Rail worker celebrates 50 years
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.