The Hutt Valley Model Engineering Society Inc
Marine Parade, Petone, Wellington, New Zealand
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The Hutt Valley Model Engineering Society maintains a realistic stance on certification of drivers. While anyone, within reason, may learn to drive the club diesel or steam locomotive, only certified drivers may carry fare-paying passengers.
Members of the club without driving experience are encouraged to use the opportunity offered by working on rostered running days to gain experience in train handling and safe working. When the crowd thins, quite often special trains are run to familiarise new members with the very simple controls of the club diesel loco.
Diesel certificates may be awarded after a brief Q&A session with the Driving Examiner, covering safety and running issues, and a practical test. A diesel "ticket" is normally obtained before gaining a steam certification. Both are formally presented during a monthly club meeting.
This page shows some of the questions which may be asked by the Driving Examiner of the Hutt Valley MES when orally testing applicants for a steam locomotive driver's licence. When the oral test is completed, applicants spend a couple of hours on the formal practical test, which involves removing a cold locomotive from the shed, all the preparatory work, raising steam, driving to a suitable standard and then putting the locomotive away properly after its run.
It sounds a lot fiercer than it actually is. Nobody is expected to take the test without first gaining practical experience by running the club's 5" gauge 0-6-0 tank loco "Speedy" alongside more experienced members. By the time you have driven the club loco a few times, and assisted others on running days, you should have learned enough to pass this test. Most of the answers are to be found in H.E. White's book, "Maintenance and Management of Model Steam Locomotives," a copy of which is available from the Club library.
Driving Examiner: Mike Coghlan
MODEL ENGINEERING SOCIETY INC.