The Gowrie Railway Accident

Rockhampton Bulletin Wednesday 2 August 1876 p.2

THE D. D. [Darling Downs] Gazette furnishes the following account of thc late railway accident :—The railway line in the vicinity of the Gowrie Junction was "flooded, and it was deemed advisable for the 2 o'clock train to return to Toowoomba, although the submerged portion extended only over a few hundred yards of the line between the point where the train arrived at a standstill and the railway station.

Some of the passengers were invited to proceed by a special engine to Dalby, but the majority preferred "Toowoomba and safety." The special engine left Gowrie at 6 p.m. having on board Stephen Welch (driver), William Wilkie (line inspector), Robert Dellar (fireman), and John Gerhardt (labourer), The line being under water they proceeded steadliy in the direction of Dalby—the speed being under four miles an hour—when, in crossing a culvert, about two and a half miles from the junction, the roof of the culvert gave way, and the engine with its occupants fell a distance of about ten feet into the gully below, the tender resting upon a portion of the engine which was not submerged.

Dellar was jammed between the engine-box and the handrail, and some time elapsed before be was enabled to release himself, and consequently he was scalded very severely on both legs, from the knees to the ankles.

Gerhardt has no recollection of how he went down into the gully, but he is aware that he was released by one of the lengthamen. He was severely scalded about the right leg, and deeply cut over the forehead, as well as wounded behind the right ear. Stephen Welch was cut over the right eye, and severely bruised about the back and loins ; and Wilkie suffered internal injuries, extending over the back and ribs.

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