I’ve had lots of work experience in the past. I’ve been a tour guide in Brussels, a park ranger at Fox Glacier and a member of the Bavarian Mountain Rescue Service. This week I learned how to drive a train!
Call me old fashioned but one of my favourite songs is that old classic by the Seekers, “Morningtown Ride”. Those lyrics about the driver at the engine fill me with inspiration and I’ve always thought I’d make a great train driver. When Manny and I travelled from Brussels to Cologne on the ICE train we sat right up the front.
I hoped we might get to have a turn at driving but we weren’t allowed in. All I could do was watch from outside the cabin and daydream as we hurtled through the countryside at more than 200 kilometres an hour.
So you can imagine how excited I was when I was allowed to drive the diesel engine on the Cooma Monaro railway.
The train runs from Cooma to Chakola for a distance of 19 kilometres; just enough for me to earn my stripes as a train driver. It’s more of a tootle than a hurtle through the countryside of the Snowy Mountains region but it was good enough for me.
Mark gave me a lesson on the finer points of train driving and off we went.
On the way we passed farms and crossed Cooma Creek. We even raced a kangaroo.
The station at Chakola was tiny and we stayed just long enough to enjoy the scenery before we headed back to Cooma.
On the return journey I let Mark do the driving while I sat back and enjoyed the view.