‘From the Driver's Seat’ was my 1989 book – now out of print - details 14 rail journey's from the locomotive driver's perspective, an oral account of what occurs from signing on for duty to when relieved upon arrival at the destination.
Why might I write something of an account of such a book 25 years after publication and moreover, the book is out of print. This book was the fourth of 16 such railway books I wrote in that busy period from 1982-1996 and the purpose of detailing now this particular book and these books as a collective, is where the money went as a missionary.
Now many missionaries have written books and by and large they have a niche market as did my railway books which I have thoroughly enjoyed as a former locomotive engineman.
From the Driver's Seat has these stories written by the drivers' themselves:
From the Driver's Seat
Clive Dunsale: Julia Creek to Richmond, Qld
Bruce McAlister: Albury Goulburn, NSW
Bob Farquhar: Katooma Snow Trip, NSW
Ern Goodlett: Cowra to Harden, NSW
Toby Priestly: Parkes to Broken Hill, NSW
Ken Ames: Sydney to Lithgow, NSW
Barry Dunn: Albury to Melbourne, VIC
Mark Tronson: Nowra to Wollongong, NSW
Allan Davies: Sunlander (Roma St to Maryborough), Qld
Terry Ryan: Goulburn to Sydney, NSW
Peter Redfern: Overland (Dimboola to Bordertown), VIC
Pat McCarthy: Brisbane Limited (Taree to Grafton), NSW
Allan Davies: Grand-Final Express (Heildon to Brisbane), Qld
Mark Tronson: Mountain Track (Port Kembla to Summit Tank), NSW
Laurie Lill: XPT (Sydney to Taree), NSW
From the Driver's Seat sold around the same numbers as all 16 of these niche market railway books. I had the locomotive manufacturer Clyde Engineering take the back cover advert which paid for the contracted
The Book Printer to print these railway books and then I contracted varying distributors into both newsagents and bookshops. With my 8 other books of various titles, in total they cleared around $10,800 a book which even a quite small publishing company wouldn't bother with.
One rail story
One of the From the Driver's Seat author driver's was very excited after he had received a number of courtesy books for his family after publication. I saw him weeks later, and with a beaming face and in colloquial terms explained: "That's the best bloody book I've ever read!"
When asked how many of the train driver's stories he had read, he was equally excited, "Only mine!"
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html