Old Delec Enfield personalities 1976-78

 
  Xgentric Chief Commissioner

Hi, John - I enjoyed your site very much.  The Garratt sounds are excellent!

Impressive derailment shots too.

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  jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier
Hi, John - I enjoyed your site very much.  The Garratt sounds are excellent!

Impressive derailment shots too.
"Xgentric"

Glad you enjoyed it. If just one person enjoys the site, then it has served its purpose and well worth the years of hard yakka put in and it still growing. I guess you realize the sounds are of the SAR Garratts, not the AD60's, though to me ANY Garratt sounds just fantastic. The SAR ones were oil fired and was bit easier on the Fireman, no coal shovelling.
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello

After reading a6et's travails and tribulations near Gosford, I scratched through my slides for pictures I took around Gosford when I was still at school, I'm sure none add anything to the story, they are after the steam era ended, these were taken in 1975 I think. Maybe they are a bit nostalgic for anyone who hasn't been there for years or who has any fondness for the old diesels (I havent been near Gosford since the 1970s).

Here are a couple of pictures. They are pretty rough, taken with an Instamatic camera

cheers
oldguy















  a6et Minister for Railways

as soon as I told him what I had in mind, he bucketed it, saying that some parts were of no interest & it would mean the book would not sell. It then turned around that because I wanted to do a go to woe thing, detailing each distinct aspect of my time on the job, grades, as well as locations & positions I held & what other areas I was involved in, which would blow some peoples previous held beliefs to shreds, he took to me over it.
"a6et"

Sorry, this guy you mentioned must have been an outright nut. Well maybe he was showing how high minded he was lording how clever he is and blew it big time. What you were offering would have been a chance of a lifetime, memories in "the raw" a very rare commodity.
I have had BFCYU's very earlier rail memories all with his permission on my website for quite some time now and for anyone who been with or interested in railways (traffic &/or loco) in any state would easily relate to his history that is stated as it is written and happened, warts and all, same with oldguy memories now. Personally this is far better than in a book like "As It Happened" now all memory histories. In my book they are a great read and as a now long retired railwayman myself and though I am/was in a different state railway, I well related to all of it in this thread as well. But my book IS my website of all my memories, nothing fancy, all done the old web way too, better than it all in book form and edited all neat and tidy. Also, it's free to read, by anybody world's wider audience.

I personally like these type memory postings Why! Because its as the posters have witnessed those days as they saw and experienced it. I think problem often in books you have stated quite rightly. What most MUST understand is each person (rail employees in this case) sees any same situation quite differently, even to the point two or three who actually did witness a situation can easily argue even between themselves what was correct, simply because everyone does see things differently. They are all correct, just seen and written from different perspectives.

Here we have 2 posters that are re-living their rail memories between each other with others adding their bits and joining in. Wow cannot get better than that, and not found in a book. This is far better than any book, with all the T's crossed and eyes dotted and with the grandma  ( Laughing ) correct .  Books have too be a sort of an expected exact science, its memories then become a nice clean cut well shaven book, great for libraries. Myself, I prefer this type of traffic railwaymen's format  Wink and is ideal for webpage too. Also is easier to do it bit by bit, (like tune for next episode) reason I said "on the drip".  My memory book IS my website about my memories in the raw as one can take it, or leave it, that is fine, cost to the reader as I said, “nothing”, plus you not have to find a spot to put the book(s). Anything like me got the beggars everywhere piling up.

After the smoke cleared, & with around 5 others what I found was that each had a set reason as they held to certain preconceptions about the railways & how they saw things, it came from the area of the gunzel, the modeller, historian ( as they wanted it) etc.  What they were looking for was something that interested them, & forget the other readers, likewise or more emphatically was that they wanted me to write & confirm what they considered being correct, whether it was or not.
"a6et"

You beauty, you got it all in one. Nothing worse than writing, writing and rewriting just to please a so called few preconceived audience, also so you not have to wear a fire proof suit. Just said and written as it was, warts and all.

I could go on, but best we get back to the thread “Delec/Enfield memories”.
"jm1941"


Thanks John

The thing is that there was not just one who was like that. For me, & as I said if it was to be my story, then it would be all encompassing as there is so much that should be told, as well more than just on road stuff.

If someone is reading this, & can find the old thread I mentioned earlier, it would provide a great link to this thread. IIRC, it started off as a result of a derailment at West Ryde of a mail train.

If you want to stick my stuff on your site, feel free to do so, however remove the drivers name if you dont mind, I think I may edit it first.
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello

Xgentric, I enjoyed your story a lot. Signalmen. Some would look after you, some wouldn't.

On the 'Pencil' roster which was also titled 'Rouseabout' roster you never knew  who you'd be working with, what job, what time. 3 days in advance was as far as they would ever fill it in ! After that it was blank, and they'd fill it in slowly with pencil, to allow frequent alterations. Some days when you signed off you didnt know what time you were required next, you'd ring later in the day to find out.

