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July 17, 2019

Career on track

Medical student turned train driver David Jin says he’s finally in his dream job after being signed off as a Metlink locomotive engineer on Monday.

David’s fascination with trains began at a young age when he lived next to a level crossing where he grew up in China.

“The trains would be delivering coal to a powerplant nearby which my grandfather worked at – I would run outside to watch them when I heard them coming,” David says.

David studied medicine for five years before deciding it was not the career path he was looking for – so he gave it up to become a bus driver in Christchurch.

“It was a step towards becoming a train driver,” David explains. “I moved to Wellington as soon as I was accepted into Transdev’s driver training programme.”

David scored an impressive 100 per cent in his preliminary interview, with his trainers describing him as ‘a positive person who knuckled down right from the beginning’.

The multi-talented new driver has even tried his hand at flying planes which he loved but says at the moment, train driving is the career for him.

David says the Kapiti Line is his favourite route to drive on because of the amazing views. “I love driving the train out to Waikanae because of the scenery – it’s very beautiful.”

Greater Wellington Regional Council Public Transport Committee Chair Barbara Donaldson says the growing number of public transport users means more demand for drivers.

“The Wellington rail network ran over 14.3 million trips last year and we have seen 7.3 per cent growth in peak-hour commuters.

“Drivers are at the centre of our network so it’s fantastic to see someone like David, who has a passion for trains, be signed off.”