Risks and hard work pay off for new train drivers

Staff & Operators
 Risk pays off for Malcolm Gullery who quit his job of 15 years
to pursue a career in driving trains.
It was an eight-year journey for Nishant to get to sit in the driver’s seat.

Malcolm Gullery of Upper Hutt took a risk that recently paid off when he graduated as a Metlink Locomotive Engineer (train driver) for Wellington’s Transdev last week.

The father of four left his previous job of 15 years, where he often worked 12 hour days, because he knew he “needed a change”.

“It was a big risk leaving my job to study for this role but it’s been the best 12 months and has given me a whole new life,” Malcolm says.

Malcolm is a Wellington representative in golf and pulled out of the New Zealand Masters Interprovincials as well as the national Seniors Championship because they clashed with his driver exams.

“It was worth sacrificing a couple of golf tournaments for,” he says.

Malcolm was signed off as a driver last week which was particularly special as it marked exactly one year since he left his former role, his wife’s birthday and the beginning of his new career. 

Newlands resident Nishant Chaudhary has worked in rail for eight years, and was also given the green light to be a train driver.

Nishant started out his rail career spending two years as a passenger operator before being promoted to Train Manager but always had his eye on the position of train driver.

“It was all in the view of becoming a Locomotive Engineer. I’m excited to get to work and I’m looking forward to spending more time driving on the Waikanae Line because of the coastal views,” he says.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Public Transport Committee Chair Barbara Donaldson says with an overall peak patronage increase of 7.3 per cent year on year it is important to have a strong team of dedicated metro train drivers.

“There were over 14.3 million passenger journeys last year which is an all-time high. With more people opting for the public transport option, we continue to need more drivers. They are the heart of Wellington’s rail network.”