Launch Review by Sandra Nixon (March 2010)
First proposed in the early 1980's, the first edition of the book was launched at the National Folk Festival April 2010.
Compiled by Brian Dunnett, using contributions from the Railway Songs Blogspot and other sources, and edited by Ralph Pride, it contains 37 songs with music, in a spiral bound book for easy use by performers.
This collection of Australian Railway songs has been brought together by the Bush Music Club as a working book of material that can be used by bands and individuals for developing concerts and other performances on the theme of Australian Railways.
For over 150 years songwriters, poets musicians and writers have observed and recorded many aspects of Australian railway life. Many of the songs and poems came directly from those who were employed in building or operating national railway systems. Others items came from those who used railways as passengers, or recall trains amongst their earliest memories.
Collecting the experiences of railways recorded by songwriters and poets across thousands of miles of Australian railway tracks remains a huge task. In presenting this small collection as a working source of railway related material the Bush Music Club encourages bands and individual performers songwriters poets and other writers to expanded their repertory by seeking other material from sources such as Australian Railway Heritage groups like the Werris Creek Railway Museum, folk clubs, current railway workers and their unions as well producing their own items.