructor when we couldn't hold it in any longer and had to take an unearned break. The driver and fireman that got collected when a shunter couldn't control a run away steel train and the load was sent down an occupied siding when they were having crib. Thanks for those people that provided information for the period.
Michael M

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