I've put a list below of all the drivers I fired for in 1977, and I was on rec leave for a month, and regular mates with Ray Sullivan (the younger) for about 4 months also. Nice bloke, very serious about his work, which is why he became an Inspector I guess. Seems a long list, but this was no where near all the drivers that were based at Enfield, it was a big depot at that time.

Some names will ring a bell with some of you. Most are retired, some may be still working but very few would be, and those would be very close to retirement

Most are Delec, but there are a few from other depots, I have listed them under depot. Some of these drivers on the list I fired for more than once, or for a few weeks.

Delec

D. Mitchell (Dennis ?)
R. Hilton (Roy, Royce ?)
M. Eele (Mick ?)
G. Herzic (George ?)
A. Katon (Tony)
W. Tanner (Bill)
W. Maslowski
V. Vassiliou (Vassos, mostly known as Vince)
M. Rae
F. Young
D. Casson (Dale, union heavy)
R. Mack (Royce ?)
M. Bedson (Mick ?)
M. Pinchen
J. Smythe
W. Todd
J. Rothwell (John ?)
A. Saville (Tony ?)
S. Eyb
K. Wood
P. O'Brien (Pat ?)
W. Valich (Bill ?)
R. Griffiths
R. Sullivan (Ray, both of them)
T. McConville (Terry)
P. Cross (Peter)
P. Butler
L. Morgan
A. Griskauskas
L. Holdem
D. Charleston (Desi)
A. Commins
C. Payne
N. Stapleton (Nev ?)
N. O'Connor
B. Martin
L. Willmette
K. Jones
A. Wight (Athol)
F. Clark
G. Orr (George ?)
T. Provost (Terry)
J. Clyne (Jack ?)
B. Kelly (Brian)
B. Smith (Barry or Animal)
W. Mullholland (Bill ?)
G. Sullivan
J. Molloy
R. Perry
R. Holderness
H. Johnson
L. Kirkham
J. Kirton
V. Holloway (Vince ?)
R. Jameson
A. Chisholm
H. Sundgren (Harry)
P. Zentsky (Pat)
K. Holt (Kenny ?)
J. Abberfield (Johnny ?)
L. McGuiness
D. Blakemore
G. Robertson
G. Geerin
L. Lean
W. Patterson
H. Schmidt
G. Pugh (George ?)
R. Dodd
W. Fisher (Wayne)
J. Steele
S. Shakoff (Stan ?)
A. Dent
W. Ogrodniewicz



Valley Heights
E. Ciok (Eddie)

Thirroul
Crichter

Campbelltown
R. Cauldwell or Caldwell

Port Kembla
K. Bates

Goulburn
R. Saw ?

Clyde Wagon Works
J. Sweeney (Jack ?)
P. Philbrook
J. Horseley (Jack ?)

Narrabri West
F. Woods (Fred)
H. Cuell (Harry)
C. Cuell (Charlie ?)
A. Lamont
M. Plant
R. Foxe.

Best foreign driver I ever fired for was a Lithgow driver the following year. Don't know his name, and my 1978 Memo Book is in landfill at Nudgee tip, so guess I will never know.

I had to fire for him on multiple 46s headed west to Lithgow. He was returning after barracks, and his mate had been sick or something, so I was put on the job at short notice. He was a great old guy, chatted friendly the whole time. One advantage of 46 class was you could have a conversation without needing to yell too loudly, like in most diesels. He told great jokes, and had this funny poem called 'Table Manners' which was so funny I asked him to recite it slowly so I could write it down. I cant remember it, other than the first line which was "The gong was sounded for breakfast, by the butler, so portly and stout" After that it devolved into very funny crudity. He told me all about all his philandering with "the fairer sex" when he was a young man, and was altogether very entertaining with his funny stories.

He said when he was a young single man he had made love to every kind and colouration of woman, but his only regret in life was never having made love to a redhead. And now having been happily married for many years he figured he never would get that opportunity. He seemed to genuinely regret it. The way he talked about it wasn't crude or in poor taste, he was just a very humourous person. I can't recall how old he was but I'm sure he was in the latter years of his working life.

It was getting very late in the evening as we headed west in the darkness, and it became apparent I'd miss the last Sydney bound passenger train out of Lithgow, as we'd arrive in Lithgow after it had departed. The next train was the first one out early the next morning.

I had resigned myself to a long cold wait in the Waiting Room at Lithgow station during the dark hours. In those days I doubt you'd even be able to buy a cup of coffee or anything to eat, the town would have shut early back then. Or maybe I could hitch a ride back in the rear cab of a 46, provided there were any freights headed down the mountain in the coming hours.

He said he'd let me off at Bell, so I could catch the last train to Sydney. I hadn't expected this, and didn't want him to take the risk of taking the train solo into Lithgow, but he insisted. By risk, I meant should anything happen (like a beakdown or derailment) my absence might be noted, and a big "please explain" would be needed. He was of course more than competent enough to take the train anywhere without a fireman, though an Inspector would have hit the roof. He insisted the train would be stabled in Lithgow Yard and he didnt have any need of me, so let me off. I was very grateful for his kindness. Bell station was unmanned so there were no traffic or other staff to witness anything. Maybe 20 minutes of waiting at a deserted Bell station and I was on the last train headed home.

