Training Trainees on the Train

The scheduled first run of the Savannahlander has come on gone and with so little track available there we no passengers interested in starting the season with us. The silver lining on this cloud was the opportunity to provide our new trainees with some quality tuition time on the short section of track open for traffic.

Therefore on Wednesday and Friday last week, the Savannahlander did two trips out to the effective end of the line, at Arriga Junction, where our new trainees, Leigh and Jane, were introduced to the railmotor units and began the practical part of their training. Arriga is the end of the line so far as other rail traffic is concerned. There is seasonal traffic to here during the sugar season, from May to November. Therefore, this line is built to support heavy diesel locomotives and maintained to a high standard. From Arriga, the track is more susceptible to damage, as was proven this year.

Leigh and Jane joined the team during the last week in February, have been stuck in the class room learning the Safe working standards. The trips gave them an opportunity to see the theory applied in real world operations, as well as get an initial feel for driving the railmotors.

Leigh is going to be a full time Savannahlander driver, while Jane is being trained to be our stand-by driver, being available for our charter jobs and to relieve any of the full time drivers if necessary.

Tropic cyclone Hamish gave us cause for concern, but left the district largely unharmed. Hopefully this week we can get the train through to Almaden, but this too will be for tuition purposes only.

Tuition Train passes through Kuranda

Tuition Train passes through Kuranda

Leigh and Jane, the Trainees

Leigh and Jane, the Trainees

Hoping to get an update from the repair gangs soon so that we can publish details of progress towards resumption of full services.