Mumbai's last Anglo-Indian motorman hangs his boots
Adrian Eric Baldrey, who survived the 26/7 floods on water and biscuits while manning his engine, retired on September 30 after a nearly 4-decade journey with the railways
It’s the end of an era and a splendid 38-year-long career. With Adrian Eric Baldrey retiring last Sunday, Mumbai suburban railway network has bid adieu to its last Anglo-Indian motorman. The 60-year-old began his career as an assistant train driver in 1974. His father Eric George Baldrey was a mail driver on the Bhusaval route, while grandfather George Singleton Baldrey operated steam locomotives.
According to railway officials, Adrian was sincere towards his work and was an efficient motorman. No chargesheet was ever framed against him. Ashok Kumar Singh, public relations officer, Central Railway, said, “CR is saddened as our only Anglo-Indian motorman has retired. We are proud to have had him and he was a hardworking and accomplished worker.” Singh also said that Adrian was very helpful and accommodating – whenever a media team from a foreign country would visit for filming a documentary, the six-foot-tall Kalyan resident would be sent to represent the railways.
“It was my childhood dream to become a motorman. I used to travel with my father inside the train engines and found this extremely fascinating,” Adrian told MiD DAY.
Adrian said though his job involved many ups and downs and sometimes lives were at risk, he took pleasure in his work. “I have witnessed dozens of accidents and have occasionally managed to save lives. It’s also true that people have died on the tracks before my eyes. Those were sad days,” he added. He also recounted how he had to spend two days just on water and biscuits during the 26/7 floods in Mumbai, but didn’t leave his train unattended.