It's mostly jocular ribbing but also concern that said generation (on the whole) is less equipped for, well, anything than the prior is, just as mine (X) is less so than the one before me. We've been in decline (on average) in my estimation for a long time. Just my opinion.
Goodness, I hope the engineer wasn't 25. God help us.
Well, if you need 40 years' experience, then age is kind of an issue. If you started "learning trains" at, say, 16, and then you've now gathered 40 years on the job, that puts you at 56...smack dab in the middle of Gen X!