The other best 'foreign' driver I worked for was Harry Cuell at Narrabri. In this case though I was the 'foreigner' being a fireman on loan for a short time. Many of the Narrabri drivers didnt think much of the Sydney firemen that went up to work there, and showed it, and I dont blame them much for their attitude either, but Harry treated me alright.

seeing I touched on Lithgow, and anyone who worked at Delec in those days did plenty of trips up that way, here are a few photos of Lithgow Loco Depot

cheers
oldguy

]



  mynameismike Deputy Commissioner

Location: /dev/adelaide/magill
Epic Thread!
  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
Keep the photo's coming "oldguy" even from the old instamatic Exclamation

(I wish i had one too at the time, but it wasn't cool then, but silly me)

And thanks for the update Delec list.

A lot of names I know from that list.

I am pretty sure of that 1st occasions to BMD barracks (in the earlier thread) was with Driver: W. Ogrodniewicz (remenber the "wicz" part)

Would anyone have the Delec (all engineman) 1980-1984.?
(any year above)

If it is too big, PM me.

Thanks BFCYU.
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
I have a book called "Reflections Of An Engineman" by Ken Ames- He certainly goes into depth on some of his stories in that book - Truly a fascinating read- Some of the engine drivers always seemed to be hot-headed back in those days- But then again don't suppose you could blame some of them- Having to work in all sorts of weather, All hours of the day and night- Would have been enough to test even the strongest man

Kind Regards
  a6et Minister for Railways

[quote="oldguy"]
[u]Delec[/u]

D. Mitchell (Dennis ?) Yes
R. Hilton (Roy, Royce ?) Roy
M. Eele (Mick ?) Mick,
G. Herzic (George ?) Yep
A. Katon (Tony) ditto
W. Tanner (Bill)
W. Maslowski Everyone called him Bill
V. Vassiliou (Vassos, mostly known as Vince)
M. Rae Pat
F. Young Freddy
D. Casson (Dale, union heavy)
R. Mack (Royce ?) Roycie
M. Bedson (Mick ?) Yep
M. Pinchen Mick
J. Smythe
W. Todd Bill Retired off ETR last year
J. Rothwell (John ?) Yep
A. Saville (Tony ?) Allan
S. Eyb Stuart Finished at Taree,
K. Wood Ken
  Xgentric Chief Commissioner

Hi, Oldguy - your pencil roster sounds a lot like the one at BMD.

It had a fortnight of rostered working, then three or four of blank, one day at a time. Depending on when you signed off, it might be posted, or otherwise you'd have to wait till they rang you the next day.

Sometimes friends (not on the job) might say that they were going out somewhere at the weekend, and some couldn't believe that I wouldn't know if I could join them till the day before. You might be booked off, or have a local shift, or be away on a barracks job. It made it hard to have much of a social life. You would know what it's like!

Some 'hungry' guys would chase the overtime, and ask for their next job when they signed off, but I generally took it as it came. At one stage I was doing a course every second sunday for several months, and they helped me out, if I agreed to make myself available for jobs at short notice, which I did. Most roster clerks would work in with you, if you had a genuine reason.

And as the 'pattern span' changed, they would lift you up rather than lay you back, which was pretty silly. After a few incidents, it was recommended a few times that they lay you back, but this didn't happen till after a coalie tail-ended another one. The poor guys had done long shifts before this one, and probably hadn't had enough quality rest time. You would often have a book-off day which you spent most of asleep.
  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .
J. Abberfield (Johnny ?)
"oldguy"


It is indeed John, he started at Enfield in 1964 and he is still on the job just not at Enfield anymore. I'm his son.
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello The Trolley

oldguy wrote:
J. Abberfield (Johnny ?)


It is indeed John, he started at Enfield in 1964 and he is still on the job just not at Enfield anymore. I'm his son


thats neat, hope he is doing well.  I checked my 1977 memo book and see that I worked with John just once that year, shed Fireman on the diesel side on 16th November, 6am - 2pm.

I'm pretty sure I remember another time working with him. Must have been in winter 1978 (I chucked that memo book out in the 1990s) . We were sent to South Box Enfield to relieve a crew on a train that must have been on long hours. It was very early in the morning, long before sun-up, and it was a cold and wet walk to South Box from Delec. I don't recall how far it was but I think the walk to South Box would take maybe 15-20 minutes.

We got to South Box, saw the signalman who said the train we were waiting for was not due in for a bit, so we waited in a nearby humpy, which was about the size of a garden shed. It had two bench seats running down either side, that were just long enough to lay down on, so we each laid on one, & shut the door to keep the cold and rain out. I think it may even have had an electric bar heater up on the wall.

I reckon John must have seen me around when I was a T.E. in the shed taking the odd picture, as he started to tell me stories about firing in his days as a fireman. Not many drivers would talk about that, unless you specifically asked them, even then many had little to say. I dozed in the orange glow of the heater while he told a few stories, for maybe half an hour or longer. Damned if I can remember what the stories were now.


