Many thanks for these reflections on your days as an engineman. They show both the good news and the bad news of the times. The bad news was the wasted hours of manpower not productive but rostered. The good news the rostered hours of staff available to cope with disturbances from 'normal' operations'.I think you are right about the decay, RC6. The unions were in a rear guard action against change but it took until Kennett to end their efforts and not necessarily for the better, although not having experienced what he implemented I can't honestly comment on that, although a few posters here obviously have and those comments aren't all that complementary to my reading.
The impression I get, perhaps unkindly, was of a system in decay. I can understand why you decided to leave. I also understand that part of you is forever in waiting for the next call.
I had the privilege of working in railway service and it it equipped it me for life. I was made by the mentors and characters who gave of their time and experience. I started at 14. I also realised that to stay was not my future.
I hope that I have been able to provide the support to young railway personnel around the world to repay the support that I was given.
Best Wishes Neil and Thanks Again
You'd be right about the waiting for the next call too. I have made the comment somewhere about reminiscing, considering what 'would have been', or even going back but that is all pipedreams and definitely not happening.
I appreciate your comments for their insight, partially as it shows that my efforts have shown more light on the way things happened back then than just 'sign on, work with driver x on loco number y on this line until sign off'.