Local West Coast Railway ‘larrikin’ hangs up his hat after 2,500 trips | Avocado

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When James Smith started his first day of work at the West Coast Wilderness Railway, he already had a family legacy behind him. A third generation employee, he grew up watching his father drive trains for the company and listening to his father’s stories about working on the railway during the days when it was run by the Mt Lyell Mining and Railway. Company. Today, after 20 years and more than 2,500 train trips through the harsh terrain of the West Coast, Mr. Smith hung up his hat. IN OTHER NEWS: Party with the affectionate nickname of “Smithsonian,” he said he will fondly remember the times he managed to put a smile on visitors despite the weather, and the opportunity to “meet people” of the whole world “. “My first job with the railroad was to go through the 1/16 rack to check for loose pieces,” Mr. Smith said. “As it had not been used in Australia for 40 years, we were unsure whether the rack would allow the safe passage of a passenger train.” This was before the track was reopened to the general public, an opportunity he didn’t take for granted. “Just being able to drive a steam locomotive (is a favorite memory) as that usually can’t be done in Australia now.” The “resident larrikin” will be missed, said rail division manager Neil Halliday. “James is … quick-witted and known for playing a friendly round or two on the team,” he said. “His knowledge of locomotives is exceptional and his passion for upholding the railway heritage runs deep. RELATED: West Coast Wilderness Railway Prepares for Return” He leaves a cheeky smile-shaped hole in the team. “The West Coast Wilderness Railway team was sure to give Mr. Smith a proper consignment, coming together to arrange a gift worthy of the legacy of their peers. In association with the Casting Engineering Company and APCO machining, a brass replica of the nameplate of the railway’s first locomotive was cast, alongside a factory badge. The West Coast Wilderness Railway connects Queenstown to Strahan, along 35km of rainforest and wild terrain. Our journalists work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: Follow us on Google News

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