Australian Railway Story: Chapter 4

Chapters: • 1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17 • 18 •

The Push To The Outback and Its Social Impact

Australian Railway engineers were challenged from the very beginning by technical problems such as the need to cross wide rivers, and lay railways tracks over mountains and deserts. From the north to the south, railway systems once established operated in ever changing conditions of extreme heat and bitter cold. With the railways edging inland to service new industries and towns came different ways of looking at many things and the foundations of a new society.

THE ZIG ZAG RAILWAY (built in 1869)
In the nineteenth century, a way was needed from the sea
A mountain range stood manifest, barring passage to the west
So to carry wheat and ore, to Australia’s eastern shore
The Great Divide they did survey, to build the western railway.
An engineer named John Whitton, a forceful man of great vision
Used his talents and his skills, to tame and conquer those great hills
Mountain pass, and mountain grade, to carry goods for foreign trade
To replace the coach and dray, he built the Zig Zag railway.

October Eighteen Sixty Nine, it opened on the western line,
A modern marvel in its day, called the Zig Zag Railway.

My great grandfather made his way, with his faithful horse and dray
From Sydney Town to Emu Ford, across the mountain ranges broad
With his family and his wife, went to find a better life
Look for work to earn some pay, on the Zig Zag Railway.
In Lithgow Town they settled there and the life was far from fair
Some in huts and some in tents, braving the harsh elements
But steady work is what you need, when you've got six mouths to feed
So ‘Navvy’then the long hard day, on the Zig Zag Railway.


The work was hard and it was tough, and conditions very rough
Aching backs and aching bones, moving tons of rock and stones
Hammers, chisels, shovels, picks, breaking down those mighty cliffs
All manual labour in those days, on the Zig Zag Railway.
With curses, blood, and sweat and tears, they laboured on for many years
Cutting tunnel, viaduct, a million cubic yards of rock.
Gouged out of the Great Divide, on its rugged western side
Built the mighty Permanent Way, of the Zig Zag Railway.


Near forty years did operate, carried goods and carried freight
Then a deviation made, a faster way down through the glade
Ten tunnels through the mountainside, vict'ry o’er the Great Divide
Ten tunnels were to end the day, of the Zig Zag Railway.
And now on lonely winter nights, some claim they see the flash of lights
Phantom trains with phantom loads, working up the empty roads
Rattling the phantom points, and clacking over phantom joints.

(Ron Russell and Ray King, Chullora Junction,1986).

(Audio to be added)


At the heart of new services in all states were the daily mail trains. The ‘mail’ train was at the centre of the Post Office’s deliveries. Mail was sorted in special vans by postal workers as the train travelled through the night and often delivered within a day of posting to and from outback towns.


On the Central concourse around the break of day

All the sleepy travellers waiting in the grey

A whistle and a jerk and the journeys underway

Underway on the Western Mail.

Clicketty clack, clicketty clack

Clattering of the wheels on the silver track
Take you there, take you back
On the Western Mail.

( Brian Cater Tallawood Bush Band

Copywrite permission to included full song (5 verses) and music score along with full details of the songwriter being sort assistance with details welcomed on the blog.


The Australian Railway systems played a major part in moving the mobs of cattle along with other produces from the great Outback, as well as keeping the outback workers in touch with family, as this ballad by ‘Banjo’ Patterson graphically illustrates.


The roving breezes come and go, the reed beds sweep and sway,
The sleepy river murmurs low, and loiters on its way,
It is the land of lots o' time along the Castlereagh.

The old man's son had left the farm; he found it dull and slow,
He drifted to the great Northwest where all the rovers go.
'He's gone so long,' the old man said, 'he's dropped right out of mind,
‘But if you'd write a line to him I'd take it very kind;
‘He's shearing here and fencing there, a kind of waif and stray,
‘He's droving now with Conroy's sheep along the Castlereagh.

‘The sheep are travelling for the grass, and travelling very slow;
‘They may be at Mundooran now, or past the Overflow,
‘Or tramping down the black soil flats across by Waddiwong,
‘But all those little country towns would send the letter wrong,
‘The mailman, if he's extra tired, would pass them in his sleep,
‘It's safest to address the note to "Care of Conroy's sheep",
‘For five and twenty thousand head can scarcely go astray,
‘You write to "Care of Conroy's sheep along the Castlereagh".'

