AFTER 60 years at the helm of Hunter trains, Terry Gardner may finally be getting off this year.
The Newcastle train driver, 76, began his career as a shop boy recording maintenance for steam trains at Broadmeadow in 1953.
Monday marks exactly 60 years since he began his career.
Mr Gardner said he considered his long tenure, which included the transition from steam to electric trains, a significant milestone.
‘‘There’s not many who do it,’’ Mr Gardner said.
‘‘It was a hard life in the steam days...they retired at 70 but if you can now you keep going.’’
Originally paid 18 pounds a fortnight, Mr Gardner climbed from working in the shop to cleaning before finally passing his exams to drive trains in 1955.
Driving freight and coal trains earlier in his career, he took to piloting passenger trains exclusively in the late 1980s.
‘‘It’s a bit of a world of its own,’’ Mr Gardner said of the railway industry.
‘‘Some [of the stories] can’t be told.’’
Planning to retire in the coming months, Mr Gardner said he will spend more time with his two daughters and 11 grandchildren.
But on Monday he will mark the milestone with colleagues, whose friendship he described as a career highlight.
‘‘My wife reckons I’ve done enough,’’ he said.