Hi, Oldguy - your pencil roster sounds a lot like the one at BMD.


Yeah I guess Delec wouldn't have been the only place to have a pencil type of roster.

From memory I think there were 3 (or maybe 4) roster sheets on large poster sized pieces of pale blue paper, that the clerks hung up inside the glass sliding windows, that fronted where they worked, at the Cosgrove Road end of the Sign On room.

2 or 3 of the rosters were 'pen' rosters that had a number of jobs already written in. These were for crews that had permanent mates and the crews would "drop" or rotate down a line each week, so they could look ahead and have some idea what they would be doing in coming weeks and months, or at least what weekends they could expect to have off.

The Pencil (or Rouse about) roster had enginemen who had no regular mate, and some crews who were teamed up as regular mates. Most of the drivers on this roster were also newly made up as Acting Drivers, mostly Class 4s, as most Class 3s were still rostered with Class 5s as regular mates, and on the pen rosters, sharpening their driving skills.

For a fireman you would be used wherever needed, which was how I came to fire for a number of non Delec drivers in 1977. If a Driver on the Pen roster's mate went sick, you might be used as a mate for that Driver for a day or two and maybe get to go north or west.

If you had a regular mate on the pencil roster you didn't go north or west, as most of the Drivers on the pencil roster (class 4s) were not qualified for those jobs. The guys on the pen rosters still got rostered for a lot of the more boring Shunting Yard, Trip or Diagram trains, they just mostly knew well in advance what they were doing on most days, and most importantly of all, could foresee what weekends they would be rostered off on.

Still it could have been far worse. The short time I was at Narrabri West, there was no roster, you just got a Call Note telling you when to show up at work. Occassionally when signing off, you might get told when you were needed next, but the time may change before then, or the job might get cancelled.



Hello a6et

looks like you knew all those drivers I worked with. I recall a bit about some of them, many (except for the real characters) I cant recall anything about.



Hello Israilfan

I dont know that book, but it sounds interesting. Most drivers could become hot headed, if something pissed them off enough. Most were pretty reasonable most of the time.



Hello BFCYU

as requested here are two pictures.

first is of 7301 fresh out of workshops by the look, picture taken somewhere near Delec turntable. Obscured 442 behind it.

second is of a paddock full of 48s in Delec. Its a poor quality picture, but its one of the few I have left. The towers behind them were to the rear of the fuel humpy, being part of the Sanding apparatus, to refill the sandboxes on the locos. Part of the Delec turntable can be seen in the right foreground

cheers
oldguy



  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello

Pasting the picture of 7301 in my last post, reminded me of another Delec crew story.

The 73 class had no Vigilance Control. All other main and branch line locos did. The 73s were supposed to be just for shunting yards so were exempted. However you sometimes had a 73 or even 2 x 73 on Trip trains which went around the metro area. Trip trains mainly went on Goods lines, but still used lines used by other traffic, and it still seemed an odd omission not to have some kind of warning/safety backup for the crew.

I recall an incident when a Call Truck had to be sent out to wake up a crew in a 73 class that had apparently fallen asleep at a signal.  

Trains and locos used to be sent around a triangle at Chullora. This triangle was part of the Goods Line network and started not far from North Box. Sometimes delays might occur when waiting for the road at some point around it.  A signalman advised he had told a loco crew waiting at a signal at Stop (via the phone mounted on the signal)  that they were in for a long wait, and after a long time (maybe 40 minutes or an hour, maybe more), had given the crew the road. I don't recall why there was a delay, possibly there was a loco breakdown, derailment or point or signal failure elsewhere that was creating delays for all movements around the triangle. The signal was a distance from the signal box, and the signalman couldn't leave the box to go check why the train hadn't moved.

The signal had been cleared for them for a long time and they hadn't moved. Delec Sign On room was contacted and a Call Truck (a Holden HZ Station Wagon) was sent out to drive as close as possible to them, so the Call Truck Driver could then walk to where they were and see what was up.

I think the consensus amongst the crews in the Sign On room on Local was that the crew had probably fallen asleep. It was the early hours of the morning maybe 2am, and with no Vigilance Control there was nothing to wake the crew up if they nodded off. I don't know if there was any follow up with the crew or an official "please explain". I'm sure they would have cooked up a plausible excuse for the delay, the Call Truck Driver would not have dobbed them in, and being asleep would not be the reason for the delay that they would have given the inspector Wink




On another occasion a foreign crew pulled up at Delec platform on a diesel loco hauled train. This platform was literally right outside the Sign On room, just a driveway separated the platform and Sign On room. The foreign crew was looking for relief, and two Delec crewmen on Local were assigned to take over.

The Delec crew put their bags in the cab, sat down, the Driver perhaps opened the little cover on the speedometer and scribbled his initials, date and time on the Hasler recording tape, released the brake, opened the throttle, and the train moved off and stopped. The loco had not left the platform. They had moved only metres. A quick check found the cause was an empty fuel tank.

It was no easy matter to resolve, I'm not sure how it was fixed now, and the incident was officially reported as it resulted in delays and was investigated by a Loco Inspector.

