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Member profile: Keith McMahon

Nov 28, 2012News

Here with chat with long time RTBU Loco Division member and Driver Trainer, Keith McMahon. 

Why did you get involved in the union?
In the 80s safety was on the back foot and there was a real reluctance to address safety concerns at any level. Our union was, and still is, the workers voice on those issues. Couple that with a very active sub-branch at Enfield at that time, and that is where my journey with the union started.

I have held, and still hold, a range of union positions including local representation (President/Convenor), the OH&S representative and the OH&S Coordinator – now Work, Health and Safety Officer – for the Locomotive Division, NSW.

Currently I am a Driver Trainer and have represented the RTBULD through many projects and groups. One particular group in which the RTBU has held a seat/position over the previous eleven years is the NSW Workcover Industry reference group. Our role in that has resulted in delivering for our comrades a 40 per cent reduction in injuries occurring at work.

What are your hobbies and interests?
Hobbies include motorcycles, great cars, railway, both rugby league and soccer, with community input when available.

What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy the comradery that still prevails within the rail industry coupled with the workings of everyday train operations.

How long have you been in the industry?
I’ve been on the job now for 38 years. My Locomotive engineman’s career starting as a Trainee Engineman at Enfield, NSW.

Tell us about your most memorable train journey.
There were a number of memorable journeys with many a trial on both Locomotive and passenger services being encountered.

One memorable trip was being the first Driver to communicate via satellite from a locomotive in motion to a base station and back in 1991.

Another memorable journey while at Enfield was working the Phantom of the Opera special through the Sydney underground (Diesel hauled). The cast was on board and were delivered to the theatre from the tunnel below.

Who would like to have dinner with (dead or alive) and why?
Friends! My most memorable dinner was at a May Day dinner held at the Parliament House NSW.