70th anniversary of the Camp Mountain train disaster

  • Rescuers inspect the carriages. Image courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland
  • Rescuing and assisting the injured. Image courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland
  • Relief workers inspect the engine. Image courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland
  • Workers at the crash site. Image courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland
  • A survivor is carried away as the crowd swells. Image courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

 

70 years ago … Labour Day, 5 May 1947. It was picnic day for staff members and their families from the Department of Customs and Excise in Brisbane. In beautiful sunny weather, like we are experiencing now. The social club left the city with nearly 500 men, women and children aboard a train, rattling their way towards Closeburn on the now defunct Dayboro rail line – about 13 miles (20 kilometres) from Central Railway Station.

They planned to enjoy the day – members of the department’s social club had been contributing sixpence a week all year towards the celebration … there was to be a cricket match and afternoon dancing with a specially engaged orchestra.

One hour after departure while approaching a bend on the way down the Samford Range, tragedy struck … read more in Grave Tales, Brisbane and meet Gregory Brown and Augustus Knight.