The Inspector found the Delec crew had to wear the bung and the blame, though they had crewed the loco for perhaps a minute. This outcome was considered an outrage by all the Delec enginemen, how could the Delec crew be blamed for the loco running out of fuel. The Inspector ruled that the crew should have checked the fuel level, before taking over the loco, and then refused to take over as it had insufficient fuel. This outcome was considered BS and the foreign crew should have worn the blame. It seemed a grave injustice.

I should add the fuel levels did not register inside the cab, like on a car or truck, the fuel gauge was external, mounted on the fuel tank. I might add these were often very hard to read, with dust and grime covering them. Even when cleaned they were hard to read, being a series of little dots from top to bottom.

After this incident no Delec crewman ever relieved another crew before checking the fuel level first. Rain, hail, fog, midnight or heatwave, the Delec Driver always checked the fuel level before even climbing onto the loco.

Here are a few more pics. Pretty woeful quality, but I guess a lousy picture still conveys some information

First is a front view of 7301, newly painted. To the left is the building where showers, lockers, and the mealroom were. To the right can be seen the Shed wall, nearest 1 road.



next up is 4617 & another 46 class. This is one of the few photos I have taken at the south end of the shed, all other pics so far are at the north end. Here the 46s are seen having just exited the shed, on 8 (?) road.




next is a lone little steam loco that was still sitting in Enfield Yard in 1976 in very poor condition. It was parked more down the south end of the yard, on the side furthest away from Delec. I had pics of a few different angles of this loco, this is the worst shot I took, but seems to be the only one that has survived. The loco number was 1904 and it disappeared in 1977. Photo taken on the tender looking forward.



last is 4831 & 4846 heading down the short road from Enfield to Delec. To the right can be seen other locos parked in the paddock at Delec.
Enfield Yard was at a higher level than Delec. Locos wanting to get from the Yard to Delec stopped at a frame and tooted for a Shunter to get out of his humpy, & operate the frame to set the points to send you down into Delec. The road was short and steep, and when down in Delec you changed ends, held or threw the points at the bottom, then halted the loco(s) at the Fuel Point. From there Mongrel Mick and his mates would look after the fuelling and sanding, then the shed crews would look after it, and the Driver and Fireman who bought the loco in would walk to the Sign On Room. The Fuellers & Shed Crews Humpy can just be seen, with the red roof and cream coloured walls, through the weeds. As Humpys rated, this was a quality one, unlike the close to "Garden Shed" variety found in Enfield Yard

  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
Keep 'em comin' oldguy.  8)
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hi BFCYU

Keep 'em comin' oldguy.


due to the locomotive shortage in the mid 1970s  there were some SAR locos 'hired' to make up the numbers. I remember seeing 847, 848, & 849 around the place.

below is a picture of 847 with a 46 in Enfield yard, just opposite Delec shed.

and below that is 848 lined up to go into 1 road of Delec shed, roughly opposite the Spray Pit shed, picture taken from near where the shower, locker room block entrance was

cheers
oldguy



  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
Thanks' "oldguy"

Yes, I remember seeing/firing on them too in late 1980/or early 81.

Something to do with a bumper wheat harvest if i do recall.

A couple of other big main line diesels did arrive also at Delec from S.A.
but were went back because of some local (Enfield) AFULE agenda.

Keep the photos comin' matey. Smile
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello again

A couple of other big main line diesels did arrive also at Delec from S.A.
but were went back because of some local (Enfield) AFULE agenda.


I think they were the type that were similar to 45 class. I recall there were issues with 45 class, the main one I recall was that the cab's were quite draughty, the heaters had a battle to warm them up when it was very cold. Probably there were other serious issues too... buggered if I can remember now.  



I have compiled an updated list of the all Trainee Enginemen Unqualified, who started in 1976 or early 1977, that I can remember. There were many more whose faces I remember, but whose names are long forgotten.

If I'm reliably informed at least one on this list went on to be a Loco Inspector, at least one became a Driver Trainer, a few to be Drivers. The rest may have made it to Trainee Engineman Qualified, Class 1 or 2 Engineman. Some didn't get out of the shed not being able to pass the Trainee Engineman school.

While they were Trainee Enginemen, one or two transferred to clerical jobs, one transferred to Eveleigh. Some just quit because they didnt like cleaning in the shed, or shiftwork, or both, and they saw no attraction in being on locos in the long term or short term.

Many more quit before they got as far as the schools to become Class 3 Enginemen (Acting Drivers), for similar reasons: the hours, the shiftwork, & not wanting to be doing that for the rest of their working days.

Many came from suburbs out west of Blacktown, almost all those that didn't came from other parts of the western suburbs.

