By Ron J. Fitch
Ron Fitch was born in 1910 into a railway family. He began his career as a 16-year-old engineering cadet and completed it 46 years later, having worked at various times for two state railways and the Commonwealth, as Commissioner of South Australian Railways. In this book Fitch gives a vivid account not only of his career but of the camaraderie of the greater railway community, often experienced in the most trying of conditions. Fitch also writes about the advances in line-building techniques, derailments, floods and washaways, wrangles over attempts to implement standard gauge, and the politics of railways. Fitch is uniquely placed to write a book for all train enthusiasts, in which he celebrates both the men and the machinery, the toil, and the technology that opened up a vast and sparsely populated continent. Retirement has not dulled his spirit or his interest in railways. In 2002, at 92 years of age, he earned recognition from Guinness Book World Records when his thesis on South Australian railways made him the World's oldest recipient of a PhD.
Publication Date: 10/1/2006