On a hot summer’s night in the 1950s, the old and the new, diesel and steam, town and country all collide – and nobody will be left unaffected.
As a passenger train leaves Spencer Street Station on its haul to Sydney, a family of three – Vic, Rita and their son Michael – are off to a party. George Bedser has invited the whole neighbourhood to celebrate the engagement of his daughter. Vic is an engine driver, with dreams of being like his hero Paddy Ryan and becoming the master of the smooth ride.
As the neighbours walk to the party, we are drawn into the lives of a bully, a drunk, a restless girl and a young boy forced to grow up before he is ready. The Art of the Engine Driver is a luminous and evocative tale of ordinary suburban lives, told with an extraordinary power.