Where I have used a ? it indicates I can't remember their First or Last Names

Brian Campion
Brad Longhurst
Peter Quartermain
Greg Keenan
Keith Bourke
Dave Watkins
Ray Morris
Neil Dingwall
Lance Findlay
Steve Lukehurst
Neil Lyall
Wayne O'Mara
Bruce Bean
Gavin Miller
Gary A'Beckett
Bruce Mitchell

? Hinton.
? Shaw
? Heckenberg
? El Rafidi
? MacDonald
? Carey
? Castledine
? Gallagher
? Bishop
? McPherson

Rodney ?
Frank ? (irish accent)
Wolfgang ? (german accent)

One whose name I have forgotten said that he had worked as an Engineman in South Africa, so was nicknamed Rhodesia. He had no accent. I can't recall his first or last name. Another whose name escapes me said he was french also had no accent, nicknamed Frenchy.

There were many more 'rogues' of this vintage, just can't remember them all.

cheers
oldguy
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello again

Thought I'd touch on Freebies (free stuff).

Working for the Government meant you didn't get anything other than your pay and entitlements, and no one expected anything more than that.

But it was nice to get genuinely free stuff, when you could.

There was very little free stuff to be had, this is a list of what I can remember, there may have been more, if anyone can add more, please do.

Gloves

Protective gloves were not issued. Prepping locos, and shunting got your hands pretty grimey. Not so bad when you were in the Shed, as there was hand cleaner and sinks with hot and cold water, but when you were out somewhere and had to attach or detach a locomotive, not so good.  We used do do trip trains made up of Containers between Chullora and White Bay at Balmain. These were called STC trains, typically called STC 7, STC 5, etc. Don't know what this stood for. The ASM who also acted as Shunter at White Bay would get the crew a pair of Container Terminal Gloves each, white cotton, with a leather inset in the palm, if you asked him. They wore out fast, but you were always pleased to get a pair.

Sweat rags There was a stores area on 2 road in the Shed, from which the Fitters and Laborers signed tools out, and back in again. There were also bags of recycled rags, made up of old clothes from charity bins by the look of them, that were usually smelly, and you would use them for cleaning windows, waxing the locos etc. When a crew was prepping a loco for Departure they would always grab an armful of the least smelly rags to put in the loco, so they'd have something to wipe their hands on, or if they had to check in the engine room, also to wipe the fuel gauge clean, etc.

This store also had cotton 'sweat rags', which were off white, with a hemmed edge, and which were new and clean. Crews would ask for one and mostly the Storeman might issue you one. In hot weather, some old drivers folded these over the backs of the collars of their shirts, to help keep their collar clean I guess. Most drivers had one or two of these rags in their bag, with cutlery wrapped in them, and if having a brew or meal would use one of these rags as a kind of little tablecloth. These 'sweat rags' were hard wearing and with multiple washes became very soft.

Breakfast Cereal It was said that if you shunted Kelloggs at Botany that you could usually score some boxes of free breakfast cereal. I recall seeing a Delec crew in the Sign On room, who were signing off, and they each had a huge sugar bag, each bulging with different boxes of breakfast cereals. I think they had one of every cereal that Kelloggs produced. I only shunted Kelloggs once, and my Driver was keen for some free cereal, but we got none. We asked and were turned down. So I never scored anything here

Biscuits. Arnotts was at North Strathfield and it was also said you could score packs of free biscuits if you asked. Finding someone to ask was the hard part, you'd be shunting and no Arnotts employees could be seen. One driver I was with went in and asked and was given one pack that was already open with several biscuits already missing. We had seen this packet sitting on a box, don't know how long it had been there and open. It wasn't much but they were chocolate mint, and went down well with a brew. Other than those few bikkies never scored anything else here.

Milk Dairy Farmers at Darling Harbour had a siding and loading dock on one side at the end closest to Central, on the side of the yard furthest from Paddy's Markets. One driver I was with reckoned you'd get free milk if you asked, including flavoured milk. He went in and was told to rack off.  The only other place was Dairy Farmers at Pippita. The worker's there had a mealroom, and a Driver told me we were permitted to go in there and get some milk. The milk was in a large chromed or stainless steel urn, for the worker's tea and coffee. I went in and asked permission, got it, then half filled my billy with milk. Best milk I've ever tasted, the driver reckoned it was unpasteurised and untreated, as it came from the cow, except chilled.

there may have been other freebies, but these were all I can recall
here are a couple more pics

cheers
oldguy

one is of a Break Down Crane, in the paddock at Delec. Up the north end of the Paddock was a large Break Down Shed with trucks, cranes and heavy equipment. Many of the Delec fitters and labourers doubled as break down crew (ie for derailments) and from time to time you'd hear over the speaker system "Break Down Crew to the Break Down Shed". Some weeks they were called out more than once, seems more than a few derailments would occur.

The red roof of the Fuelmen's and Shed Crew's humpy can be seen just above the right hand end of the crane. Enfield yard off to the far right.



the other is 4918 on the Departure Road outside the southern exit of the shed at Delec, next to 1 Road. 49 Class were rare visitors to Delec, they usually worked out west.  

