Peter Sawtell will drive trains until he can't work his limbs any more.
The 80-year-old from Werris Creek celebrated 65 years with NSW Railways this month and has no plans to retire any time soon.
Mr Sawtell was a few months shy of 16 when he moved to the Liverpool Plains for work after growing up on a dairy farm in Dorrigo.
He started out with NSW Railways on February 1, 1955 as a shop boy and lived at Mrs Faulkner's boarding house.
Mr Sawtell said he earnt "12 pounds 2 and six pence a fortnight" and worked Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 3.30pm.
His tasks including picking up waste, collecting dirty rags used by the fitters, and cleaning the tanks of the steam trains.
"You climb down inside and take a little dust pan and broom and sweep them out. It was usually about 100 degrees," he said.
After a few years, Mr Sawtell progressed to a call boy.
"I used to go round on a pushbike around town and call the men for work, mostly of a night-time between 6pm and 6am," he said.
He said it was "a good job" and he received more money. Eighteen months later, he moved up the ladder to become a "cleaner".
"You used to rub the [trains] down with black oil. You were pretty dirty when you were finished," he said.
About two years later, Mr Sawtell was promoted to acting fireman and started travelling on the trains to towns including Narrabri, Muswellbrook and Armidale.
"I used to shovel the coal and kept the steam up for the driver," he said.
He said sometimes the coal supply near the shovelling place in the tender would run out, so he'd have to climb into the tender and shovel it forward, and "this is while you were moving".
From there, Mr Sawtell graduated to a permanent fireman and then went on to become an acting driver.
"I didn't find it difficult; a lot of people do. You just get the hang of it. Some people have got it and some people haven't," he said.
About a year later, in the early 1960s, Mr Sawtell became a fully fledged driver.
About this time, he met Bev Baker during a game of squash. She had moved from Barraba to Quirindi to work as a nurse at the hospital. They married in 1963 and raised seven children.
Over the years, Mr Sawtell has watched trains evolve from steam to diesel to electric.
"I like the change. It was a bit challenging," he said.
Mr Sawtell said if trains broke down these days, "you've got to be able to fix them on the way now", and time was of the essence.
"They seem to have more focus on that now. You run to a pretty tight schedule because of all the other trains," he said.
Among the pearls of wisdom he has to offer is the motto: "if you're not sure, put the brake on".
Mr Sawtell is one of the longest-serving drivers with NSW Railways and still works about 90 hours a fortnight.
"They call me number one - most senior in state," he said.
The train driver's one stipulation has always been that he lives in Werris Creek.
"They wanted me to move around but I wanted to stay in the one place," he said.
Mr Sawtell has been described as "quite a character" and is known for his sense of humour, but said "no matter what job you do, you make friends, you make enemies".
When Australian Community Media asked him why he stuck around, he simply said: "I just like being a driver. You're always going somewhere. Every trip's different".