Rail worker cel­e­brates 50 years

South Waikato News - - Out & About - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Ki­wirail’s long­est serv­ing em­ployee cel­e­brates a 50 year mile­stone.

David Stout, 67, was ac­knowl­edged for his many years of com­mit­ment and loy­alty by re­gional and lo­cal man­age­ment re­cently.

Sur­rounded by fam­ily and co work­ers Stout was awarded a cer­tifi­cate and a bonus say­ing it was ‘‘nice’’ to be recog­nised for his ef­forts.

‘‘My lovely wife has been tremen­dous sup­port traips­ing the fam­ily around the coun­try.

‘‘I’ll be here another year maybe. I know I wont be here when I’m seventy.’’

Stout has been based at the Kin­leith ter­mi­nal since July 2002 af­ter be­ing of­fered a po­si­tion as team leader.

He’s weath­ered the highs and lows of the rail in­dus­try and work­ing in Toko­roa was the end of the line.

Stout man­aged to keep his ‘‘head above wa­ter’’ while work­ing un­der sev­eral dif­fer­ent man­agers.

‘‘We changed our spots many times,’’ he says.

‘‘There have been mas­sive changes. The in­tro­duc­tion of com­put­ers and the elim­i­na­tion of staff.’’

Af­ter earn­ing his stripes as a traf­fic cadet in 1966 the 17-year-old worked at Tau­ranga with New Zealand rail.

Mov­ing onto the book­ing of­fice at The Strand, Stout worked sev­eral roles with pas­sen­ger trains.

An op­por­tu­nity to work as a sec­tion of­fi­cer su­per­vis­ing the back and par­cel of­fice in Dan­nevirke was to tempt­ing to refuse.

Work­ing his way through the ranks he later ac­cepted a po­si­tion as a chief sta­tion master po­si­tion 18 months later re­turn­ing back to Tau­ranga.

At the end of 1972 Stout moved back to Hamil­ton as a train con­trol op­er­a­tor.

Di­rect­ing all the traf­fic move­ments east from the city he spent eight years work­ing with freight.

‘‘By this time the rail cars had van­ished and it was all freight.’’

Train­ing con­tin­ued in Te Rapa in the wagon sup­ply field plac­ing or­ders and work­ing with cus­tomers.

‘‘Toko­roa was the main dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre in those days. All that area be­tween Campbell road be­fore you get up to Bal­moral drive was all sawmill and tim­ber.’’

Stout worked in varies roles around the North Is­land be­fore set­tling in Toko­roa.

‘‘I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in trains and trans­port. It goes be­yond the job.

‘‘It’s dif­fi­cult to say where Ki­wirail will go.’’

David Stout,67, has weath­ered many storms work­ing in the rail­way in­dus­try out­last­ing many of his col­leagues.

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