There were 2 parrallel Departure Roads, one was kept clear as a kind of two way Through Road, so that locos being taken out of 1 road could use  it to head north to the Paddock. Locos leaving the Paddock could also use this road to head south down to South Box, (and from South Box to anywhere). This Through Road was also electrified so electrics could use it. The 46 side was on the other side of the shed (7 & 8 roads which were electrified) and 46s almost always departed from over there, not via this Through Road. It was on this Through Road at about where the 49 is sitting that I got bumped by a 42 class, and consider myself very lucky not to have been badly hurt, or worse. I posted about this much earlier in this thread

A 45 class sits partially obscured having departed One Road in the shed. In front of the railing on the ground sits a metal stand with a bag to hold dirty old discarded rags, and a mop bucket for the Trainee Engineman Cleaner allocated to clean Departure Road loco cabs, which was probably me on the occassion the picture was taken.

  BFCYU Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney "Sutherland Shire"
Talking about Darling Harbour;
we used to do a late night/early AM milk trip train.

There used to be a regular guard on this train.
(a lot of freight train guards used to like the same type rosters)

Around 3am after placing some milk pots there,
the guard come up to our 48 class with a "billy" of fresh cream milk
straight from the milk pots. (wagon)

He invited us (driver & myself the fireman) for a drink of this milk.
My driver Vince didn't mine it, but i nearly threw up from the
thick warm creamy milk.

The guard smiled but told me "it takes a while to get used to it,
but will make you sleep like a baby when you knock off and sleep during the day and also make your other stuff as soft as a baby when on the throne!! Surprised

I did not take up the offer of any more milk Wink

Vince and I (as reg mates-driver/fireman) used to do a lot of trip train
rosters out to Port Botany.
Because we used to wear the locomotive crew green uniforms,
we could be mistaken for truck drivers.

Vince was told that at the big cafeteria at Port Botany container terminal,
was heavily subsided by the Port Authorities, but for Port workers and truckies only.

My good old mate Vince was a good conversationalist and could convince anyone that the sky was black when it was a blue sky if you get my gist.

As soon we walked into the cafeteria some of the girls asked are we
truckies or port workers.
"Of course" said Vince and mention so and so and who we worked for.

It worked every time.
So we sat down for the mixed grill (bacon, eggs, sausages, toast etc) and
ample big cups of tea, all at a very low price.

We never got challenged inside the cafeteria, but only once a big
Pacific Islander who worked on the big forklifts asked Vince outside for a
B&H cigarette (that what Vince smoked)
He recognised us as railwayman but gave Vince a wink,
and told us "Mum's the word for you railwayman in the Ports Cafeteria
and won't tell anyone. You Train drivers blokes are OK to use it, but not the railway freight train guards in the blue uniforms" Laughing
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
Breakfast Cereal It was said that if you shunted Kelloggs at Botany that you could usually score some boxes of free breakfast cereal. I recall seeing a Delec crew in the Sign On room, who were signing off, and they each had a huge sugar bag, each bulging with different boxes of breakfast cereals. I think they had one of every cereal that Kelloggs produced. I only shunted Kelloggs once, and my Driver was keen for some free cereal, but we got none. We asked and were turned down. So I never scored anything here

Biscuits. Arnotts was at North Strathfield and it was also said you could score packs of free biscuits if you asked. Finding someone to ask was the hard part, you'd be shunting and no Arnotts employees could be seen. One driver I was with went in and asked and was given one pack that was already open with several biscuits already missing. We had seen this packet sitting on a box, don't know how long it had been there and open. It wasn't much but they were chocolate mint, and went down well with a brew. Other than those few bikkies never scored anything else here.

Milk Dairy Farmers at Darling Harbour had a siding and loading dock on one side at the end closest to Central, on the side of the yard furthest from Paddy's Markets. One driver I was with reckoned you'd get free milk if you asked, including flavoured milk. He went in and was told to rack off. The only other place was Dairy Farmers at Pippita. The worker's there had a mealroom, and a Driver told me we were permitted to go in there and get some milk. The milk was in a large chromed or stainless steel urn, for the worker's tea and coffee. I went in and asked permission, got it, then half filled my billy with milk. Best milk I've ever tasted, the driver reckoned it was unpasteurised and untreated, as it came from the cow, except chilled.
"oldguy"


I'm picturing the same damn driver going into each place and asking. Knowing some of the cheapskates/garbage gutses it doesnt surprise me  Laughing
  cuthbert Train Controller

Being at Delec I knew about the "fringe benefits".  I never got anything from Kellogs, but did get a box of Tim Tams from Arnotts, regular cream milk from the tanks at Pipita, a bit of fruit from "the markets" and billies of rough wine from the dregs left in the "empty" tanks from McWilliams Wines near Rozelle.
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello BFYCU

That cafeteria lurk sounded like a good one. If they were that worried about non port or truckie staff using the facilities they should have instituted a meal pass, or the need to show some kind of ID to prove where you worked. Jeez you'd think they would have extended the privilege to train crews anyway.

the guard come up to our 48 class with a "billy" of fresh cream milk
straight from the milk pots. (wagon)

He invited us (driver & myself the fireman) for a drink of this milk.
My driver Vince didn't mine it, but i nearly threw up from the
thick warm creamy milk.


Maybe the Guard had liberated the milk earlier and let it warm up. And thought he'd give it to the loco crew before throwing it out Wink. Or he got it from inside Dairy Farmers, rather than a milk pot wagon.

