The Last Engineer
on the North Australia Railway
By Brian Smith
Published 2021 by the author
192 pages, A5 size card cover, 148mm by 210mm
This book describes the life and times of a young engineer on the NAR from 1967 to 1970 during the tumultuous change from a pedantic several small trains a week to a full-blown combination of a million tonnes oa year iron ore traffic, freight, cattle and work trains. All of this was maintained while replacing and upgrading the entire workshop and office facilities and most of the track from Darwin to Katherine.
Characters that we will never see again and the events engulfing them come alove in the books, while the photographs enhance the narration.
While the NAR was government-owned, it was a light, narrow gauge railway, isolated and remote, and certainly fits the “quirky” side of light railways.
With 33 chapters generally describing a single incident, this book is highly entertaining.