The Ace Driver

In the cab of old two-fifty,
With a smile upon his face
And his hand upon the throttle,
Sits our driver friend, the "Ace,"
His engine oiled and ready,
He awaits the word to go
And again, as not unusual,
She is running 50 slow.
The Green Flag now is waving,
The whistle gives a scream,
Two-fifty starts exhausting,
As the "Ace" admits the steam,
Leaving 50 late ex Yalgoo,
He moves down the station yard
With Jack Morris for his stoker
And "The Dipper" for the guard.
Old Two-Fifty seems to know him,
As she steams along the track
Her pole notched slightly forward,
And her throttle half-way back,
Like some frisky, well-bred filly,
The mile posts past her rolls,
With Jack Morris keeping steam up,
And the "Ace" at the controls.
Now the phone at Loco's ringing,
It's the station on the line,
The SM rings the foreman –

In regard to the lost time,
He asks him, "Who's the driver,
As this talk is taking place,
And he jumps with joy, hand clapping,
When the foreman says, ‘ the “Ace”!
Someone run and tell the shunters’
He next is heard to say,
‘Tell the guards and tell the porters,
That the north will be ok.
And about the refresh cana*
Col, my boy to Burleigh's race,
And warn young Jeanie Elliott,
That the driver is the "Ace”.’
While way back upon the railroad,
Down that torrid northern line,
The ‘Ace’ now storms ‘Big Pindar’
And he's picked up all the time,
Two-Fifty proudly barking,
Her journey nearly done,
And the ‘Ace’ to Jack smiles coyly
As he makes his final run.
Soon he thunders past the station
And he hands ‘Top’ Skewes the staff,
On time, yes to the minute,
With that shrewd triumphant laugh
And it's soon he'll be in Loco,
Where a running sheet will show,
That a train was run to schedule
That left Yalgoo fifty slow.


A song by Jack Callaghan ‘Australian Tradition’, December 1969

The passenger train from Wiluna to Perth was usually running late on the section from Yalgoo to Mullewa so drivers made every effort to catch upon time.

No comments: