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Between them brothers Peter and Albert Scott have clocked up close to a century of working for the State’s rail system and this year they both retire.
They were working on the NSW railways when steam trains were still puffing along the tracks and weekly train tickets were stamped with an “M” for male and an “F” for female.
Peter hung up his ticket seller’s cap last Friday after almost 44 years with NSW railways – ironically just 10 days before paper tickets are phased out forever in favour of Opal cards.
His brother Albert is due to pull the plug on his 52-year railway career in September. At one stage they were two of four brothers all employed by on the State’s railways with Robert (now deceased) and Darrell each clocking up around seven years of service before moving on to other careers.
Peter signed up in 1972 as a trainee engineman but moved on to customer service roles at various stations. He has been the friendly face behind the ticket window at Woy Woy station for 35 years.
“I had mixed feelings when I finished up just ahead of the end of paper tickets,” he said this week.
“It is the end of an era and I know many of my customers will miss having someone behind that ticket window but I’ve had a wonderful career.”
Peter has had his share of cranky customers and was even held up at gunpoint at Asquith station almost 40 years ago, but said he had made some “fantastic friendships” with colleagues and customers over the years.
Peter Scott at Asquith Railway Station in the ‘70s.“That robbery still makes my hair stand on end when I think of it,” he said.
“I was forced under the ticket counter with a gun pointed at me and really thought I was going to die.
“But there are just as many fond and funny memories.
“I recall that in the days when weekly tickets used to be stamped with an ‘M’ for male and an ‘F’ for female, I had one foreign couple who used to travel, he with the ‘F’ ticket and she with the ‘M’ ticket.
“I told them they should change tickets with each other – but they told me they thought the ‘M’ was for mumma and the ‘F’ for father. It was very funny at the time.”
Albert joined the railways in 1964 at the age of 14 as a trainee engineman, eventually becoming a driver. He has worked on steam, diesel and electric trains over the years, with his favourite being the 81 class diesels.
“It’s been a fantastic career,” he said. “I remember us boiling our billy and cooking our snags and steak on a shovel in the firebox.”
Albert’s retirement plans include a lot of fishing and spending time with family while Peter wants to travel overseas with his wife Karen.
The family’s association with the railways continues with Albert’s son Trent a guard with Sydney Trains.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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