Couple’s very public marriage

Greg and Arleta McFarlane will be driving trains and buses to and from Butler station.
Greg and Arleta McFarlane will be driving trains and buses to and from Butler station.

Unlike most residents however, they won’t be using it for a quicker commute south ” instead he will be driving the trains and she, the buses.

The couple moved to Alkimos from Tapping this month to be closer to work, with both based at the Nowergup rail depot.

Mrs McFarlane works for Transdev, driving Transperth buses, and her husband is a train driver who has also been piloting the driver training in the lead-up to Butler station opening.

Mr McFarlane said he became a train driver about 6½ years ago, a change from his previous career as an automotive spray painter.

‘It’s not an easy job to get into; you have got to be quite smart,’ he said.

‘We carry more people on a train than on a jumbo jet: about 1100 people in a six-car set.’

About two years ago, his wife decided to make her career change from shop manager to bus driver.

Mrs McFarlane said she had always been interested in driving big trucks, but loved the interaction with people on buses.

‘Every day we meet someone new, something happens,’ she said. 

Mr McFarlane said they always talked about their days and what happened at work, but particularly enjoyed the positive feedback from passengers.

‘Sometimes you just get a passenger come up and say ‘nice driving’,’ he said.

Mr McFarlane said in recent weeks he had been training about 25 other drivers on the extension from Clarkson to Butler and navigating the new northern entry to the Nowergup maintenance yard.

Mrs McFarlane said her bus passengers across the north coast area were looking forward to the extra services when the station opens on September 21.

‘Passengers on my bus are asking questions, they are getting excited,’ she said. ‘For many people, I think it’s going to be very handy; they don’t have to travel all the way to Clarkson.’ 

Passenger train and bus services at Butler station will start from about 11.50am this Sunday.