Maryborough memories

Working in rail runs in Ken Aberdeen’s blood.

His father, Malcolm ‘Max’ Aberdeen, worked at the Maryborough factory for nearly 50 years and today Ken and his brother still work on site.

“I finished school in Grade 10,” Ken said. “The next year was 1971. I started here as a boy labourer in the pattern shed with the pattern makers and in 1972 I got an apprenticeship as an Apprentice Fitter working in the shipyards in Maryborough.

“After the 1974 flood, when the shipyard closed, I came up to the Bowen Street works and we started building sugar mills, then in about 1978 we started building electric rail cars for Brisbane.”

Today, Ken is a Fitter in the Bogie Shop, working to overhaul train components that come in for refurbishment. It’s the sense of achievement in a job well done that’s kept him working at the factory for so many years.

“I take a bit of pride in that, to make sure everything’s right so when it leaves it looks pretty schmick,” he smiled. “That’s what’s good for me, I like seeing (the bogies) going out looking like a brand-new penny.”

Ken Aberdeen

Ken’s not the only one with close to half a century of service under his belt at the Maryborough site. Noel Anderson started his apprenticeship in 1973 and has seen a lot of changes over the years.

“I started as an Apprentice Boilermaker and when I became a tradesman I successfully applied for a draftsman’s position in the drawing office, as it was called then,” Noel said. “I began doing the drawings with pencils on tracing paper on a drawing board.”

These days, Senior Designer Noel works with modern computer-based packages to create what was once drawn on paper.

Noel Anderson