You have been working for a long time in “transport”. Was it a boys dream to work on a train?
It is a profession that appeals to the imagination, but I was not crazy about trains. I started as a qualified electrician at Rijkswaterstaat. I had to do the electrical work in the new building along the A12. There were 22 floors so I had to do the same work 22 times. After 10 floors I was fed up with it.
Then I replied to an advertisement from the Dutch Railways and I became a trainee train driver. I replaced train drivers who were ill or on leave. So I drove throughout the entire country. You have to take an exam for each type of train as well as each section so you’re always aware where you are in a specific section. You get to know every station on the route so that you will use the brakes in time during the night and during fog. Nowadays there is a lot of electronics and automation which looks over the shoulder of the train driver. Back then there was more craftsmanship involved. You had to estimate yourself the weight of the train and how long the braking distance had to be.
Have you always stayed on the train?
I have been a train driver for 20 years, after that I have been training drivers. As of 2000 I have been involved in the logistics and administration of the communication tools of all driving personnel. There had to be set up an administration system to have insight in the phone costs, which equipment was at a repair company and who was using what. There are 10.000 train drivers, conductors and platform staff so the logistics beyond that is enormous. I helped to develop the applecation needed. I did not have an ICT-background but I have grown into it.
After having had an office job, you are on the road a lot now.
The same as in my time as a train driver, I work here on alternating times and the work is independent. When you are on the road with a car you have the responsibility. That was the same with the train and the travellers in it. In the beginning I often took a drive with a colleague to get to know different cars. It is a boys dream to drive these kind of cars. The enthusiasm of the customers is also very nice. Especially when I have to pick up a Morgan at a customer I never drive the car immediately into the trailer. These customers are really passionate, they are attached to their car and like to talk about it.
Did you have affinity with cars before you started to work here?
During the time the Formula 1 came to Zandvoort I went there and also to the Grand Prix of Belgium and the Nurburgring. So already then I had a real passion for motorsports. My son has taken this up and is now working as a technician for a race-team at Zandvoort.
You are not working full-time. Do you have other passions beside motorsports?
My real passion is Italy. We go there a couple of times a year. When I quit my job at the NS we made a road-trip from the French coast till the “tip of the boot” and back. I had selected all the hotels called “Bella Vista” so you were sure the view would be good. During my time with the NS we often took a trip to Italy, of course by train. I prefer to go without making prior arrangements. Without rush or reservations. To travel by train is very relaxing. When you board the train in Utrecht, the holiday begins.
Driver | Employed since: 2017 | Age: 64 | Children: 2 | what keeps him busy beside work: Terry loves to travel through Italy together with his wife.