I may be wrong (I often am, just ask my wife Wink) but I  thought the milk in the milk pot wagons was put in at a temperature just above freezing, so that it would last the trip.

The milk pot wagons were unrefrigerated - two stainless steel vats mounted on a flat wagon. And this was why the milk trains always ran at night - to avoid the heat of day, so as to keep the milk cold.

I remember the empty milk pot wagons would get cleaned and sanitised at Pippita and the smell where they washed them out was something else - not as bad as the Homebush Saleyards, but all the old cream and milk would get washed out onto the ground and in the morning sun would get pretty stinky. I guess there were drains but that area still smelt bad.

cheers
oldguy
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello Typhon

I'm picturing the same damn driver going into each place and asking. Knowing some of the cheapskates/garbage gutses it doesnt surprise me  
 


ha - it does sound like I'm talking about the same driver, and your description is funny, and very apt for a few. It was actually different drivers, but I'm sure there were more than a few who went looking for free stuff often. I was mostly on "Rouse About" with a different driver most days. All drivers mentioned Kelloggs as being great for free cereal, but I think we only had one Trip Train that went out there each day, which shunted everything at, and on the way to, Botany. And with the amount of crews at Delec you might only do this trip train once a year or less. I only ever did it once. This was before there was the big yard there that BFYCU worked at.

Arnotts at North Strathfield could be shunted by a few different Trip Trains at Control's behest. Didn't shunt there very often, maybe a few times a year

Darling Harbour was a regular port of call for Enfield Trip Trains, hardly a week went by that I wasn't there at least once, either via the Goods line, or via the tunnel just short of Central Station, and only the one driver I went there with ever went hunting for the free milk. Maybe he was one who went looking for stuff everywhere Wink

cheers
oldguy
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello Cuthbert

Being at Delec I knew about the "fringe benefits". I never got anything from Kellogs, but did get a box of Tim Tams from Arnotts, regular cream milk from the tanks at Pipita, a bit of fruit from "the markets" and billies of rough wine from the dregs left in the "empty" tanks from McWilliams Wines near Rozelle


I remember being told by a driver about those tankers of wine when doing Number 1 Shunter at Rozelle. He pointed them out, noting that they had no markings to differentiate them from any other type of tanker, in order to deter 'unauthourised decanting' of any of the contents.

cheers
oldguy
  oldguy Locomotive Driver

Hello

while we're on the topic of freebies and milk, here is another story

This was told to me by a driver, I did not witness the event myself so I cannot vouch for its accuracy.

Maybe its a story thats well known, I don't know. Here's how I came to be told it, and the story

I was firing on a train coming back after Barracks at Broadmeadow. We were put away in a loop somewhere, probably so that a faster/higher priority train could pass us. We were told by Control (via the phone on the signal) to have crib, while we waited. It was night or maybe around sunrise.

While we had crib, this driver told me that once he had been in this loop and told to have crib, when hauling a train of milk pots.

The guard used this break to open one of the milk tanks and dipped his billy in to get some fresh milk. This was of course unauthorised - in effect stealing AND potentially contaminating a food stuff. I was told the milk in these was unpasteurised and untreated, fresh from the farm, and would be processed at Dairy Farmers in Sydney.

When he dipped his billy in, he caught his wrist on the side, and his watch band, which must have been weakened, gave way, and his watch fell into the milk tank. Guards (and drivers and firemen) were issued with a railway wrist watch, with a number engraved on the back, so they could keep account of the watches. This means the watch would be traced back to the Guard, when the milk was drained at Dairy Farmers. Dairy Farmers would quite rightly file a big complaint, and the Guard would probably expect to be dismissed.

The Guard knew this and knew he had to get his watch out. These milk pot tanks were much more shallow than a fuel tanker, but were still over a metre deep, perhaps about 1.5 metres (from memory).

The Guard took all his clothes off and climbed into the milk tank, felt for the watch with his foot, then bent over to pick it up, and climbed out of the tank, grabbed his clothes and ran back to the Guards Van, as the train would have to leave as soon as they got the Signal to go.

The Driver said it was also a cold winters morning, and the milk in the tank would have extremely cold. It was a very funny story.  He would have frozen his marbles solid, and would have been a sight, coated from head to toe in milk &  cream from the tank.  

However the thought of the naked Guard climbing into the fresh milk was enough to put anyone off Dairy products for awhile.

I don't know if the story is true as I heard it second hand. Knowing the types of rogues that worked for the railway I'd say the story could very well be true.

cheers
oldguy


Here are a couple more pics

first is another of the break down crane. This is in the paddock, up past the Fuel Humpy. The Breakdown Shed can be seen behind the crane, and on the far right can just be seen one of the old red safeworking tuition carriages outside the canteen.




next is a 421 & 48 at dusk, travelling down the short road from Enfield Yard to Delec



then 4437 in Enfield yard. I'm fairly sure this was on the Up side of the Yard (side closest to Delec) next to or maybe on the Up Through Road.

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