By rock and ridge and riverside the western mail has gone,
Across the great Blue Mountain Range to take that letter on.
A moment on the topmost grade while open fire doors glare,
She pauses like a living thing to breathe the mountain air,
Then launches down the other side across the plains away
To bear that note to 'Conroy's sheep along the Castlereagh'.

And now by coach and mailman's bag it goes from town to town,
And Conroy's Gap and Conroy's Creek have marked it 'further down'.
Beneath a sky of deepest blue where never cloud abides,
A speck upon the waste of plain the lonely mailman rides.
Where fierce hot winds have set the pine and myall boughs asweep
He hails the shearers passing by for news of Conroy's sheep.
By big lagoons where wildfowl play and crested pigeons flock,
By camp fires where the drovers ride around their restless stock,
And past the teamster toiling down to fetch the wool away
My letter chases Conroy's sheep along the Castlereagh.

(Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Patterson)


Many have gone on their long last trip,
No Staff or Ticket taking,
The mates who pushed the Locos out
When the West was in the making.

Over the Downs where the brolgas dance
And the heat waves wreathe and quiver,
To load the mobs from the great Gulf routes
On the banks of the Leichhardt River.

Through blazing days with never a cloud
When the sky seemed always higher,
Straight to the sun were the loads we ran
On rails of flaming fire.

We pushed the tracks of Cuthbert Range
We climbed the steep Ballara,
We crossed the river Wills had found
Then on to far Dajarra.

We nosed along with dim headlamps
While the countryside was sleeping
Or strained our eyes through drenching wet
When wide brown floods came sweeping.

The sun went down, we saw it rise
Though no relief from working,
With half dead minds with fancies filled
As though demons there were lurking.

Till we'll sell our soul for an hour of sleep
Or pledge it in some passing,
When the tide of Life seems ebbing out
Just before a dawning.

No right of way, or foul nights now,
No need for brake line testing,
You are home at last, old mates of mine,
And all of you are resting.
(Tim Sullivan)

THE NARROW AND THE BROAD (An Ode to "TEROWIE" where ruling gauges met).

There's a small town in the country,
It is where we went to school,
The summers mostly dry and hot,
The winters really cool.
It was a famous railway town
Where the ruling gauges met
With both the broad and narrow lines
A fact we'll not forget.

A place where everyone changed trains
At morning, noon and night,
Where meals at the refreshment rooms
Were really a delight.
O'Donnell's pies and fresh-made tea
Were the envy of the line,
But that's all vastly changed,
I guess, with the constant march of time.

For the break-of-gauge is missing
And the railway staff is small;
Tis just a run-through station now,
A whistle-stop, that's all.
We still recall ‘the cabbage’
That ran just twice a week,
The Broken Hill express at night,
The cattle and the sheep.
There were Dave and Stanley Simpson
Of the old agency stores where
Two of the young Mahony boys
Performed their daily chores
There were Ted and Charlie Abbott
And the Mathews Brothers too,
Clarrie Nourse and Sandy Churches,
Many others that we knew.

Molony Brothers, Loy and Vin,
Both bakers of renown,
Remember old Dan Mahoney,
Only butcher in the town?
But most of these have now passed on
To their deserved reward;
While all the town's activities
Have just gone by the board.

A little spot beyond the town
Must all the seasons brave—
A placed revered by all of us,
Tis our dear parents' grave
Though apt to be neglected
As time goes marching on,
I pray someone will tend it
When we are dead and gone.

The old place sure is breaking up
They're tearing up the lines
(I quote a phrase so often used)
‘To keep up with the times’
As years go by and we grow old
Fond memory still remains
Of the old town and its people,
Terowie and her trains.

(By F. S. (Florrie)* Mahony)


Hark! here ye the whistle that sounds o’er the plain,
Whistle before never heard down this way!
Is a signal announcing to us there’s a train
Route for the first time from Sydney to Hay.

Our products to Melbourne no longer shall go,
The markets of Sydney just answer as well
Rather much better for as you all know,
Despatch and receipt are both that tell.

(Riverina Grazier 5 July 1882 April 1982)--Check ARHS Bulletin vol 33, no 534:Compete with Victoria- Shipping on the Murray to get the wool overseas through NSW port Sydney-Bourke – Cattle and wool).


We've a thousand tons a'rollin'
Rolling on the main
Yes! A thousand tons are rolling
And most of it is grain.

