Author: Kevin Tasker
From his earliest childhood memories, Kevin always wanted to be a “driver”. He started the job at Napier loco depot in 1960, when Kevin was fortunate to have worked many steam operations between Gisborne and Woodville before the final fires were extinguished in June 1967. Following successive examinations, moving through “C” and “B” rosters, Kevin finally moved to the top roster in 1986, running hot-shot freights and passenger jobs in the Bay with DA, DC, DF and DX classes. While the diesel railway was the backbone of his employment, he opted to certify as a fireman and driver on steam excursions, many of these operations are recalled in detail. The operational railway included interesting moments and those retold include breakdowns, restructuring, single-man operation, fighting to stay awake, speed, track incidents, closure of the depot, decline of the Gisborne line and heading for retirement. Having retired, Kevin was asked to return for steam specials, but eventually ended up back working part-time, training up and operating the DL class. His 55-year career spans an interesting period of railway operating that makes this a fascinating read.
A4 portrait format, 19 black and white and 70 colour photographs, 1 map, 112 pages, soft bound.