Saturday, 23 December 2006

I mooched The Railway Station Man (1984) by Jennifer Johnston from Woosang. Seeing that I lived in Campsie, she invited me to visit her workplace to pick up the book. This morning I received an e-mail with directions and a phone number. So this arvo I hopped into the Echo and drove down through Earlwood and Dulwich Hill to the location, between Marrickville and Sydenham.

The book's title is apt, as Woosang works in the switching station for the southern area of Railcorp. After I called her on my mobile she came down and buzzed me in. Up the stairs is the control room. There are three multi-screen consoles facing a mimic panel mounted on the wall. Inside it is dark and cool (the weather is very muggy today, with spots of rain dropping onto the tarmac).

We chatted about trains while standing outside the control room, leaning against the rail that bounds a viewing platform. (Politicians sometimes visit and wish to see inside without impacting on the operation.)

The entire system in computer-controlled, using Windows NT-based servers. Apparently my line, the Bankstown line, is totally automated, and is one of the most sophisticated lines in the country. At least that's what I gleaned from our conversation. "You're very lucky," she said.

Near Sydenham
On the way out (I stayed about ten minutes) I turned and snapped this photo, showing Woosang returning to the building. You can see from the sky how close to rain we are.


Anonymous said...

Nice post Dean, I'm linking to it. Happy Christmas.

Dean said...

Thanks Meredith. All the very best greetings of the season. See you in the new year.