We've a hundred miles before us,
Yes! A hundred yet to go
So we have to keep it rolling
Or stop the traffic flow.

We set out from Katanning
One hour before the dawn
And hope that all our planning
Shows brain, superior to brawn.

From Kojonup the barley
And from Nyabing the wheat
We hope to get home early
From the inland's searing heat.

There are the roadside wagons also
For along our iron route
We have things to lift as well, so
Make it swift to load the loot
Faster, engine faster, let us swiftly go

Mindful of speed restrictions,
They could hamper us we know
Unless we get past stations
Beyond the Kalgan's flow.

Once we get to Barker
None can hold us, except chance
And in the loco cabin
The dryer and the fireman
Will do a little dance.

We've one thousand tons a'rolling
Onward! Onward to Albany,
C.B.H. needs it at the holding,
To load a ship for sea.
(B. Raven, W.A.)


New railheads became meeting places and where many of the new towns developed. But just to travel by train presented new challenges. There were hotels in the outback long before railways but very soon the railway hotel appeared along with influences like the railway pie, the railway dance the railway concert and the railway institute and the railway bookshop all symbols of a changing Australian society.


When was a young 'un, his cheeks necked with down,
He drew his first pay cheque to head into town.
Then up spoke his father, ‘Son, heed my words well —
Keep clear of. the girls at the Railway Hotel’

‘Those harpies will fleece you of all that you own
They're wicked and wanton-with hearts as hard as stone
Believe me young fella, the road straight to Hell
Begins at the door of the Railway Hotel’

‘They'll ply you with whisky, with beer, rum and gin
Then when you're half sozzled they’ll lead you to sin.
They’re skilled at seduction at this they excel
Those, girls who tempt at the Railway Hotel’

‘Gee whiz!’ cried our hero with awe on his face
‘So that’s what goes on in that old wooden place
Our parson has warned me of; women who dwell
In dens of ill fame like the Railway Hotel’

‘It seems I can still hear that old preacher's words
On drinking and gambling, bad language and birds
But where did he gain such vast knowledge, pray tell,
Of girls like the ones at the Railway Hotel?’

Joe caught a fast pony and girthed it up tight,
Then bidding his father a hasty goodnight
He sprang in the saddle and galloped pell-mell
For his destination – the Railway Hotel.

(W.G. Howcroft)

For those not inclined to participate in the social life offered by the railway hotel one could consider the more family-orientated programs of the Railway Institute. This was an organization that combines the role of today’s TAFE system with a modern social and sports club. Each branch had a local library of books connected to statewide systems of exchange. Although primly established for railway employees’ activities, they involved the general public in all states. Many programmes like flower shows, music and dance eisteddfods in Australia first saw the light of day in this organization, often in association with the Railway Union Movement.


There is a place in Edward Street
Where all the Railwaymen can meet
It started with a reading room
But now the place is quite a boom
Run by some of Queensland’s best
The Council team works with a zest
To give the members lots of fun
Makes you sorry you re not one
There's cricket, football, shooting clubs
Admission on the smallest subs.
Socials, bridge, and dances too
Always something YOU can do.
They cater for the young and old
And in the future, so I'm told
Near to Brisbane will be seen
A cricket pitch and bowling green
Not to mention football grounds
With spacious stands all spread around.
There's billiard rooms and basketball
A real good Gym, and that's not all
Still the Council's not content.
And minds on future aims are bent
To give the members something new
That s everyone—-including YOU
So earnestly they sow the seeds
A medium to portray their deeds
Hence with efforts brave and staunch
Their Magazine they proudly launch
With notes on every phase of sport
Prose on every trend of thought
Highlights of the social sphere
Progress of the Council's year.
Everything that should be known
In Journal you can call your own



Things are dull at present, in fact they are everywhere
And any fun is welcome, to drive away dull care
We railway men have had a meeting, and each one had a say
And we're going to hold a concert on the 24th May

We had invited G.H.Reid, and agreed to pay his fare
We thought the trip would do him good, also the change of air
He said he could not come, and so declined the honor
So we thought we'd find a substitute, in the genial Dan O'Connor

But Billy Fleming moved a motion, which was carried without dissent
That George Edward Saxon be paid the compliment
Charlie McGuiness of Loco. will speak on women's rights
Joe Sharp will speak of Tommy Burns, his life and greatest fights

