New Zealand is a country with a wild landscape meaning people tend to drive between places or catch a flight. There are a few train routes but the longer ones are mainly aimed at tourists keen to take in the amazing scenery.
I took the train from Auckland to Wellington and got chatting to Bruce, the Train Manager. Bruce was originally from Christchurch on the South Island, which has been a place severely effected by earthquakes in recent years.
Like a number of people, Bruce decided he needed to move away after one of the quakes.
‘I decided I had to leave as the place had changed so much. The centre of town was just flattened and so your lifestyle just changed and you had to adjust. We ended up socialising in people’s houses as simply some places just didn’t exist any more. The other things I noticed was how my behaviours also changed. I now always have at least $100 in my wallet (in case the cash machines don’t work) and I always refill my car with petrol as soon as it’s half empty (in case there is a petrol shortage).’
‘My advice? Do something you are passionate about. And what you want to do, not what other people think you should’
‘I like working on the trains. The train is fun. You work 4 days on, then 4 or 5 days off. I like that lifestyle. Also, the job means that when you finish at end of the day it is all done; there is nothing left to come back to like in an office where you always have emails to return to. This train is like a family because you spend so long together… You’re essentially in a steel tune together for 12 hours!’