Site Update – The end of a work era

Since 1982 I have worked in the Telecommunications and Information Technology industry. I’ve worked as a technician, technical officer, sales representative, Helpdesk staffer, IT Manager and for the last 10 years as a specialist and consultant service delivery manager. That all comes to a close today. I move on to a new career in the public transit industry as a tram driver. In some ways I’m very sad to leave behind the people and the skills I’ve learned and nurtured for the greatest part of my working life.

The IT life is not all that glorious though. I wont miss the constant stress and never-ending drive needed to keep up and get ahead of the game. The incredibly thankless tasks that you get to do all day, and often part of the night. Not for IT staff is overtime, shift penalties, and Rostered Days off. Just that never-ending all hands to the pump work ethic, and hopefully no heart attack.

Today is a point from which to look forward, not backward. Thus begins the next 15 years of my work life. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a boy after I rode the footplate of a steam locomotive, my Uncle Col Casbolt in charge, in Sydney’s western suburbs.

NSW 32 Class Locomotive 3325 has just arrived at Richmond (27 January 1968) –
Image courtesy of ARHS NSW – click image for page

My uncle had been a suburban train driver in the Sydney suburban network for a while then. He made the move from steam to the Sparks (EMUs as shown below) not long after this ride in the southern hemisphere’s spring of 1968 as best I can recall. (I was only 4, almost 5, at the time and hadn’t started school yet!)

NSW ‘Red Rattler’ sets F1 and W3 sit quietly in the old sheds at Redfern (image courtesy of Flying_Donkey@Flickr)

While this week has been a time of a lot of last moments, from this Friday forward I begin a life of firsts for the first time in a long time.

A Yarra Trams E Class Tram # 6015 on the Route 96 @ St Kilda – one of the routes I hope to be driving in 2017-18

I’m looking forward to the hard work and study required to be a fully competent tram driver on our network. And looking forward to becoming a part of the fabric of the city’s public transit network.

W8 Class No. 1010 (built 1955) and rebuilt in 2015-16 at Bendigo Tramway Museum on the City Circle route

I am sure you’ve noticed the volume of posts has dropped away over the last 4 months,  fear not. I’ve not been publishing much yet have been busy working away on a number of smaller projects and layout designs and expect to start building a small switching layout for my son in August. So I hope you can join me in the journey for that project.

While I’ll be working odd hours, studying hard and hoping to pass all of my written and driving exams with flying colours, I do expect to have a little more time to post on the HVL. And of course I expect to have a lot more pictures of trams, with views that I’ve never been able to get before. Looking forward to sharing. Thanks for reading a long and sharing the journey.


7 thoughts on “Site Update – The end of a work era”

  1. Congratulations on the move. I have a similar professional background and can appreciate what the professional IT life is like. I too share that tram driving dream so will be looking forward to your updates during this transition, if only to live vicariously through your experiences.



    1. Chris – thanks for the note. I hope you get your chance. It has been a long road. It has taken me 4 years to get to this point. Working with a museum (I’ve assisted with taking trams apart, pulling, repairing and replacing traction motors), and acting on the road as a conductor has assisted in getting me to the starting line. It’s more about the journey than the destination. I am exhausted and will get more so as the next six weeks rolls on. Although I do get to drive trams next week.


  2. Good news and congratulation on the career change. It looks to be the kind of outdoor job you have when you’re really not outdoors. And the changing scenery will be good too.


    1. THanks Prof. It has been a long journey, and after the first day’s training I can see the slope is steep. However, the company is great and the support has been awesome so far.


  3. All the best for the future!
    I’ve just retired after 41 years, mostly in Operating Department of the local railways over here.
    There comes a time in life when we all need a change!
    Don’t worry about updates, I’ve found it hard enough trying to keep my blog updated, but again there is nothing really to say at times, so you look forward to when an update does arrive!


    1. Thanks for the comment Brian. Yes indeed, change is a requirement at times in our lives. I’m having a lot of fun – even though I am having long days. Driving a $5.5M of tram (at 33 metres long, and 50 tonnes in mass) is a hoot. For all the dangers and risks. Just enjoying it immensely. Thanks for keeping on reading.


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