We will not want for music, while Jack Morgan’s job
To hear Tom Newton singing, ‘twill almost make you sob
Joe Pratt , if in voice will sing Mc Guinness on the wall
And Tommy Carter, he is billed for Clara Nolan’s ball

Billy Smith will render ‘The Wearing of the Green’
And ‘Dr’ Brand perform on the German mandolin
Billy King in his song and dance, is something grand to see
And we’ll have a solo on the flute from Yeatman of Moree

“Butty“ Jones upon the stage will ride the latest wheel
And Arthur Atkenhead in kilts, will dance a Scottish reel
Billy Prentice with the singlesticks will make a grand display
And the dumb-bells will be handled by the gentle Michael Fahey

Charlie Walters the well known guard, will dance an Irish jig
And Josie Stewart, of Singleton, will mesmerise a pig
George Spicer of Werris Creek, will walk a wire rope
And Tommy Sheridan swallows swords, and also bars of soap

Tommy Davis as MC. is sure to make things hum,
And Billy Hall from Willow creek, will manipulate the drum
Dand Colburt, as a judge of Music, will give his service free
On condition he’s presented with a cake of best O.P.

Jack Meeks will take subscriptions, and insert them in the press
And sent a full account to the ‘Wallabadah Express’
And to conclude our concert, we’ll have Dick Swell in the chair
He being a Christian man, will end it with a prayer
The money thus collected we’ll invest at 10 per cent.
For the benefit of railway men who meet with an accident

(by Rack-a-Rock ("The Locomotive Journal" August 28, 1930)


The demand for news and information was felt everywhere along these railway tracks.


Old 17 is whistling
As she rushes through the night
With head and tail-lights gleaming
And every car alight
But as she takes the cutting
And holds the shining track
From lusty throats come calling
The song of the man - Outback

On cold and lonely stretches
On bridges, tall and long
You hear the cry of ‘Paper’
The fettler’s only song
Then as you roll and fling them
Just watch the eager pack
That rush like boys to grip them
For they are scarce - Outback

In scorching sun and blinding dust
In snow and sleet and hail
These men the tracks are keeping
For the passing or the Mail
Then after ‘grub’ it’s paper time
And every tent and shack
Is going through the latest
By the light of the lamp - Outback

With oil lamps dimly casting
A light on earthen floor
When canvas walls go swaying
As the wind through gum trees roar
Those papers every letter
Are read, from front to back
Then passed along to cobbers
That's the way of these men - Outback

But when the storm clouds gather
And rain comes for a week
The Ganger roars at midnight
‘Come on, boys! Down the Creek’
Out then, in gleaming oilskins
They go along the Track
With jacks and picks and crowbar
There's a washaway on - Outback.

So now you know just what it’s like
To work on the line out there
Where every man's a toiler
Where each man does his share
Next time you hear them calling
Don't pass the waiting pack
Give out the news from Sydney
It’s a lot to these men Outback.
(Railroad 1929)



(These lines were composed on seeing a perplexed nun looking for a suitable book
for her journey, in the bookstore at Central Railway (country trains platform) in

The train for Dubbo girds its loins
And throbs and shudders on its tracks
As Sister Mary shudders at
The shelves of lurid paperbacks.
The books all deal with Crime and Horror
Or with Sex or Sin or War
Their covers make her wince and blush,
The bloody knife, the leering whore.
What can she read to fill her journey?
What is unobjectionable to me?
Not written at the Devil's behest,
Acceptable to God and Rome?
‘Thirty Days to a Beautiful Bottom’
And ‘Lolita’ are both plainly wrong
But to my horror 1 see her plump
For ‘Fear of Flying’ by Erica Jong.

Too late I realise her blunder,
Run after her, but all in vain.
All one can do is pray she doesn't
Meet Mother Superior on the train.

(Ian Warden: Australian Railway Journeys)

In the new world created by Australian Railways by the late 1800’s, poets like Henry Lawson felt that Australian society still had a long way to go in the struggle for a better way of life. And the signs that appeared on railway platforms provided evidence of this.


On suburban railway stations - you may see them as you pass-
There are signboards on the platform saying ‘Wait here second class;’
And to me the whirr and thunder and the cluck of running gear
Seem to be forever saying, saying ‘second class wait here’ -
‘Wait here second class,
‘Second class wait here.’
Seem to be forever saying, saying ‘second class wait here.’

