Railway men farewelled by hall full of mates
THE Queensland Rail Institute Gladstone Club and Hall was splitting at the seams with 100 past and present train crew members on Sunday.
The club paid tribute to 10 men who had retired from many years on the tracks.
The afternoon was full of laughs and larrikins with tales of billy cans, breakdowns and mateship.
Peter Greenhalgh was honoured by the men for his 50-year career as a train driver and was emotional it had come to an end.
"I started working in on the 15th of July 1965," he said.
"It was a pleasure working with these gentlemen and the elder guys who taught you how to drive.
"Everyone drives differently and when you asked them questions you learnt so much."
Mr Greenhalgh is one of a lucky few men to have a train named after him.
"I have a diesel 4919 named after me," he said.
"They asked me and I thought, 'no' and then, 'yeah, put my name on a loco so I can leave with something'."
Robert Porteous said he drove with Mr Greenhalgh for years until he retired.
"I knew Peter in 1970 in Bluff," he said.
"Back then we had 11 sets of men and now we have hundreds. Things have changed so much in that time, especially with the coal trains."
Mr Porteous said now Peter had retired he could look forward to doing one of the most basic things.
"When you retire you sleep at night," he said.
"Us train drivers live two lives. One life at night when we work and one life in the day."
Mr Greenhalgh retired from his job on November 9 and said he would always miss it.
"I do love this job," he said. "I would wake up and look forward to going to work."
He thanked the men he worked with and those who taught him everything he knew.
"They're all such great blokes and the rail community is like a tight bond."