Produced by the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, this is an interview with former Eveleigh Workshop engineer Bill Driver. Once the centre of rail assembly and maintenance in New South Wales, the Eveleigh Railway Workshops now form part of the Australian Technology Park.
Bill Driver started work at Eveleigh Railway yard as an apprentice in 1954 at just 14 years old, where he worked for about 4 years before working in country depots. When he returned to Eveleigh as a cadet engineer, he swapped his overalls for a tie. He recalls a disciplined and regimented working environment with a high degree of respect for both workers and management. According to Driver, Eveleigh was like an industrial city within the city of Sydney, where they could manufacture everything for themselves. Eveleigh had the largest foundry in the southern hemisphere and they had their own electricity and water system. He considered these railway workshops as the best places to undergo technical training, producing engineers, production managers, maintenance managers and workshop managers. He fondly remembers workers solidarity at the workshops, while highlighting a hospital fund, railway credit union, and railway building society, which St George eventually took over.
Author: J Bird, 2023