And the second class were waiting in the days of serf and prince,
And the second class are waiting - they've been waiting ever since.
There are gardens in the background, and the line is bare and drear,
Yet they wait beneath a signboard, sneering ‘second class wait here.’
I have waited oft in winter, in the morning dark and damp,
When the asphalt platform glistened underneath the lonely lamp.
Glistened on the brick-faced cutting “Sellum’s Soap” and “Blower’s Beer”,
Glistened on enameled signboards with their “Second class wait here”
Wait here second class, second class wait here",

And the others seemed like burglars, slouched and muffled to the throats,
Standing round apart and silent in their shoddy overcoats,
And the wind among the poplars, and the wires that thread the air,
Seemed to be forever snarling, snarling “second class wait here”.
Wait here second class, second class wait here",
Out, beyond a further suburb, ‘neath a chimney-stack alone

Lays the works of Grinder brothers, with a platform of their own;
A I waited there and suffered, waiting there for many a day,
Slaved beneath a phantom signboard, telling all my hopes to stay.
Wait here second class, second class wait here",

Ah! a man must feel revengeful for a boyhood such as mine.
God! I hate the very houses near the workshop by the line;
And the smell of railway stations, and the roar of running gear,
And the scornful-seeming signboards, saying ‘second class wait here
Wait here second class, second class wait here",

There's a train with Death for driver, that is ever going past,
There will be no class compartments when it's ‘all aboard’ at last
For a long white jasper with an Eden in the rear;
And there won't be any signboards, saying ‘second class wait here.
Wait here second class, second class wait here’.
(Henry Lawson)

Poet “ Demo” felt much the same way as Lawson about inequality in the new workplace.


Tell me the difference kindly, the why and the how and the where,
Is the difference in the passes allotted to you and the 'Sir'?
Is the cut of the clothes the grade-line that makes the distinction so great?
Twixt the worker on leave and the 'Clerk Sir', who are checked at the barrier gate?

A month on leave has ‘Sir Rupert’, whilst Jimmy the porter has days,
Up to ten, and he thinks himself lucky, tho' luck seldom comes in his ways.
A pass for himself and the ‘missus’, he is off second class to the sea,
With a shilling or two in his pockets, to spend on bananas and tea.

While 'Rupert', ensconced in a carriage, with the cushions right up to his chin,
Is settled in comfort for Sydney, with a journal and lashings of tin.
it strikes me the difference in passes would lead to confusion and shame
If the way they picked out the distinction was planned on a different game.

And a difficult matter they'd find it (excuse me, I hope I'm not rude),
If they looked for the men of distinction when all of them were in the nude.
Could they pick out the 'Sir' from the toiler, from the curl and the cut of his hair?
You may laugh, but you'd find the distinction were hard to define and declare.

And I'm thinking, and thinking quite soundly, were the clothes put away in the shop,
That the toilers would be on the cushions, and with passes for first be on top.
But there it's a matter of 'culchaw', where quality don't get a place,
So the toiler rides second forever, with a second-class smile on his face.

('DEMO', in Victorian Railway News, 2 August 1906, p. 24.)



The Journey's started, don't be swayed
The doors are open don't be dismayed
The conductor calls you to step inside
Life's train awaits, enjoy the ride

This outback adventure is more than just a ride
We've left our hearts behind and the tears we've had to hide
As we leave the final station to travel home again
Our lives are changed forever by this Queensland Railway Train.

(Emily Shantala Fros Queensland)

Copywrite permission to included full song (5 verses) and music score along with full details of the songwriter being sort assistance with details welcomed on the blog.


THE GREAT TRIPLE R (‘Railway Refreshment Rooms’)

When I was a boy, my greatest joy
Was going away on a train
In a corridor carriage, my parents’ marriage
Was lucky to stand the strain

My brother and I would demand a meat pie
Our Mum would wish on a star
And Dad would say, that he blessed the day
They opened the great Triple R

Yes you could get coffee, tea and a toffee
Bacon and eggs and a cake
A sandwich or beer, all served with good cheer,
Assorted cold lunch and a steak

When steam was King, the stations would ring
With the bush and the roar of the crowd
The Great Triple R was known near
Best value that money allowed

At Gosford and Grafton, Wagga and Wollongong
Mt Vic. and Broken Hill
When travelling by train in the sun and the rain,
At get the great Triple R get your fill

At midnight or dawn, on a cold frosty morn
At breakfast or luncheon or tea
The ladies in grey, would brighten your day
Yes they bring back fond memories for me

They’re nearly all gone, but the legend live on
Of golden days in the past
When you could get by, on hot tea and pie
As if each meal was your last

(Ron Russell--1987)


Napoleon – the warrior,
In days of long ago,
Gave out some words of wisdom,
To his soldiers, grouped below,
An army! thundered 'Boney'
On its stomach, goes to fight,
And after an inspection, of the RRR
Nap's Right!
For an army in its thousands,
Daily marches to the sign,
Where they fill your little tummies,
When you travel down the line,
See them sit and toy with cutlets,
Cups of tea and coffee too,
Pies and curry, rice and custard,
Soups, Porterhouse and 'Stoo'.

Mid the rattle of the crockery,
Scullery girls in snowy dresses,
Wash the dishes neat and clean,
Cups, saucers, spoons and teapots,
At attention! Stand and shine;
For they're waiting on the diners,
That will come at dinner time.

Watch them piling on the sauces,
With their sausages and mash,
Some eat slowly, others rush it,
Then they swiftly make a dash,
For a bell is loudly ringing,
As they hurry through the door,
With ports and rugs and baskets,
For the seven twenty-four.

But the man who really matters,
Is the cook, who stands and waits,
For the browning of the sausage,
With an eye upon the gates,
Then down the chute you hear it,
Eggs and bacon! Soup for two!
Then our cook twirls up his whiskers
And the grills prepare to do.

Up the chute the grills go sailing,
To the girls that wait with trays,
Watch them quick and safely stack 'em.
As they go their many ways,
There's a glass of milk for baby,
And a grill for Honey Sue,
Then old grandpa in the corner,
Roars out “How about my stoo!”

So I could go on forever,
Just describing how they eat,
How they wait and grow impatient,
Roll their eyes and stamp their feet,
But in spite of modern methods,
We can't live on sand and tar,
Let this game of 'eats' continue,
At the good old RRR.

The Railroad 1939
Railway to the Sky

Words and Music Jim Lowe 1991

1. Engineer John Whitton planed a railway to the sky.
No money for a tunnel so a zig zag line he tried.
To bring a train up Lapstone Hill to cross the mountains blue
He started with an idea and worked to make it true.

For he’s going to build a railway,
he’s going to make it high.
He’s going to build a railway to the sky

2. To cross the Knapsack Gully, a viaduct the way
A mighty sandstone structure which still stands proud today
And on towards the first points, reverse the middle road
Then upwards past the second points the trains would haul their load

3. The zig-zag line he worked on, cut in this hill of stone.
And when it was completed it soon became well-known
Excited sounds from travellers, as they began the rise
Below the sweeping easterly view as far as Sydney lies,

4. The iron horse could now ascend, where once the bullock dray
Began the steep and tiring climb along the Cox's way
To cross these rugged mountains and head for places new
Remember those like Whitton, they helped to make it true.

Copywrite permission to included full song and music score along with full details of the songwriter being sort assistance with details welcomed on the blog.
Details of An Early NSW Railway Musical

Mayhem on the Lithgow Zig-Zag!

George Darrell was one of the
generation of live show actor-
producers that preceded the era
of motion pictures and television.
The stage productions put on by
Darrell and actors like him were
the soap operas of the nineteenth
century. The high point of
Darrell's career came in the early
1880s when he had a hit with
'Sunny South' a musical play
whose action climaxed on the
Lithgow Zig Zag Railway.

Like modem television drama,
the hit musical 'Sunny South'
sucked in its audience by dealing
with the subjects that were the
talk of its time - in its case those
subjects were crusty gold-miners,
impoverished aristocrats, loyal
aboriginal trackers, black-robed
villains with thin moustaches and
the newly-completed Zig-Zag
railway at Lithgow.

In 1977 Sydney University
Dramatic Society recreated the
play as a farce - with a full size
mocked up locomotive on stage -
but it was taken in deadly came.
by last century's audiences. In
the final act of 'Sunny South', the
villains rip up the line on the Zig
Zag and shoot the heroes'
aboriginal guide when he gives
the alarm. All ends well when the
good guys leap from the derailec
carriages to pursue and seize the

Don Morrison The Blue Mountains Folkbook 1999

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